15 Best Philosophy Schools in the World | 2021

Studying Philosophy is very interesting but where to study it may pose a challenge. In fact, it is necessary to carry out research to know about the best colleges for Philosophy. Hence, this post provides information on the best Philosophy schools in the World.

Interestingly, top schools and publishing firms in the world always hire graduates of Philosophy from one of these schools. So, it is important to carefully read through this article and select one that best fits your needs.

In this post, you’ll know about tuition fees of the best philosophy graduate schools in the world, the location of the school and program type. It also provides information on how to become a philosopher and how much you will earn.

Actually, Philosophy in the Western world started in the Greek colony of Miletus with Thales. According to ancient sources, it was here that the question “What is the basic stuff of the universe from which all else comes?” was asked.

Subsequently, Philosophy spread outward in the works of thinkers and writers to reach its heights in the works of Plato and his student (Aristotle). Pythagoras who invented the Pythagorean Theorem which is in use today was the first to call himself a philosopher.

Why Philosophy?

The word “Philosophy” comes from the Greek words which mean “love of wisdom.”  However, it uses the tools of logic and reason to study the ways in which humans experience the world.

Also, it teaches students about critical thinking, close reading, clear writing, and logical analysis.

However, the study of Philosophy helps a student to develop the following skills:

  • General Problem Solving Skills: Actually, the study of philosophy increases a person’s problem-solving extent. Also, the study of Philosophy helps us to study ideas, definitions, arguments, and problems.
  • Understanding Other Disciplines: Philosophy is needed in order to understand other disciplines. However, several important questions about a discipline, for example the nature of its scope and its relation to other disciplines, are philosophical in nature.
  • Writing Skills: There’s intensive teaching of writing in many philosophy courses, and many regularly assigned philosophical texts are also excellent as literary essays.
  • Communication Skills: The study of Philosophy contributes uniquely to the development of the powers of expression and communication. Also, it helps someone to increase his/her ability to explain difficult materials. Finally, it helps us to remove the puzzle and vagueness from our writing and speech.

Who is a Philosopher?

A philosopher is a person with a large knowledge of philosophy that applies this knowledge in their work to solve philosophical problems. However, Philosophy deals with studying the subject matter aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social philosophy and political philosophy.

So, this means that every human being is a philosopher if they accept a very humanistic and generous interpretation. Similarly, every human being has a special contribution of ideas to society.

Truly, a more generally accepted interpretation in academia is that a philosopher is one who has gained a Ph.D. in philosophy, teaches philosophy, has published literature in a field of philosophy, or is widely regarded by other philosophers as a philosopher.

How long does it take to study Philosophy?

Well, a bachelor’s degree in philosophy usually takes four years of full-time classes to complete. Sometimes, a student may have prior credits from high school or a baccalaureate program that is applicable to his or her undergraduate study.

In some cases, if a student takes a heavy course load, he or she may be able to gain a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in just three years.

However, master’s degree programs in Philosophy usually takes two years of full-time study. The reason is that most master’s candidates are working full-time or at least part-time. So, this now causes many of them to earn a master’s degree between three to four years.

Also, a Ph.D. in philosophy can take between six to ten years to earn. But this depends on the program of study, and when a student defends his or her dissertation.

Finally, another aspect of the Ph.D. program in Philosophy is that students are often required to teach undergraduate classes in order to justify the requirements for their degree.

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What jobs can I get with a Philosophy degree?

Honestly, a bachelor’s degree in philosophy can provide you an excellent foundation in most jobs you can ever think of. However, some of these jobs always require a graduate degree or additional, specialized training.

As a matter of fact, below are the jobs you can get with a degree in Philosophy:

  • Barrister
  • Chaplain
  • Civil Service Fast Streamer
  • Health service manager
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Paralegal
  • Policy officer
  • Psychotherapist
  • Writer
  • Solicitor
  • Stockbroker

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What is the salary and job growth of Philosophers?

Well, people that have a degree in Philosophy do a lot of jobs. However, according to PayScale.com, annual wages for people with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy range from $37,000 to $83,000.

Also, the median salary of full-time employees of ages 30-49 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and no graduate degree, was $51,000 per year from 2010 to 2012 according to reports from the American Community Survey data.

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Furthermore, Philosophy and Religion Teachers, postsecondary” earn, on average, $71,350

Finally, the number of philosophy majors in the U.S. is down 35% since its recent peak in 2007, and today, philosophy majors make up only around 0.137% of the student population.

How can I become a Philosopher?

However, for you to successfully pursue philosophy as a career, you must acquire a doctorate or, at very least, a master’s degree.

Also, attending a graduate school will help you further your philosophical thinking. Besides, you’ll need to learn how to write in a way that academic journals demand.

However, applications into any of the best philosophy graduate schools are highly competitive. So, don’t just expect to be accepted to the first program you apply to. Therefore, it is a good idea that you apply to several schools.

Well, you should begin to try publishing your philosophical ideas before you graduate from any of the best schools for Philosophy in the world.

However, there are many academic journals on Philosophy where you can publish your works and gain a reputation. Also, this can improve your chances of getting hired as a philosophy professor.

Actually, a lot of the greatest philosophers in the world are teachers. Also, any university that might want to hire you to study philosophy professionally will also expect you to teach other young philosophers.

Besides, the Philosophy program will most likely give you opportunities to teach undergraduate students and develop your skills in teaching.

In fact, immediately after you graduate, start looking for a job as a philosophy professor. However, this method is arguably even more competitive than applying for graduate schools.

Finally, several philosophy graduates are unable to find work in academia. Moreover, the skills you’ll acquire in your graduate studies will be helpful in many fields of employment.

What are the best Philosophy grad schools in the world?

We have put together a list of the best Philosophy schools in the world that offer bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees in Philosophy.

Moreover, we selected our 15 best Philosophy schools based on acceptance rate, graduation rate, student-faculty ratio, and tuition fees, our information from reliable government sources, student surveys, college graduate interviews, and editorial review.

Based on these criteria, here is the list of the best Philosophy graduate schools in the world:

  • University of Pittsburgh
  • New York University (NYU)
  • Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
  • University of Oxford
  • Harvard University
  • University of Cambridge
  • Princeton University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • The University of California, Berkeley
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Stanford University
  • Yale University
  • University of Toronto
  • Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
  • University of Notre Dame

#1. University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh is a public research institution in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that was founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh Academy. Also, it is part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education of Pennsylvania.

It has a total of 26,825 students and 4,696 academic faculty staff.

Furthermore, it has an acceptance rate of 55% and a graduation rate of 82%. Also, the student-faculty ratio is 14:1 while the tuition fee is $19,080 (in-state) and $32,052 (out-of-state students).

Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Address: 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, United States

#2. New York University (NYU)

NYU is a private research university located in New York City. It was founded in 1831.

NYU being one of the best schools for Philosophy in the world is also good in Accounting and Finance, Law and legal studies, Psychology, and Mathematics.

The acceptance rate in this best school for Philosophy major in the world is 32% and the graduation rate is 85%. Also, the student-faculty ratio is 9:1 while the tuition fee is $53,229.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Address: New York, NY 10003, United States

#3. Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Rutgers University is a public research university and the largest amongst other universities in New Jersey. However, this school is among the best schools for Philosophy in the world with a population of 44,870 students.

Being one of the best Philosophy graduate schools, Rutgers University has an acceptance rate of 57% and a graduation rate of 81%. Similarly, the student-faculty ratio is 16:1. Though, this school has a tuition fee of $15,318 (in-state) and $32,001 (out-of-state students).

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Address: New Brunswick, NJ, United States

#4. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in England. Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

However, this school has over 22,000 students, half of whom are undergraduates. Forty percent of this population are international students.

Oxford University is one of the best Philosophy graduate schools. It has an acceptance rate of 17.5% . The student-faculty ratio is 17:1 while the tuition fee is 9,250 GBP.

Accreditation: Privy Council

Address: Oxford OX1 2JD, United Kingdom

#5. Havard University

Havard University is a large private university Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Also, it has an enrollment of 7,147 undergraduate students.

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However, amongst the alumni of this school are eight US presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars. 

Also, you will find winners of Pulitzer Prizes, Nobel Prizes, and Academy Awards amongst the graduates of this school. 

Above all, Havard University has an acceptance rate of 5% and a graduation rate of 96%. Besides, the student-faculty ratio of this best school for Philosophy major is 7:1 while the tuition fee is $47,074.

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Address: Massachusetts Hall Cambridge, MA 02138

#6. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and it was founded in 1209. 

Actually the acceptance rate of Cambridge University is 21% and the graduation rate is 83%. Similarly, the student-faculty ratio is 4:9. Though, this institution has a tuition fee of 9,250 GBP (in-state) and 21,732 GBP (out-of-state).

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Address: Old Schools, Trinity Ln, Cambridge CB2 1TN, United Kingdom.

#7. Princeton University

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey that was founded in 1746. Also, it is the fourth-oldest university in the U.S.

However, some of the notable alumni from this school are two US presidents (James Madison and Woodrow Wilson), Michelle Obama, actors Jimmy Stewart and David Duchovny, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad.

Furthermore, Princeton University which is one of the best schools for Philosophy in the world has an acceptance rate of 7% and a graduation rate of 97%. Also, the student-faculty ratio is 5:1 while the tuition fee is $53,757.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Address: Princeton, NJ 08544, United States

#8. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

The London School of Economics (LSE) is a public research university based in London, England that was founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb.

However, LSE awards a range of academic degrees spanning bachelors, masters, and PhDs. Also, it has the second-highest percentage (70%) of international students in a university in the world.

Furthermore, LSE offers over 140 M.Sc programmes, 5 MPA programmes, an LLM, 30 B.Sc programmes, an LLB, and 4 BA programmes. 

Thus, LSE which is one of the best Philosophy graduate schools in the world has an acceptance rate of 8.9% and a graduation rate of 95%. Similarly, the student-faculty ratio is 34:8. Though, this institution has a tuition fee of 9,250 GBP (European residents) and 21,570 GBP (International students).

Accreditation: European Commission.

Address: Houghton St, Holborn, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom

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#9. The University of California, Berkeley

Well, this is a public research university in Berkeley, California which was founded in 1868. On the other hand, some of the alumni and researchers from this school include 99 Nobel laureates, 23 Turing Award winners, and 14 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Actually, this institution being one of the best schools for Philosophy majors in the world has an acceptance rate of 17%. Also, the graduation rate is 91%.

Finally, the student-faculty ratio is 18:1 while the tuition fee is $14,184 (in-state) and $43,176 (out-of-state students)

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Address: f 200 California Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States

#10. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

However, LMU is a public research university located in Munich, Germany that was founded in 1472. Actually, it is the sixth-oldest university in continuous operation in Germany.

Actually, this school has about 35390 students with 980 faculties. Creative thinking, problem-solving and research are central to LMU’s academic programs. Also, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral programs.

In fact, LMU which is one of the best Philosophy schools has a student-faculty ratio of 36:1. However, LMU has a tuition fee of 258 EUR/year.  

Accreditation: The Bayerisches

Address: Munich

#11. Stanford University

Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Well, this school has one of the largest university campuses in the US. Also, Stanford University has 18 interdisciplinary research institutes and seven schools.

Furthermore, it has an acceptance rate of 5% and a graduation rate of 95%. Also, the student-faculty ratio is 5:1 while the tuition fee is $51,354.

Accreditation: Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Address: 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, United States

#12. Yale University

This is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut that was founded in 1701. Besides, it is the third-oldest higher institution in the United States.

However, Yale University which is one of the best Philosophy schools in the world has 14 schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and 12 professional schools.

Furthermore, some of the notable alumni of Yale University are five US presidents: William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.  

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Also, the acceptance rate in this best school for Philosophy majors in the world is 6% while the graduation rate is 96%. The student-faculty ratio is 9:1. Also, the tuition fee is $55,540.

Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Address: New Haven, CT 06520, United States

#13. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Canada that was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College. In fact, Uof T has an academic reputation of 98.9%.

Additionally, the acceptance rate in this school is 43% while the graduation rate is 86%. The student-faculty ratio is 7:1. Also, the tuition fee is $42,765/year.

Accreditation: Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, Ontario.

Address: 27 King’s College Cir, Toronto, ON M5S, Canada

#14. Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin

This is a university in the central borough of Mitte in Berlin, Germany that was founded in 1810. However, this school has a student enrollment of about 32,000 students. Also, it offers degree programs in some 189 disciplines from undergraduate to postdoctorate level.

Besides, it is known as the world’s preeminent university for natural sciences during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Well, this is because of the breakthroughs which the university had in physics and other sciences by its professors, such as Albert Einstein.

Actually, this institution being one of the best colleges for Philosophy in the world has an acceptance rate of 5% and a graduation rate of 25,04 (bachelors) and 23,64 (masters). Also, the student-faculty ratio is 13:1 and the school has NO tuition fee.

Accreditation: Senatskanzlei Wissenschaft und Forschung, Berlin (Senate Chancellery for Science and Research, Berlin)

Address: Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin, Germany

#15. University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana, outside the city of South Bend. However, this institution was founded by Rev. Edward Sorin in 1842.

Actually, this school has an enrollment of 8,557 undergraduate students, and admission here is quite competitive. Also, popular majors include Finance, Accounting, and Economics. Notre Dame alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $61,800.

Also, the University of Notre Dame has an acceptance rate of 19% and a graduation rate of 96% of students.

Besides, the student-faculty ratio is 15:1 while the tuition fee is $53,391.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Address: 400 Main Building Notre Dame, IN 46556, United States.

FAQs on the Best Schools for Philosophy in the World

Is Philosophy hard?

Yes, it is. Philosophy is a hard degree. its a marmite module and it takes some serious brain power, especially when it comes to writing an essay on it. For you to be original in Philosophy is almost impossible.

Does college need Philosophy?

Yes. “Gen Ed” courses are usually History, English, Science, Math and Philosophy. So, it is from this required philosophy course that most colleges get their philosophy majors. The philosophy major is usually a four-year major in the U.S.

What are the benefits of studying philosophy?

Once you study Philosophy:
1. You will have the ability to think logically.
2. You can study and solve problems.
3. You can assess proposed solutions.
4. You will have the ability to write and speak clearly, attending to details.

Who founded Philosophy?

Socrates is known to be the founder of Western Philosophy. He taught Plato who was his most famous student. Plato in turn, taught Aristotle who later then tutored Alexander the Great.

Can I become a philosopher without any degree but by just being able to understand the world, god, nature and religions?

Yes, you can. This is because, a philosopher gives views or theories on profound questions in ethics, metaphysics, logic and other related fields. This means if you have the right mindset, you can become a philosopher.

Conclusion

Philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture and a search for knowledge. However, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions such as “how are we to live” and “what is the nature of reality”.

Actually, a large and impartial conception of philosophy then finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality, morality, and life in all world civilizations

Finally, the best schools for Philosophy in the world makes the program a bit easier to learn and understand.

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