Philosophy Ph.D. Graduate Job Options
Let's explore some of the career options for graduates of a Ph.D. program in philosophy, as well as degree program information and admission requirements. The main purpose of earning a Ph.D. in philosophy is to work as a scholar or professor in a university setting. At many universities, all students are required to take one or more philosophy classes to fulfill their liberal arts requirement. Professors are therefore needed in almost all secondary institutions. Teaching positions at the university level require a doctoral degree from an accredited university.
While working at a university, a philosophy professor may spend just a third of his or her time teaching while spending two-thirds of his or her time conducting research and presenting on behalf of the university at national or international conferences. This does, however, depend on the university, as many will require more teaching hours.
The American Philosophical Association acknowledges that most graduates of these programs work as professors, but that philosophers can also find work in a wide variety of fields. They list some examples in the following areas:
- Technical writing
Degree Program Overview
A philosophy Ph.D. program is terminal and takes at least five years to complete beyond undergraduate study. These programs often assume that students have prior knowledge of philosophic thought and the philosophies of historic thinkers, such as Aristotle, Plato, Locke, Spinoza, Hobbes, Descartes, and Pythagoras, among many others.
A Ph.D. program in philosophy will likely require students to complete coursework in:
- The philosophy of language
In order to gain admittance to a philosophy Ph.D. program, students must take the Graduate Record Examination and receive a score comparable to the school's standards. Many schools require a language test in basic French, German, Latin, or Greek, with the assistance of a dictionary.
Graduates with a Ph.D. in philosophy can find work in a wide variety of fields, but most become professors at colleges or universities. These degree programs cover topics in ethics, politics, logic, and more.