Top Philosophy Graduate Schools

Review what you should look for when selecting a school with a strong graduate program in philosophy. Read about three top-ranked schools with philosophy programs, and explore the master's and doctoral degree options they offer in this field. Schools offering Liberal Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Philosophy Graduate School?

You'll want to study with research faculty who are highly rated by their peers, which is evidenced by grants and awards they have received, citations of their work or their publication record. You may want to examine a program's ability to develop your quantitative and other applied skills, which may be useful for relevant positions in government, the not-for-profit sector or business organizations. You may also want to investigate a prospective program's job placement record. Also consider the level of financial support you'll receive.

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked CMU as tied for the 25th best among national universities. Faculty interests at CMU support your research in philosophy of mathematics and logic, science and methodology or ethics and value theory. CMU has nearly 20 active research projects, including a National Science Foundation-funded initiative and collaborations with Stanford and other universities.

The department sponsors an active seminar program and Centers for Formal Epistemology and Ethics and Policy. You'll be able to use laboratories dedicated to empirical approaches to philosophy and symbolic and educational computing. Graduate placements include Microsoft, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and several leading universities.

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Logic, Computation and Methodology
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Logic, Computation and Methodology
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy
  • Ph.D. in Pure and Applied Logic

University of Chicago in Chicago, IL

In 2019, the University of Chicago was tied for 3rd place among the top national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. In the philosophy Ph.D. program, besides your doctoral courses, you'll have optional opportunities to attend 20-30 workshop programs and seminars per month. At UC, some workshops based on interests such as modern philosophy continue from year to year. The department also sponsors several conferences per year. UC philosophy students and faculty have recently had dissertations and books published by the Oxford University Press and the Princeton, Yale and University of Chicago presses.

You'll gain teaching experience, starting as a teaching assistant and progressing to be an independent instructor. To facilitate your research, the Regenstein Library houses the department's monthly podcast series and recorded lectures and maintains a specialist librarian who offers philosophy workshops.

  • Master of Arts Program in Humanities (M.A.P.H.): Philosophy Option
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy and Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy (joint program)
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy and German Philosophy (joint program)
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy and Social Thought and Philosophy (joint program)
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy and Linguistics (cooperative program)
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy

Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers ranked 115th among national universities and 52nd among public schools, both ties, as of 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report. Rutgers' philosophy department has research programs in ethics and value theory, metaphysics and epistemology. The philosophy of language, of science and of mind is another area of research. It sponsors the Center for Cognitive Science - which focuses on interdisciplinary semantics research - and the Center for Philosophy and the Sciences.

You can present your research at an annual Princeton-Rutgers Philosophy Conference or the Epistemology Conference held in odd-numbered years. Reading groups based on research interests meet regularly. Graduates of the doctoral program are employed as faculty or research fellows at major universities, including Cornell, Brown and Oxford.

  • M.A. in Legal Philosophy
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy

Top Philosophy Graduate Schools

College/University Institution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of Arizona4-year, Public Tucson, AZ$13,000
Brown University 4-year, Private Providence, RI$55,000
Duke University4-year, Private Durham, NC$55,000
New York University 4-year, Private New York, NY$45,000
Princeton University4-year, Private Princeton, NJ$51,000
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor 4-year, Public Ann Arbor, MI$23,000
Harvard University4-year, Private Cambridge, MA$47,000
Bowling Green State University4-year, Public Bowling Green, OH$10,000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4-year, Private Cambridge, MA$55,000
University of Colorado, Boulder4-year, Public Boulder, CO$13,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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