A Major for Getting to the Bottom of Things.

Philosophy is the perfect choice for thinking creatively and clearly about the big questions: the nature of meaning, morality, justice, art, mind, knowledge, language, and reality are all open to question and discuss. Our students work closely with faculty to study from historical and contemporary perspectives, with a strong emphasis on analytical thinking and writing. Our impressive student-faculty ratio means help is there when you need it. 

Philosophical skills can be applied to any subject, issue, challenge, or topic. The ability to think critically about multiple views and communicate your perspective clearly will serve you well in just about any chosen career (and the data supports this—employers are looking for this critical thinking skillset). Consider our current crisis of misinformation, divisive politics, climate change, rising population, social justice issues, and many more. Philosophy helps us consider, shift, and remake the world.

But what do Philosophy majors actually do after college? Basically, anything and everything. We’ve listed a few job titles and employers from recent F&M Philosophy majors below. If your relatives are bugging you to pick a major with a “Reliable Income” and “Career Path,” show them these lists. (And really, this is just the tip of the iceberg.) According to PayScale Inc.’s 2017 “College Salary Report”, philosophy students have the highest median salary of any humanities major and tend to earn more over their lifetime than people with degrees in any other humanities field. 

Thinking about going to grad school? Philosophy students perform significantly better than any other humanities degree on the LSAT, GRE, and other entrance exams.  

We are a close-knit community that often gathers for philosophical discussions and events outside the classroom.

The Philosophy Department also offers additional majors through the interdisciplinary program in Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind, sponsored and jointly staffed by the Philosophy and Psychology Departments.



F&M Philosophy Alumni Employers (a sample)

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • US Department of Homeland Security
  • Comedy Central
  • General Motors
  • NFL Films
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • J.P. Morgan Chase
  • IBM Corporation Lincoln Center
  • US Senate
  • Intel
  • Boeing 


F&M Philosophy Alumni Jobs (a sample)

  • Attorney
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Anti-Poverty Program Coordinator
  • Physician
  • Federal Prosecutor
  • Creative Director
  • Software Developer
  • FEMA Mitigation Planner Specialist
  • Director of Mental Health Services
  • Immigration & Refugee Program Director

Franklin & Marshall College Students Explore 'The Examined Life'

    Associate Professor of Philosophy Lee Franklin talks with the Huffington Post about his course "What is the Examined Life?" This course, launched in the fall of 2014, hopes to "to introduce students to central works of our intellectual tradition, and to frame the practices of intellectual discourse not so much as useful skills (say, for...

Huffington Post Article

The Pulse

Story 4/27/2023

Senior Spotlight: Carter Stansel

Carter Stansel shares how he formed lifelong friendships and memories with his brothers in the  Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity.

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Story 3/22/2022

‘A Little Medicine, A Little Philosophy’

An F&M professor and his former student – now a doctor – teamed up to explore an ethical puzzle: What if a patient’s current best interests conflict with their past living will directives?  

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Story 10/14/2021

Research Fair: Senior Studies Hope, Solidarity and Cognition

Senior Maceo Whatley turned to philosophy when experiment-based psychology “just didn't leave me with the kind of answers I wanted,” he said.

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Story 6/12/2014

Prestigious Sanders Prize in Philosophy Awarded to F&M's...

Franklin & Marshall Assistant Professor of Philosophy Nick Kroll knew it was a long shot going in, but he wanted to submit his essay to provoke dialogue on the modern necessity of an archaic form...

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Story 4/12/2012

F&M’s Helm Receives Grant to Explore Role of Love in...

Professor of Philosophy Bennett Helm is part of a $1 million grant project that aims to broaden the interdisciplinary dialogue on love and human agency.

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