Philosophy PhD Program Ratings by Former Students, Placement Data, and Diversity Profiles


Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA), a project aimed at gathering placement and other data about graduate programs in philosophy, has created some tables presenting some of the information they’ve obtained.

I’ve posted them below (it may need a few extra seconds to load).

The first collects responses to this question: “How likely would you be to recommend the program from which you obtained your PhD to prospective philosophy students?”

The second shows “the overall permanent academic placement rate and the permanent academic placement rate for placements in other PhD granting programs for all 2012 and later graduates in the database (i.e. more than just survey respondents). It also shows the average salary and percentage time spent on research, teaching, and service for all the survey respondents from that program.”

The third makes use of data from a variety of sources to present diversity profiles of departments (which the APDA team says may be incomplete).

Check it out:

Thanks to Carolyn Dicey Jennings (UC Merced), the principal investigator at APDA, for sharing this information. Follow her on Twitter: @cdj140.

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Jay
Jay
4 years ago

How were respondents for this survey selected?Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Jay
4 years ago

Everyone in the APDA database with an email address was invited to participate. We have email addresses for just over half of the database. These were provided by program representatives in part, but were also discovered by RAs on the APDA project. (The primary reason we don’t have emails for the entire database is time–we didn’t have enough resources to pay RAs to collect more.) We will say more about the details of the survey in the APA report, which will be released at the end of the month.Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Carolyn Dicey Jennings
4 years ago

Addendum: we have email addresses for 3708 out of 6819 graduates in the database (54%).Report

Joe
Joe
4 years ago

Faculty at good, functioning institutions: go ahead and sort departments by placement rate. Ask yourself: “Look at the supposedly ‘good’ departments in the bottom 20… do I know anyone at these places?” Consider gently raising the issue with your friend or acquaintance. “What’s going on over there? Any thoughts?” Gentle, external pressure like this might be a lifeline for some poor 2nd or 3rd year PhD, who is just now waking up to a rather harsh reality.Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

Yes, but it is worth noting that other factors could put a program closer toward the bottom of the list, including more graduates from 2016+ and more graduates with unknown placement (relative to other programs). The latter might occur because that graduate is still seeking placement, because the program has lost track of that graduate; or because the placement information simply hasn’t made it into our system. We have added the information from most available placement pages, but there are still around 30 programs (out of 180+) we haven’t been able to check (marked with a “#”; a “*” indicates that no placement page was found). All programs were invited to edit their data in the first week of August, and this data was pulled on Monday, giving them around a month to add any missing information.

I looked at the 19 that show up if you sort by placement rate, with lowest at the top, and compared them to all the other programs: 21% 2016+ graduates (19 programs) versus 16% 2016+ graduates (all other programs), and 20% unknown (19 programs) versus 13% unknown (all other programs). Programs that do not appear to have a high percentage of graduates from 2016 onward in this set (lower than 16%) include: Brown University; McMaster University; Macquarie University; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Colorado at Boulder; University of Melbourne; and University of Western Ontario. Programs that do not appear to have a high percentage of graduates with unknown placements (lower than 13%) include: Brown University; Macquarie University; Saint Louis University; State University of New York at Buffalo; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Colorado at Boulder; University of Kentucky; and University of Melbourne.Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Carolyn Dicey Jennings
4 years ago

The lists now include all 124 programs with more than one graduate in the database from 2012 onward, with the information removed in cases of too few respondents. So the above comment only applies for those programs with more than three survey respondents in the placement profiles sheet (those without a blank space to the right).Report

Joe
Joe
Reply to  Carolyn Dicey Jennings
4 years ago

Thanks Carolyn. Naturally there will be many factors which might explain away an apparently poor showing. Fortunately, faculty members at those institutions, who have access to a ton of inside information and who are paid large sums of money to think critically, should be able to identify and describe those factors to a curious inquirer.

I fully recognize that no-one is going to follow my advice and that things are not going to change anytime soon at various problematic departments, but, ya know, “should” and “will” are different concepts.Report

edouard machery
edouard machery
4 years ago

Carolyn

I am not sure to understand these numbers and some seem just wrong. 27% can be the % of grad students with permanent jobs in philosophy programs: I count at least 12 out of 22, depending on how narrowly you count philosophy programs.

Please correct asap before releasing any further.

edouard macheryReport

Machery
Machery
Reply to  edouard machery
4 years ago

I meant: “Can’t be the %”*Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  edouard machery
4 years ago

Hi Edouard,
I looked into this. Pittsburgh HPS has 15 of the 22 in our database as in a permanent position: 68%. I think you do not dispute this, but I am not sure what other numbers you think might be wrong. (Maybe you could clarify?) As for the 27% number:
I counted only those placed at one of the 124 institutions that we have in our database as placing at least one graduate in a permanent position since 2012. I can see how the current description, which I used for reasons of space, is misleading. I plan to change that. I count 6 of the 22 in a permanent position of this type: 27%. These include a permanent position at LSE, U Chicago, Columbia, Kentucky, South Florida (we presumed that is what was meant by “University of Southern Florida”), and Pittsburgh. Of the other 9 in permanent academic positions I only see 4 that could be considered to be in a philosophy PhD-granting program (for a total of 10 out of 22, or 45%). These are VU Wellington, SUNY Albany, Eindhoven, and Idaho. The latter three are not currently in our database as PhD-granting programs, but perhaps they should be. (I will try to remember to add pages for them in the next round.) The first of these only has one graduate with an unknown graduation year, which is why it didn’t make it onto the list of 124. I am not sure what the other two plus places could be that you were thinking of, but here is the list of the other five permanent placements: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Division of Medical Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of St. Thomas, Ohio University, Auburn University. I believe that none of these has a philosophy PhD program. Given all of this, I am inclined to try to make it clearer on that document what counts as a philosophy PhD program for this measure, rather than change the Pittsburgh HPS numbers, since that would mean putting it on a different footing than the rest of the programs. Since I just don’t know all of the philosophy PhD programs that might be missing from our database, I don’t think it makes sense to try to change the data in a systematic way for now. But if you find programs that should be included, please do let us know (you can email us at [email protected]). We currently have 189 total programs in our database with this designation (a philosophy PhD granting program), but only 124 with graduates in the years 2012 and later. I hope this answers your question and concern.Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Carolyn Dicey Jennings
4 years ago

Sorry, this is not correct: “I counted only those placed at one of the 124 institutions that we have in our database as placing at least one graduate in a permanent position since 2012.”

It should be: I counted only those placed at one of the 124 institutions that we have in our database as placing at least one graduate since 2012, in any position.Report

Edouard Machery
Edouard Machery
4 years ago

Thanks for the response, but it is unsatisfying. The 27% figure is highly misleading and the whole column should probably be deleted if you can’t better identify the relevant programs.

Albany has grad students in philosophy: http://www.albany.edu/philosophy/grad-students.shtml
so does wellington: https://www.victoria.ac.nz/hppi/study/student-profiles/philosophy
so does Eindhoven: https://www.tue.nl/en/university/departments/industrial-engineering-innovation-sciences/research/research-groups/philosophy-and-ethics/teaching/doing-your-phd-at-the-section-of-philosophy-ethics/
so does the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Ross has a tt job at irvine, LPS.

so 11 out of 22 Pitt HPS graduates have a permanent position in a phd granting institution in philosophy (excluding idaho and OH) : 50%.

Furthermore, OH does not have a PhD program, but it has an MA program – why would you exclude those from your count? They are graduate programs. 12 out of 22 Pitt HPS graduates are in an institution with a graduate program.Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Edouard Machery
4 years ago

Hi Edouard,
If you refresh your screen you will see that it now says the following for that column:
“% 2012+ Grads in Database with Perm Acad Job at one of these 123 Philosophy PhD Programs (9% Overall)”

It also says on the first page:
“All graduates with an email address in our database were invited to participate; programs with at least one participant were included.” (This is the correct criterion–ignore my previous claims about that.)

I think that is clear enough. As for master’s programs, we did not claim to include all graduate programs, even with the earlier, less clear language.Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Carolyn Dicey Jennings
4 years ago

But it is correct that we do not have any graduates/placements in our database for the three programs mentioned above–only the one graduate with no year for VU Wellington that I mentioned. These are the programs that do have records for graduates 2012 and later, but no survey respondents, and so were not included:
Arizona State University (HPS)
Claremont Graduate University*
Deakin University*
Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz*
Marquette University*
McGill University
The Catholic University of America*
The University of Western Australia*
University of Alberta
University of Dundee*
University of East Anglia*
University of Kansas#
University of Kent*
University of Leeds*
University of Otago#
University of Ottawa*
University of Reading
University of Tennessee#
University of Waikato*
University of Warwick*
University of Waterloo#
If I were to re-do the data, I would probably include these, the four programs mentioned (but not MA programs and not programs in a different language, like Hungary), as well as any others that people can think of that we do not yet have in our database. I am not planning to do that right now, but I might get a chance to do so for the report to the APA at the end of the month. Other suggestions like this are welcome.Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Edouard Machery
4 years ago

Ok, I changed my mind on this. It only took a couple of hours to change this in a systematic way, so I decided to do that. (For me, this is an easier decision to make in the morning than at night after a long day at work.) Now the column in question reports the % placed in a known PhD program, out of 192 in the database (I added the ones we discussed). That brings Pittsburgh (HPS) numbers up, but also those of other programs. The column now reads: “% 2012+ Grads in Database with Perm Acad Job at one of 192 Philosophy PhD Programs (12% Overall)”.Report

s
s
4 years ago

“All graduates with an email address in our database were invited to participate; programs with at least one participant were included.”

While the numbers are interesting, I think the quote above is the key statement.Report

Brian Weatherson
4 years ago

What is % women grads in database measuring? Is it students who have graduated in last five years, or current students? The wording isn’t crystal clear.

And should it be % female or % non-male that we’re using as the most salient indicator?Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Reply to  Brian Weatherson
4 years ago

“% Women Grads in Database” divides the total number of graduates of a program in our database categorized as women (either by first name or self-report) by the total number of graduates of a program in our database categorized as women or men (either by first name or self-report). It simply excludes those who self-report as non-binary, whom we were unable to categorize by first name, or who selected “prefer not to answer” (a very small number: 4850 graduates are categorized as men, 1929 as women, 34 as unknown, 1 as other/non-binary, 5 as prefer not to answer). It is not time limited in principal but does not include any graduates prior to 1990, the vast majority are from later than 2000 (96%), and the majority are from 2011 and later (53%).Report

Brian Weatherson
Reply to  Carolyn Dicey Jennings
4 years ago

Ah, I see. Thanks!Report