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Department of Philosophy|College of Arts & Sciences

Philosophy Rocks the Graduate Record Exam!

Students declaring to go to graduate school in Philosophy score higher on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) than all but 4 out of 50 other major fields (recorded by the Educational Testing Service, which runs the GRE). The only fields with higher mean scores on the combined Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical sections are (in rank order) Physics & Astronomy, Mathematical Sciences, Materials Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

Philosophy students score higher than

  • Every other major in the Humanities and Arts
  • Every major in the Social Science
  • Every major in the Life Sciences
  • Every major in Education
  • Every major in Business
  • Every major listed under "Other Fields"
  • Four out of six majors in Physical Sciences
  • Five out of seven in Engineering.

Verbal ScoresAnalytical Scores Quantitative Scores
have the highest mean scores of any other major in the fields listed.get the 3rd highest mean scores. Only Physics & Astronomy and Math Sciences were higher.score much higher than any of the other Humanities.
scored higher than every major in life Sciences, Engineering, Business Social Sciences, Education, and "Other Fields," plus every other major in Humanities.score higher than every major in Life Sciences, Education, and "Other Fields," and all but Economics in Social Science and all but Banking & Finance in Business.
Only Physical Sciences and Engineering majors do better than Philosophy students.


Thinking about Law School?

  • Philosophy students scored higher than the other popular pre-Law majors: Political Science, Communications, & Public Administration.
  • None of these majors did better than Philosophy students on any of the 3 sections of the GRE.

Now, which one lookds like the best pre-Law training to you?


Want a major to prepare you for whatever challenges you might face later in life?

  • Averaging the rank order in each of the areas of the GRE, Philosophy does better than any other major of the fifty listed. Tell that to people when they ask what good a philosophy major is!
  • Source: Guide to the Graduate Record Examination Program 1996-7, Education Testing Service. Original article written by Department of Philosophy, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, Portland, OR 97219-7899, USA.

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