Philosophy offers the opportunity to pursue studies in both traditional and contemporary areas of philosophical inquiry.  There are faculty working in the history of philosophy from antiquity to the present, and in most areas of contemporary Anglo-American and Continental European philosophy.  Employers value articulateness, clarity of expression, logical rigor and analytical skills, which our courses provide ample opportunity to sharpen.  Possible careers include analyst, lawyer, sales professional, manager, professor and editor.

The Educational Testing Service Reports that in the most recently studied three-year period, students intent on philosophy had the highest mean scores on the verbal and analytical writing sections of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) of all the 51 areas of study listed.

Points of Pride

  • Philosophy applicants to medical school have a high acceptance rate.  
    USA Today has reported that of those who have gone on to law school, philosophy majors have performed better than students in any other major, which suggests that philosophy may be an ideal background for those intending to attend law school. 
  • A study of three years of test results done at the University of Dayton has shown that philosophy students do quite well on the Graduate Record Examination. Overall, those intent on philosophy ranked eighth out of 98 fields; they ranked second in the verbal skills portion of the examination.
  • Purdue University philosophy faculty have won highly prestigious teaching awards in the University and one of them was a finalist for the national Professor of the Year award. 
  • Faculty members have held research fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Humanities Center.
  • The Purdue University Philosophy Colloquium Series brings guests to campus to present papers.


Pursuing graduate studies and becoming a professional philosopher is one career path students choose. Many other philosophy majors find careers in medicine, law, publishing, marketing, computer science, etc. Philosophy is quite suitable as a major for pre-professional students, and it may well be an ideal major for those who plan to enter law school. Virtually every employer values articulateness, clarity of expression, logical rigor, and analytical skills - skills the student has ample opportunity to sharpen in philosophy courses.

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Plan of Study

Degree in 3

2018-19 Plan of Study

2017-18 Plan of Study

2016-17 Plan of Study

2015-16 Plan of Study

2014-15 Plan of Study

Department of Philosophy

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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