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Data and Information on the Profession of Philosophy
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Philosophy Majors After College

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show philosophy graduates are in growing demand from employers. The number of all graduates in full-time and part-time work six months after graduation rose by 9 percent between the 2002-03 and 2005-06 school years; for philosophy graduates in particular it went up by 13 percent. The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU), which also collates data of this kind, agrees philosophers are finding it easier to secure work. Its figures show that, in 2001, 9.9 percent of philosophy graduates were unemployed six months after graduation. In 2006, just 6.7 percent were (Academy of Arts and Sciences). reports on salary potential of bachelor degrees, and finds that philosophy majors are in the top 25% by mid-career, the highest among the humanities.

Degree Completion in Philosophy

Bachelor’s Degrees

Bachelor’s degree completions in philosophy more than doubled from 1987 to 2009, and the percentage of bachelor’s degrees issued in philosophy as a percentage of all bachelor’s degrees awarded, though small, rose slowly but steadily throughout that same time period (Academy of Arts and Sciences). We have created an IPEDS report on the number of bachelor's degree completions in philosophy from 2009 to 2013.

Master’s Degrees

Master’s degree completions in philosophy approximately doubled between 1987 and 2009. Growth occurred in much the same way that it did at the bachelor’s level, with two surges separated by a period of stagnation, one that in this case started in the early 1990s and lasted through the end of that decade. Philosophy degrees represented 0.14 percent to 0.20 percent of all master’s and first professional degrees awarded in each year of the two-decade span examined here (Academy of Arts and Sciences). We have created an IPEDS report on the number of master's degree completions in philosophy from 2009 to 2013.

Doctoral Degrees

The number of doctoral degrees completed in philosophy grew steadily from 1987 to the turn of the century, as did the discipline’s share of all doctorates conferred. The mid-2000s were a period of stasis for these completions, but 2009 saw a relatively substantial rise in the number of doctorates earned in philosophy. This increased the discipline’s share of all degree completions (Academy of Arts and Sciences). We have created an IPEDS report on the number of Ph.D. completions in philosophy from 2009 to 2013.

APA Membership Demographics

report on APA membership demographics for 2013-2014 is now available.

For a number of years, there have been calls for the APA to improve and increase its tracking of member demographics. We are very pleased to now be able to provide this kind of information to and about our membership. Though, for this first year of reporting, the information provided is somewhat limited, we plan to expand and increase the data reported in future years. We welcome feedback and suggestions for improvements to our collection and reporting of demographic data. Suggestions may be emailed to 


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The American Philosophical Association
University of Delaware
31 Amstel Avenue, Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302.831.1112 | Fax: 302.831.8690