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Philosophy & Religious Studies Major

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Philosophy & Religious Studies

$87,140 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many philosophy and religious studies graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,730
Doctor’s Degree 706
Graduate Certificate 74

What Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, philosophy and religious studies majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors

A major in philosophy and religious studies prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a philosophy and religious studies student include the following:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Philosophy & Religious Studies Major?

People with a philosophy and religious studies degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Professors 10.4% $74,440
Mathematical Science Professors 9.4% $73,230
Mathematicians 29.0% $101,900
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Philosophy and Religion Professors 12.3% $71,890

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Philosophy & Religious Studies?

1,730 Master's Degrees Annually
35% Percent Women
22% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 65% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of philosophy and religious studies majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Philosophy & Religious Studies Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 65
Black or African American 100
Hispanic or Latino 154
White 1,062
International Students 188
Other Races/Ethnicities 161

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Philosophy & Religious Studies, too. About 10.9% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of philosophy and religious studies students with a master’s degree is $41,150 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,325 (25th percentile) and $45,650 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to philosophy and religious studies.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $85,450 to $104,870 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to philosophy and religious studies. This range includes 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 Philosophy & Religious Studies Major  ( 85450 to 104870 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some degrees associated with philosophy and religious studies may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to philosophy and religious studies have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 12.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.4%
Master’s Degree 29.8%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.5%
Doctoral Degree 47.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.0%

Online Philosophy & Religious Studies Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,216 schools offered a philosophy and religious studies program of some type. 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) 58 7
Certificate (1-2 years) 27 5
Certificate (2-4 Years) 9 1
Associate’s Degree 154 22
Bachelor’s Degree 54 10
Post-Baccalaureate 58 7
Master’s Degree 384 44
Post-Master’s 17 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 175 6
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 4 0

Is a Degree in Philosophy & Religious Studies Worth It?

The median salary for a philosophy and religious studies grad is $87,140 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 118% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $944,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to philosophy and religious studies.

Major Number of Grads
Visual & Performing Arts 20,057
Theology & Religious Vocations 17,991
English Language & Literature 9,891
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 4,466
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities 2,436

References

*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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