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Data and Information on the Field of Philosophy
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Philosophy Majors After College (PDF)

Data gathered by PayScale from the 2016–2017 academic year shows that people with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy tend to earn more over their lifetime than people with degrees in any other humanities field. Philosophy students have both the highest starting salary of any humanities major ($44,700) and the highest percent increase between starting and mid-career salary ($84,100).

Additionally, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found for the graduating class of 2015 that, within six months, just over 78 percent of graduates with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy had either found employment or were continuing their education (28.6 percent). Graduates with a BA in philosophy had a mean starting salary of $43,427. Those graduating with a master’s degree in philosophy in 2015 fared even better, with over 85 percent finding employment or continuing their education (47.8 percent) within six months of graduation. Their mean starting salary was over $75,500.

Degree Completion in Philosophy (PDF)

Bachelor’s Degrees

Bachelor’s degree completions in philosophy more than doubled from 1987 to 2014, 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.

Data source: Humanities Indicators, Figure II-21a

Master’s Degrees

Master’s degree completions in philosophy approximately doubled between 1987 and 2014. 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. However, the share of master’s degrees in philosophy remained relatively stable since 1987.

Data source: Humanities Indicators, Figure II-21b

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 a combination of increasing doctoral completions across all fields as well as a reduction in philosophy doctoral degree completions in 2014 reduced the share of completions to 1987’s levels.

Data source: Humanities Indicators, Figure II-21c

APA Membership Demographics

report on APA membership demographics is now available.

Reports on demographic statistics provided by APA members for recent membership years are now available. These statistics include data on gender, race/ethnicity, LGBT status, disability status, type of employment, and tenure status. Beginning with FY2016, we are also providing a separate report on APA members broken down by geographic region. For the US, the report uses census regions; for Canada, the report uses the four-region model. We welcome feedback and suggestions for improvements to our collection and reporting of demographic data. Suggestions may be emailed to

APDA Diversity and Inclusiveness Report

Download the report. From the introduction: "In 2018 Academic Placement Data and Analysis ran a survey of doctoral students and recent graduates on the topics of diversity and inclusivity in collaboration with the Graduate Student Council and Data Task Force of the American Philosophical Association. We submitted a preliminary report in Fall 2018 that describes the origins and procedure of the survey [1]. This is our final report on the survey. We first discuss the demographic profile of our survey participants and compare it to the United States general population, its doctoral students, and APA membership, finding several areas of underrepresentation (i.e. gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic, and veteran status). We then discuss the results of questions regarding diversity and inclusivity."


The American Philosophical Association
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