Top Universities for Philosophy in 2022-2023

Posted on

Best Colleges and Universities for Philosophy in the World

About Philosophy

Philosophy is an academic study that seeks to answer fundamental problems about the world, such as what is valuable and what is not. In Greek, the word “philosophy” implies “love of wisdom.” In a broader sense, philosophy connects our past with the present providing answers to the basic and fundamental questions of life and existence. 

Philosophical education broadens one’s horizons in life. It provides one with self-awareness, foresight, and a sense of purpose in life. It helps to cultivate individuality and self-esteem as well as expressive abilities. This field is ideal for those who are looking for a profession that will satisfy them intellectually. 

Skills required for pursuing a career in Philosophy

Philosophers are those who are able to think logically, come up with unique answers to issues, and communicate those solutions to others. Therefore the following skills sets puts students in a perfect position to pursue a variety of careers in philosophy.

  • Analytical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Communication skills (written and oral) 
  • Organizational skills
  • Research skills
  • Logical thinking 
  • Time management
  • Leadership skills
  • Inter-personal skills
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Argumentative skills

Popular degrees for pursuing a career in Philosophy

Philosophy has always been a popular subject since it allows for a wide range of professional options. Some of the best colleges offer the following degrees to students interested in pursuing a career in philosophy.

Bachelor’s Programs

A bachelor’s degree in philosophy typically teaches the basic principles of the field and how to adopt the important skills. Some of the popular bachelor’s degrees in philosophy are:

  • B.A. in Philosophy
  • B.A. in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
  • B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics
  • B.A. in Religious Studies

Master’s Programs

A master’s degree in philosophy polishes and enhances all of the skills acquired throughout bachelor degree. Students can choose the following specializations for their master’s degree in philosophy:

  • M.A. in Philosophy
  • M.A. in Religious Studies
  • M.A. in Aesthetics
  • M.A. in Psychology
  • M.A. in Political Philosophy
  • M.A. in Theology

Doctoral Programs

Students who wish to enter academia and research can opt for a P.h.D degree in philosophy after completing their master’s degree. Doctoral programs are typically chosen for positions such as professor, assistant professor, or associate professor at universities or colleges. 

Specializations in Philosophy

The traditional specializations in the field of physiology are 

Metaphysics: It  is the study of reality beyond scientific concepts and includes physical metaphysics, ontology or general metaphysics, and psychical or religious metaphysics.

Epistemology: It involves the study of origin, nature, and scope of knowledge and wisdom. 

Ethics: Often known as moral philosophy, ethics is the study of what defines an ethical human life, including what is right, wrong, and evil. 

Logic: It studies the various reasoning and argumentation strategies.

In addition to these traditional specializations, students can opt for emerging specializations in philosophy such as

  • Philosophy of mind
  • Philosophy of science
  • Philosophy of religious studies 
  • Philosophy of aesthetics
  • Philosophy of language
  • Philosophy of psychology
  • Philosophy of law
  • Philosophy of Arts
  • Social and political philosophy 
  • Philosophy of computer science
  • Philosophy of logic and math
  • Cognitive science
  • Theology

Duration of Programs in Philosophy

The length of a philosophy curriculum is determined by the breadth and range of philosophical topics covered. The following is a typical timeline for the degree programs given by the finest colleges in the world:

CountryBachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeDoctoral Degree
USA and Canada3-4 years1-2 years4-7 years
UK3-4 years1-2 years4-7 years
Australia3-4 years1-2 years4-7 years

Career opportunities in Philosophy

Philosophy is a comprehensive subject of study that covers a wide range of topics from all walks of life. There is no limit as to what one can achieve with this degree in both the public and private sectors. In the end, your passion for a particular branch of philosophy will determine your career path.

Below is a list of jobs for philosophy majors:

  • Lawyer
  • Judge
  • Journalist
  • Paralegal
  • Human resources
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Professors and lecturers
  • Public policy makers
  • Marketing 
  • Finacial services
  • Heath care and social work
  • Writers and editors
  • Business professionals
  • Tech industry
  • Governemnt officer
  • Politician
  • Solicitors and advisors
  • Psychologist

Average salaries for Philosophers

Because there are so many distinct occupations to choose from in the discipline of philosophy, the salary opportunities are likewise quite varied. The typical salaries for philosophy majors are listed below.

CountryAverage salary in USD/year
Canada 67,573 (Source: Talent)
USA61,422 (Source: Zippia)
UK42,696 (Source: Totaljobs)

Top 50 Universities in the world for Philosophy based on ranking (Shanghai/QS/THE):

The following table contains a global list of some of the best universities to study philosophy based on rankings published by agencies such as Edu, QS, and THE. 

Edu RankingQS RankingTHE RankingUniversityCountryBachelor ProgramsMaster Programs
141University of OxfordUKClick HereClick Here
275University of CambridgeUKClick HereClick Here
382Harvard UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
42030University of EdinburghUKClick HereClick Here
51118University of TorontoCanadaClick HereClick Here
6107Princeton UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
72410University of ChicagoUSAClick HereClick Here
851-10044McGill UniversityCanadaClick HereClick Here
9178University of California – BerkeleyUSAClick HereClick Here
102190Rutgers University – New BrunswickUSAClick HereClick Here
112020University of California – Los AngelesUSAClick HereClick Here
12126New York UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
1313183University of Notre DameUSAClick HereClick Here
14151-200201-250University of Sao PauloBrazilClick HereClick Here
15151-20050University of ManchesterUKClick HereClick Here
1651-10047University of Texas at AustinUSAClick HereClick Here
172658University of SydneyAustraliaClick HereClick Here
18184Stanford UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
19935King’s College LondonUKClick HereClick Here
203140University of PittsburghUSAClick HereClick Here
212218University College LondonUKClick HereClick Here
22169Yale UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
2351-10022Cornell UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
245024University of Michigan – Ann ArborUSAClick HereClick Here
25101-15058University of Wisconsin – MadisonUSAClick HereClick Here
2651-100162Durham UniversityUKClick HereClick Here
27415Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSAClick HereClick Here
2811201–250University of St AndrewsUKClick HereClick Here
2951-10064Brown UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
30101-150801–1000National Autonomous University of MexicoMexicoClick HereClick Here
3151-100127University of LeedsUKClick HereClick Here
322511Columbia UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
33554Australian National UniversityAustraliaClick HereClick Here
34NA167Indiana University – BloomingtonUSAClick HereClick Here
353342Catholic University of LeuvenBelgiumClick HereClick Here
36NA85Ohio State UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
37151-20013University of PennsylvaniaUSAClick HereClick Here
38151-200401-500State University of CampinasBrazilClick HereClick Here
3951-100150University of ArizonaUSAClick HereClick Here
40NA201-250University of Massachusetts – AmherstUSAClick HereClick Here
41101-150105University of BirminghamUKClick HereClick Here
42NA29University of Washington – SeattleUSAClick HereClick Here
4351-100110University of SheffieldUKClick HereClick Here
4451-10052University of North Carolina at Chapel HillUSAClick HereClick Here
45NA105Purdue UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
46101-150141University of NottinghamUKClick HereClick Here
4751-10062Boston UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
48101-15023Duke UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
49NA601-800University of PretoriaSouth AfricaClick HereClick Here
5051-10037University of British ColumbiaCanadaClick HereClick Here

Top Universities in the USA for Philosophy

Edu RankingQS RankingTHE RankingUniversityCountryBachelor ProgramsMaster Programs
382Harvard UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
6107Princeton UniversityUSAClick HereClick Here
72410University of ChicagoUSAClick HereClick Here
9178University of California – BerkeleyUSAClick HereClick Here
102190Rutgers University – New BrunswickUSAClick HereClick Here

Top Universities in the UK for Philosophy

Edu RankingQS RankingTHE RankingUniversityCountryBachelor ProgramsMaster Programs
141University of OxfordUKClick HereClick Here
275University of CambridgeUKClick HereClick Here
42030University of EdinburghUKClick HereClick Here
15151-20050University of ManchesterUKClick HereClick Here
19935King’s College LondonUKClick HereClick Here

Top Universities in Canada for Philosophy

Edu RankingQS RankingTHE RankingUniversityCountryBachelor ProgramsMaster Programs
51118University of TorontoCanadaClick HereClick Here
851-10044McGill UniversityCanadaClick HereClick Here
5051-10037University of British ColumbiaCanadaClick HereClick Here

Top Universities in Australia for Philosophy

Edu RankingQS RankingTHE RankingUniversityCountryBachelor ProgramsMaster Programs
172658University of SydneyAustraliaClick HereClick Here
33554Australian National UniversityAustraliaClick HereClick Here

Academic requirements for studying Philosophy

The following are the eligibility requirements for admission to a bachelor’s or master’s degree in philosophy as given by the top-performing universities around the world. 

Bachelor’s level

  • A high school diploma or equivalent with a GPA of 3.0
  • Academic transcripts
  • Good score in English language proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL (minimum score requirement varies from university to university)
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR) 
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Valid passport

Master’s level

  • A GPA of 3.0 or more in bachelor’s degree in philosophy or a comparable field. 
  • Academic transcripts
  • GRE score of 290 or above
  • Good score in English language proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL (minimum score requirement varies from university to university)
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Valid passport
  • Published research papers (preferable) 

Frequently Asked Questions

Philosophy is a broad discipline that involves the rational study of life and existence whereas theology is concerned with the essence of God and religious belief.

Some of the top colleges offering philosophy courses in the USA are Harvard, Princeton, UChicago, UC Berkley, and Rutgers University. Top-ranked universities offering philosophy in the UK include Oxford, Cambridge, University of Manchester, King’s College London, and the University of Edinburgh.

Philosophers need a variety of skills, including

  • Analytical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Analysis
  • Research
  • Logical thinking
  • Debating skills

Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and logic are the major subject areas in philosophy. 

Philosophy majors in Canada earn the highest wages, with a yearly salary of 67,573 USD/year.