Choose Philosophy

I was a Philosophy major for my undergraduate degree at UCLA. I love philosophy and have fond memories of those days... But one thing I wish I knew back then was how awesome a Philosophy degree is. You see, it isn't very common, and I didn't know anyone else who also studied Philosophy (other than my fellow classmates). Even though I enjoyed my major, I always felt a bit unsure of my choice.

It wasn't until later on that I learned that Philosophy majors are well known for their performance on standardized tests like GMAT, GRE, LSAT, etc. Philosophy majors are often the top performing non-science major, if not the top performing major of all. See, Philosophy trains you in one fundamental skill: how to think analytically and logically. And c'mon, that's going to help you big time, both with acing tests and achieving the bigger goals in life. I can say it has served me very well in my journey in healthcare.  

Here are some links and graphs that I've found around the internet.

GRE Scores

A discussion of GRE scores by major in 2013 on the blog Physics Central discusses the strong performance of Physics and Philosophy majors. (The pattern continues in the 2014 update.)


LSAT Scores

LSAT scores by major for 1991-2004, during which Physics/Math and Philosophy/Religion majors consistently placed 1st and 2nd, respectively.

GMAT Scores

And click here for mean GMAT scores by major for 2009-2010.

The data is open to interpretation. Maybe it's self-selection, e.g. the people who choose to major in philosophy are strong thinkers to begin with, and perform well on standardized tests regardless of their choice of major. But bottom line, I just want to encourage young people ... if you enjoy studying philosophy, but you're anxious about your choice of major, stick with it. Keep going! Most likely, it will serve you very well in any endeavor you may later pursue. (And hey -- if you decide philosophy just isn't for you... well, from the data, physics looks like a pretty good bet in life.)