Best universities for philosophy in the U.S.A.

Nassau hall princeton universitySeveral top-rated schools in the United States with undergraduate programs in philosophy are NYU, Rutgers, Princeton, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, and Amherst. One way to determine the effectiveness of their programs, be it undergraduate or graduate, is to request a job placement report.

At Notre Dame, said to have the largest philosophy faculty in the U.S., all undergrads are required to take two semesters of philosophy-related studies indicating a robust undergrad curriculum. Even though ND has a graduate program, its focus is on undergraduates. 

Johns Hopkins and Amherst have very favorable student/faculty ratios and a strong focus on undergraduate programs as well.

When looking at a school without a grad program, look for offerings in the history of philosophy, formal logic, and value theory. Departments have strengths and weaknesses in these areas. Learn where the faculty earned their PhD’s and whether they were from well-ranked schools at least in the top 50.

Another wise move is to contact the philosophy department to determine where their grad students have gone on for their PhD studies. This site, provides contacts and a wealth of other pertinent information at Amherst.

Depending on what size school and what type of philosophy you are interested in, your final selection may vary. Schools with grad programs are larger, and there may be little interaction with professors. Small schools without grad programs will offer you a better chance of working with your professors, one-on-one. The professors at smaller schools tend to emphasize teaching over research.