West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

socrates "Why do you think they call it the ACADEMY?"


Philosophy courses meet general education and transfer requirements in critical thinking, humanities, and cultural diversity. See Courses for specific transfer information about each philosophy class.

Aside from fulfilling transfer requirements, all students can benefit from philosophical training. Any college-level academic work requires the skills taught in philosophy classes: clear thinking, careful reasoning, and excellent argumentative writing skills. Philosophy skills apply across all disciplines.

Philosophy graduates regularly score above students in all other disciplines on admission tests for professional and graduate schools. The following table is typical:


Rank/Discipline LSAT GMAT GRE Verbal GRE Quant AVG
(1) Philosophy 3 2 1 9 3.75
(2) Mathematics 1 1 14 2 4.50
(3) Chemistry 5 4 12 5 6.50
(4) Economics 2 5 16 7 7.50
(5) Engineering 4 3 20 3 7.50
(6) Physics 11 12 6 1 7.50
(7) Foreign Language 7 8 5 13 8.25
(8) English 8 6 2 18 8.50
(9) Other Humanities 6 10 7 14 9.25
(10) Biology 10 11 10 8 9.75
(11) Computer Science 11 7 17 4 9.75
(12) Anthropology 9 12 9 10 10.00
(13) Other Sciences 11 12 13 6 10.50
(14) History 12 9 4 17 10.50
(15) Journalism 14 6 8 20 12.00
(16) Psychology 13 14 11 12 12.50
(17) Political Science 17 13 9 15 13.50
(18) Art and Music 15 16 18 19 16.25
(19) Other Social Science 16 15 18 16 16.25
(20) Speech 18 6 21 21 16.50
(21) Business 19 19 23 11 18.00
(22) Sociology 20 15 19 22 19.00
(23) Social Work 22 15 22 24 20.75
(24) Education 21 10 24 23 21.50

An undergraduate major in philosophy is excellent preparation for non-technical graduate and professional schools. Employers value clear thinking and writing skills, too. Philosophy graduates -- with or without graduate training -- are routinely hired in computers, law, technical writing, business, the arts, policy analysis, government, and teaching.

Finally, philosophy training appears to be very helpful for careers in comedy: Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, George Carlin, Woody Allen, and Steve Martin were all philosophy majors (no joke!)



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