U. Chicago Philosophy Suspends PhD Admissions This Year


The Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago has made an announcement concerning applications to its PhD program this year.

On the PhD Admissions page of their website is the following:

We regret to announce that the University of Chicago will not accept applications for the PhD program in Philosophy during the 2020-21 admissions cycle. As we focus our resources on supporting students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will pause on bringing new students into the program until Autumn 2022. This was a difficult decision, but we are prioritizing supporting students who have already matriculated in the department. We encourage you to consider applying in the Autumn of 2021 for the Autumn 2022 cohort. 

If you know of other philosophy programs implementing similar measures, please let us know in the comments.


Related: U. Chicago Reforms PhD Programs: Lifts Limits on Funded Time, Sets Limits on Number of StudentsUniversity of Chicago Issues Massive Trigger WarningFire at University of Chicago Philosophy Department.

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Eric wiland
Eric wiland
1 year ago

I suspect this is related to the university‘s recent decision to cap the total number of fellowships a department can offer. The crappy economy prevents many nth year students from landing elsewhere , so, rather than cutting them off, philosophy is deciding not to take on any new commitments. Makes sense, once you think about it. (Again, this is only a guess, not news).Report

Ronald Barnes
Ronald Barnes
1 year ago

As a UChicago alumnus of the divinity school, a 2020 psychology doctoral candidate at another university and an inducted member of Psi Chi, the international psychology honor society, it is my opinion that all academic disciplines in general, in America, are so preoccupied with limited focus that they fail to contribute to, correct and construct basic society values that add value to the field students study. The deplorable and pyrrhic state of America is centered around racism, greed and selfish. These are problems magnified by the culturally diverse nature of our society. A primary responsibility of all study and education should start with human, people, benefit. Human values give more credibility to the value of things rather than the reverse. Dehumanization is a characteristic of white culture though not all white people are infected. A great educational environment should be a disinfectant of dehumanization rather than a environment that supports it or neglects it. America values money more than people. I’m not criticizing or minimizing the value of money, just the priorities of American values. Americans need to learn how to get along with other Americans.Report

Ben
Ben
Reply to  Ronald Barnes
1 year ago

This is such a wordy and convoluted post. Please try again.Report

Zach
Zach
Reply to  Ben
1 year ago

I don’t think you understand, Ben. The man has a degree from the University of Chicago! He’s earned his right to make pretentious, overwritten comments with a tenuous connection to the topic at hand.Report

Ron Barnes
Ron Barnes
Reply to  Zach
1 year ago

Zach
Thank you. Philosophy is not always precise. Philosophy is often complex. Some people don’t grasp the ideas of others. Socrates was made to drink hemlock because people did not understand him or disagreed with his thinking. I don’t think my comments are pretentious or overwritten. I don’t think you can minimize important matters. I think many philosophers operate from a limited life experience. The accumulation of life experience feeds ideology. Maybe that is why no one has yet advanced worthwhile ideology. Thank you Zack, at least you recognize the right of individual expression.Report

Nathan Wiley
Nathan Wiley
Reply to  Ronald Barnes
1 year ago

Ronald,
I agree with you completely. You might like my podcast, Philosophy for the People, where I take level similar critiques.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUaGSdI96KRk3fRu2I6iM-A/videosReport

Ronald Barnes
Ronald Barnes
1 year ago

So what. By nature philosophy is a relatively unrestricted discipline, an expression of ideas. Philosophy is a way of thinking about the world, the universe and society. Philosophy raises questions and explores the answers and solutions. If you think it’s too long for you and if you don’t understand it then bypass. Criticizing is a form of closed mindedness, very un-philosophical. The restriction of ideas , historically has caused conflict. If my comment is too long and complex for you to understand, don’t read it. You should be dealing with the substance of the comment instead of your defensive light minded. response. Philosophy requires mental engagement. Your comment lacks mental quality.Report

Syed
Syed
Reply to  Ronald Barnes
1 year ago

You’re on a philosophy blog/website. You might want to reassess telling all of us what philosophy is “about.” Especially since technically you’re not a philosopher. Second, the persons’ point is that your initial comment is too convoluted to understand. Philosophers should try to be clear and precise. It’s difficult to criticize your content when the words and sentence structure itself is indecipherable.Report

Luke
Luke
Reply to  Syed
1 year ago

Thank you for thisReport

Luke
Luke
Reply to  Ronald Barnes
1 year ago

I’m critical of your criticism of criticism… but hey, don’t criticize me for it.Report

AZANIA OLEZENE
AZANIA OLEZENE
1 year ago

University of Texas at San Antonio cancelled Ph.D. programs for Fall 2020. They won’t be taking applications until Fall 2021.Report

Linds
Linds
Reply to  AZANIA OLEZENE
1 year ago

It looks like UTSA only has an MA program for philosophy at the graduate level. Do you know if applications for MA programs are also suspended by chance?Report

Gabe
Gabe
1 year ago

Does anyone know if the Committee on Social Thought at Chicago is facing similar issues or instituting the same policy?Report

Ron Barnes
Ron Barnes
1 year ago

Seneca, Plato, Socrates or Aristotle would not understand the inability of modern day “so called philosophers” to move discourse forward. You’re getting stuck in critical path without understanding the way forward is to ask for an explanation of context you don’t understand. Religion, Psychology and philosophy are related disciplines. Philosophy, however, has the least practical value in our society and possibly the lack of future causes frustration. I have a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology. I am interested in how you think, your ideas, the contributions you can make to society. So far, I only understand why, based on your comments and criticisms, modern day philosophy is a dead-end future. Things, material values, closed minds and defensive mentality does not create value. Value is created in productive, useful, valuable ideology that can be applied to make our society better. If you don’t need to be told about what philosophy is or is not, then contribute ideas and thoughts, instead of criticizing what you don’t understand. If you don’t understand, that is ground for learning. Your comments are simple to understand. Maybe understanding my positions, ideology and thoughts will be a growth experience for you.Report

Ron Barnes
Ron Barnes
1 year ago

If you need me to simplify my initial comments then ask. We are at a critical path in our society. The UChicago program restrictions are one indication. Covid-19 is another. School closures, unemployment, demonstrations for equality. What contribution can philosophers make to improve our society conditions? What ideas do you have? So far none,, that I can see.Report

Patternminds
Reply to  Ron Barnes
1 year ago

Philosophers are no worse than other academics. If you’ve spent enough time, you’re likely to realise these are people who are unlikely to be in the driving seat of social change.

In-fighting crap like this is putting in a puncture in the tire though. If you want to really devote yourself to change, I’d suggest you’re better off out of universities altogether. If you want to support from the sideline, fine. Don’t get on a high-horse though about what different people can offer to society based on what subject they happen to have a qualification in.

So far as I’m concerned, the social scientists, philosophers, natural scientists even should either put their hands to pump or just piss off to compare egos in a small, obscure world nobody cares about.Report