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Liberal Arts & Humanities Major

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Liberal Arts & Humanities

$76,990 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Liberal Arts & Humanities Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many liberal arts / sciences and humanities graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 2,109
Graduate Certificate 218
Doctor’s Degree 109

What Can You Do With a Liberal Arts & Humanities Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with liberal arts / sciences and humanities:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Professors 9.4% $65,660

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts & Humanities?

2,109 Master's Degrees Annually
62% Percent Women
27% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 62% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of liberal arts / sciences and humanities majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 55
Black or African American 245
Hispanic or Latino 184
White 1,259
International Students 151
Other Races/Ethnicities 215

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities. About 7.2% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Liberal Arts & Humanities Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in liberal arts / sciences and humanities made a median starting salary of $45,700 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $41,000 (25th percentile) and $50,850 (75th percentile).


It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in liberal arts / sciences and humanities, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

The median salary for someone in a career related to liberal arts / sciences and humanities is $76,990. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Liberal Arts & Humanities Major  76,990
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

Online Liberal Arts & Humanities Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 2,239 schools offered some type of liberal arts / sciences and humanities program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 192 37
Certificate (1-2 years) 314 81
Certificate (2-4 Years) 10 3
Associate’s Degree 2,224 806
Bachelor’s Degree 50 7
Post-Baccalaureate 192 37
Master’s Degree 245 42
Post-Master’s 20 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 30 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Liberal Arts & Humanities Worth It?

The median salary for a liberal arts / sciences and humanities grad is $76,990 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 93% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $741,800 after 20 years!


You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to liberal arts / sciences and humanities.

Major Number of Grads
Visual & Performing Arts 20,057
Theology & Religious Vocations 17,991
English Language & Literature 9,891
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 4,466
Philosophy & Religious Studies 2,510


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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