General Studies Majors Highest Paid Among Liberal Arts Grads

Posted May 04, 2012 by

Edwin Koc of NACE“While it’s early in the salary-reporting cycle for Class of 2012 graduates, the highest-paid majors in liberal arts at this point are fairly clustered,” says Ed Koc, NACE’s director of strategic and Foundation research. “All of their median starting salaries are above $30,000, and just $3,500 separates their highest and lowest median salaries.”

In its April 2012 Salary Survey, NACE reports that liberal arts and sciences/general studies majors have received a median salary of $38,300. (See Figure 1.)

Rounding out the top highest-paying majors for liberal arts graduates are history ($37,500), foreign languages and literatures ($37,400), English language and literature/letters ($36,900), and visual and performing arts ($34,800).


Figure 1: Top-Paid Majors for Bachelor’s Degree Graduates in Liberal Arts *

Academic Major

Median Starting Salary

Liberal Arts and Sciences/General Studies




Foreign Languages and Literatures


English Language and Literature/Letters


Visual and Performing Arts


*Source: April 2012 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

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