Best Colleges?


Hello, I know it may be early for me to start thinking about it, but I would like to start planning for graduate school. My majors (Philosophy and Latin) almost require me to get an MA and PhD in order to get a professional-level job. I am a Freshman in the Honors College at Ball State (I also need to start thinking of the Senior Thesis, which is generally started in the second half of the Junior year).

I am leaning towards philosophy to continue my studies (even though I love Latin, because I can still study and use the language on my own - or that is at least what I tell myself). I have looked at the University of Steubenville and was . . . unimpressed. Their theology program seems more appealing. While theology interests me and I could speak on it for hours, I am hesitant to step forward into such a field for a master's degree. I think it would be even more limiting than philosophy, although I would enjoy being proved wrong! I have also looked at Boston College (which I did not know was Jesuit until just recently - I thought it was a secular university for some reason), whose philosophy program impresses me more and actually has a language requirement (2 for the doctorate - from where am I going to pull out the other language if that's common across the board?)

Your recommendations? I just need something to get the juices flowing :). Thanks!

PS: If you can't tell, I'm a 'planner.'


You may like to consider Princeton although for their Classics Ph.d you need more than Latin for languages.


Princeton has a very active and orthodox Catholic community based around the Aquinas Institute which is the chaplaincy

Princeton are very generous with financial aid for undergrads, I don’t know enough about the graduate programs.


At the present time, Franciscan University of Steubenville does not offer any doctoral programs. So that's something to consider. Their theology department is certainly much larger than their philosophy department. ;)

If I were you, I would try to contact Dr. Peter Kreeft directly and ask for his input. :) In case you don't know (though you probably do), he's a great Catholic philosophy professor at Boston College. He would be in a position to give you insight into the worth of a philosophy degree from their college and perhaps give you advice on what other places offer good programs in that field. His contact info is all right here:


What do you plan to DO with these degrees?:cool:


A friend of mine got a Masters in Classics at Tulane U. She was at the top of her class while an undergrad, she got a full scholarship to study at Tulane for her master’s.


[quote="Catholic90, post:4, topic:229582"]
What do you plan to DO with these degrees?:cool:



I hate to be the one to swoop in here and burst your bubble but in the state of the current economy you should reconsider your focus and get a degree in something that will get you a job (or at least, increase your chances exponentially).

That is reality. I would hate to see so many idealized young people enter college, get degrees in something that doesn't really get you anywhere in life, and then wonder why they can't get jobs.

If you are still interested in philosophy and Latin, then I would suggest you have them as double minors and get a major in writing or linguistics. You could use that in translating, writing, etc. If you have a desire to teach, or work in a museum, get a degree in classical studies and start building experience NOW.


Here’s the thing though: I don’t care about money. Why would I study something that is only a shadow of the field I love? Perhaps it was how I was raised, but I refuse to submit myself voluntarily to a life which I hate. I have always loved language and philosophy (although this second in an obscure form when I was younger). Idealistic? Hardly. I know possibly more than anyone else just how poor I may be. And life, in such a case, will be hard.
I started out as an English Ed major - far more practical, and an ed degree from Ball State almost guarantees a job in Indiana. Why did I leave? It wasn’t for me. I was bored and unengaged, two qualities which make for a very poor English teacher.
Also, the idea that philosophy is a poor choice for study is a stereotype. I’ve done quite a bit of research: a business admin. degree starts out (all figures are the medians) at $43,000; philosophy at $39,900. Mid career: Business admin is $72,100 while philosophy is $81,200. This from Also, 98.9% of philosophy graduates are professionally employed (many not in philosophy, but in a different field). This is a trend that began in the 90s and has continued as far as my research shows.
My current plan is to go as far as I can, but I can easily get my bachelor’s in philosophy and Latin and go into various other fields (Law, linguistics, education, business, psychiatry, counseling, or theology for example. ).
Perhaps it is naïve, but I would rather be poor and satisfied than rich or middle class and restless.

But thank you for the concern.

Thank all of you for your advice, I shall check out the sources y’all (English needs a new plural second person pronoun, so I propose y’all - eventually it won’t sound so uneducated, and it fills a necessity that the language oddly dropped.) have given me.


I want to encourage you to follow your heart. Studying latin and philosophy prepares you to THINK. You will be an asset to any employer. Doing what you love and making less money is far more rewarding than working in a field you hate but making a lots of money. But you sound like a person who will eventually be successful in making a good income.

I come from a family of lawyers and accountants who followed that path as a guarantee of income. None of them seem very happy about it. They're certainly not passionate about their work. And as this economy has shown them they are interchangeable with any other JD or CPA and thus at risk for being fired.

Making yourself valuable to an employer is dependent on making yourself indispensible based on your unique qualities and not your "job-training" degree.

Good Bless.


[quote="ZDHayden, post:7, topic:229582"]
Perhaps it is naïve, but I would rather be poor and satisfied than rich or middle class and restless.


I used to believe this, too. The thing is, when you get out into the world and are trying to pay back student loans and keep up with the rest of your bills, and when you're thinking about getting married and starting a family, all of the sudden money becomes a lot more important. Not in a greedy sort of way, but in a practical sort of way.

Yes, ideally, we would all be getting paid to do what we love. Sometimes this works out, if you're truly lucky or if you just happen to love doing something that is compensated well. (By well, I mean enough to support a family, not enough to be rich.)

Another possibility is that sometimes the things we think we're going to love doing, we end up not even liking in the working world. This happened to me. If you're going to major in philosophy or theology and continue on with it in graduate school, you'll likely be teaching. And that's something you generally have to do first in order to know whether you truly like it or not. The statistics you researched on 98% of philosophy grads being employed, many in a different field...well, that's because most of them had to figure something else out since they couldn't find a job doing what they love. Philosophy graduates aren't unemployable, it's just that they end up doing the same entry-level jobs as their other liberal arts grad counterparts.

I don't say this to be discouraging, but rather because I wish that I had more guidance in these areas before I started college. I think it's great that you're thinking about your future now instead of addressing it when you graduate. Just keep an open mind, and maybe take some classes that wouldn't normally interest you to see if it sparks an interest, so that you can be sure you're really on a path that you'll love.


Thank you. I have still quite a few core classes to take (some that I will not be able to take until my final year, oddly enough) in varied subjects, so there is still some exploration time. I am also probably going to take my Latin professor’s advice and dabble a bit in Greek (with my two majors and minor, even with all the core classes and the Honors classes, I still need 22 credit hours of electives - not as many as some of my classmates, but still . . .).


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