What Can I Do With a Doctoral Degree in Liberal Arts?

Master's degrees in the area of liberal arts are quite common, as are undergraduate degrees. However, a doctoral degree in liberal arts is less common. Students are more likely to pursue a doctorate in one of the areas belonging to the liberal arts. These subject areas include but are not limited to mathematics, literature, philosophy, arts, and social sciences. Read on for information pertaining to the career options for those who do pursue the liberal arts doctoral degree. Schools offering Liberal Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Liberal Arts Programs

Liberal arts includes a broad spectrum of seemingly unrelated subject areas, including political science, psychology, music and natural science. A liberal arts program is designed to develop a student's ability for rational thought and problem solving. Typically, liberal arts programs graduate students who have strong written and personal communication skills that can be useful in many occupations.

Important Facts About Professions in Liberal Arts

Postsecondary Teacher Graphic Designer Social Worker
Average Salary (2014)$75,780$50,670$49,150
Job Outlook (2012-2014)19% 7%19%
Work Environment Colleges and universities, community colleges, professional schools Can be self-employed or work in the manufacturing, design services and publishing industries Hospitals, nursing homes, mental health and substance abuse clinics, schools
Key SkillsCommunication and critical-thinking skills, resourcefulness, writing skills Analytical skills, creativity, computer skills, time-management skills Compassion, problem-solving skills, interpersonal communication skills

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Liberal Arts Doctoral Degrees

Since students more commonly pursue doctorates in one of the subject areas within the sphere of the liberal arts, how a student chooses to utilize this higher-level education depends largely on which liberal arts field the doctoral degree is in.


Typically, a university graduate who holds a doctorate in one of the liberal arts disciplines teaches at the university or the community-college level. Entering into a career in education allows teachers to pursue research and to have articles published in journals that cover their specialties.

Non-Academic Career Options

While a majority of graduates who hold doctorates in the liberal arts choose to enter into education, some decide to work in various other industries. Again, the type of industry depends upon the liberal arts subject area that the student majored in. Common occupations include management, sales, design/graphic arts and social work.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • West Virginia University

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Morgantown
  • University of Tulsa

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    • Oklahoma: Tulsa
  • University of Southern Mississippi

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Hattiesburg
  • University of Rochester

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Rochester
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Greensboro
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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    • North Carolina: Chapel Hill
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: Lafayette
  • Yale University

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    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Champaign