In a world of growing professionalism, many philosophy students are discovering that a bachelor’s degree is insufficient for finding work in their field of interest and so they wonder, “What’s next after a B.A. in philosophy?” As a result, more students are returning to school in order to acquire graduate degrees. Those with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and those who have degrees in other fields have found graduate programs in philosophy appealing. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree in philosophy are likely to find that if they wish to pursue a career in philosophy they need a doctoral degree. Students with degrees in other fields have found that they enjoy their general requirement philosophy course and wish to pursue the information further. Either way, applying for a graduate degree in philosophy in the United States is a viable option for many international students.
So one answer to the question, “What’s next after a B.A. in philosophy?” is applying to graduate school. Applying for a graduate degree can be a rigorous and confusing process. International students should seek as much information as possible about applying to philosophy graduate schools in the US. Graduate schools in the US are looking for students who are willing to work hard and think deep. A bachelor’s degree in philosophy is not necessary for admissions into graduate programs, but it is important that prospective graduate students demonstrate a deep interest and at least some familiarity with philosophy. In an ever increasingly competitive job market, serious students will likely benefit from a graduate degree in philosophy and will greatly increase their chances of finding work after acquiring a PhD.
The basic steps in applying for a graduate degree in philosophy include locating at least five schools for application, taking the necessary standardized tests, submitting a well-written writing sample and submitting three letters of recommendation from former professors. Most schools require that the student apply at least sixth months to a year in advance and all applications are handled by the graduate school, which filters the graduate applications for the entire university. In order to determine the minimum requirements for admissions to the school, the student should visit the school’s graduate department website as well as the philosophy department’s website in order to find out if there are additional requirements. Figuring out what’s next after a B.A. in philosophy can be difficult, but doing the right research can help provide a set of viable options.
* Statue of Socrates picture courtesy of Shutterstock