5 reasons to minor in Philosophy

  1. A philosophy minor prepares you for a variety of jobs, unlike many fields that narrow your employment opportunities to a few select careers.

  2. A philosophy minor helps you stand out when you apply for a job, and is a great (and easy) first interview question.

  3. Philosophy complements any number of disciplines, from the health sciences (bioethics, applied ethics, human nature) to political science, English, or law (responsibility and punishment, philosophical ethics, existentialism, logic).

  4. Philosophers consistently score better on standardized tests and earn higher salaries in comparable fields than those with other minors and majors (see below).

  5. A philosophy minor can be completed efficiently in 4 years with any major at USM, class selections are constantly being added, and the program is willing to work with your schedule.

Signs and symptoms that you might want to be a philosophy minor:

  1. You are often dissatisfied with taking things for granted.

  2. You sometimes focus on a problem or issue, and just can’t leave it alone because it doesn’t make sense.

  3. Partial answers to questions lead you to look for a complete explanation.

  4. You find yourself looking for more rational/logical ways to solve a problem, even if that problem is something mundane — like organizing your shelves or cleaning your house/apartment.

How well does Philosophy actually prepare you for life?

How do philosophy majors/minors score on standardized tests?

“Philosophy majors received higher scores on the LSAT than students in all other humanities areas, higher scores than all social and natural science majors except economics and mathematics, and higher scores than all applied majors. Moreover, the differences are in most cases substantial: for example, philosophy majors scored 10% better than political science majors on the LSAT. On the GMAT philosophy majors outperformed business majors by a margin of 15%, and outperformed every other undergraduate major except mathematics." ["Philosophy Students Score High on LSAT, GMAT & GRE" Andreas Teuber]

Whether it is an LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, or GRE, philosophy majors and minors consistently score the highest on standardized tests.  This should not be that surprising, since philosophy trains someone to systematically apply clear, rigorous, and focused thought to a wide variety of issues, a perfect skill-set for any test or…

The following is a list of people who majored in philosophy - they seemed to do just fine:

Government, Politics, Law and Religion:

  • Thomas Jefferson (U.S. President)

  • Jane Addams (first woman to receive Nobel Peace Prize)

  • David Souter (Supreme Court Justice)

  • William Bennett (Secretary of Education and best-selling author)

  • Patrick Buchanan (presidential candidate and political columnist)

  • Fred Thompson (former senator and presidential candidate)

  • Jerry Brown (former governor of California and presidential candidate)

  • Raisa Gorbachev (former first lady of the Soviet Union)

  • Madelyn Murray O’Hair (famous atheist)

  • Pope John Paul II

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.


  • J. Paul Getty

  • Carl Icahn (CEO, TWA Airlines)

  • Gerald Levin (CEO, Time Warner, Inc.)

  • George Soros (financier)

  • Carly Fiorina (CEO, HP)

Contemporary Writers, Performers and Broadcasters:

  • T. S. Eliot

  • Christopher Hitchens

  • James Michener

  • Iris Murdoch

  • Alexander Solzhenitsin

  • Umberto Eco

  • M. Scott Peck

  • Ken Follett

  • Susan Sontag

  • Sam Harris

  • David Foster Wallace

  • Ayn Rand

  • Elie Wiesel

  • Harrison Ford

  • Susan Sarandon

  • Woody Allen

  • Richard Gere

  • Steve Martin

  • George Carlin

  • Jay Leno

  • Dennis Miller

  • Kim Thayill (Soundgarden)

  • Stone Phillips

  • John Chancellor

  • Alex Trebek

  • Gene Siskel

  • Willard Scott

  • Jimmy Kimmel

  • Ricky Gervais (creator of The Office)

  • Wes Anderson


  • Bruce Lee

  • Phil Jackson

  • Michael McKaskey (Owner, Chicago Bears)

  • Aaron Talylor (OT, Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers)