What Can I Do with My Philosophy Major?

Overview

“The study of philosophy serves to develop intellectual abilities important for life as a whole, beyond the knowledge and skills required for any particular profession. Properly pursued, it enhances analytical, critical and interpretive capacities that are applicable to any subject matter, and in any human context. It cultivates the capacities and appetite for self-expression and reflection, for exchange and debate of ideas, for lifelong learning, and for dealing with problems for which there are no easy answers.

“Students majoring in philosophy should develop some knowledge of the history and current state of the discipline, a grasp of representative philosophical issues and ways of dealing with them, a capacity to apply philosophical methods to intellectual problems, and a sense of how philosophy bears on other disciplines and on human life more generally. Studies leading to a philosophy major should also develop a critical mind, a balance of analytic and interpretive abilities, and a capacity for the imaginative development of abstract formulations and their concrete applications." The Philosophy Major, The American Philosophical Association.

Skills

The study of philosophy allows for the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. A sample of representative skills and abilities follows.

Critical Thinking

  • Ability to analyze relationships
  • Competency to identify and answer key questions
  • Capacity to think and express oneself logically

Communication

  • Ability to communicate persuasively
  • Aptitude to speak articulately and listen objectively

Other

  • Conduct and explain research
  • Understanding of broad range of topics
  • Awareness of and respect for various systems of thought
Sample Internship Opportunities
  • Communications (e.g., The Washington Post, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, Fleishman-Hillard, Inc)
  • Consulting (e.g., Accenture, KPMG, IBM)
  • Government (e.g., Environmental Protection Agency, Goddard Space Center, Department of Transportation)
  • Nonprofit Organizations (e.g., The Genocide Prevention Center, The Red Cross, National Organization of Women)
  • Political Action Committee (e.g., American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Human Rights Campaign)
  • Research/Think Tanks (e.g., The Blackstone Group, Brookings)

Where are Georgetown Philosophy Majors Now?

  • Employment Graduate School
  • Professional School
  • Nonprofit Manager
  • Political Consultant
  • Paralegal
  • Policy analyst
  • Think tank researcher
  • Teacher (K-12)
  • Journalism and PR
  • Foreign Service Officer Philosophy
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Religion
  • Technical writing
  • Editing and publishing
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Journalism
  • Business
Relevant Web Sites and Publications
  • The Idealist
  • Exec Searches
  • Publications available through the Career Education Center: “Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy,” “A Non-Academic Career? Information, Resources, and background on Options for Philosophers,” and “Jobs and Careers with Non Profit Organizations”
Professional Organizations

For information about career options, internship and full-time opportunities, contact the Career Education Center at One Leavey Center, (202) 687-3493. For more information about the major and degree requirements, contact the Department of Philosophy at (202) 687-7487.