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What Are the Best Tips for Getting a Degree in Philosophy?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Choosing to pursue a degree in philosophy can be rewarding, but the student will need to do a bit of planning and reflection before enrolling in a college or university. The most important consideration a student will need to take into account is his or her career goals once the degree program has been finished. Many graduates choose to continue on for a higher degree, while others may choose law school or other types of careers. The student will need to think about what he or she wants to do with the degree in philosophy, because the availability of jobs may be limited.

It is important to do some research on the specific institutions that offer a degree in philosophy. The student should find a program that will suit his or her needs, and after researching the professors and instructors within the program, the student should choose the program that features faculty he or she will be excited to work with. It will help to narrow down one's search for a program to three or four schools, since application fees can be quite expensive. Prioritize the programs so the student knows which is his or her first choice, second choice, and so on.

A statue of Socrates, an important Greek philosopher.
A statue of Socrates, an important Greek philosopher.

Each program that offers a degree in philosophy may be stronger in one area of philosophy than others. The student should narrow down his or her interests as much as possible to determine what area of philosophy he or she wants to study. This will help narrow down the search for a good program, and it may help narrow down the student's options and desires for a career once the program has been completed. Each specific program may steer the student toward a specific career path, so be sure to do some research about the program as well as the career placement or advisement options once schooling is complete.

Take note of the tuition for each program being considered. A degree in philosophy will often take four years of schooling or more, depending on which level of degree the student wants to attain. Tuition rates can vary significantly by school; a student is likely to find lower tuition rates at in-state or local schools, and smaller, liberal arts colleges may have lower tuition rates than larger universities. The student will need to examine options for funding his or her education; this may mean applying for loans, scholarships, grants, and so on.

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    • A statue of Socrates, an important Greek philosopher.
      By: Stefanos Kyriazis
      A statue of Socrates, an important Greek philosopher.