“Ph.D. programs are one of the few parts of higher education where admissions decisions are made without admissions professionals.” So begins Inside Higher Ed’s discussion of Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity and Faculty Gatekeeping by Julie Posselt (Michigan). Posselt observed ten different U.S. departments as they narrowed down their pool of PhD program..
In light of the previous post, we might ask, are there too many philosophy PhDs? Some people think so, and take that as a reason to think that some departments should stop offering PhDs. Let’s talk about this.
First, a general point: though the number of PhD studentships is not the result of an open market, there are still good Hayekian reasons for caution about ..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has overhauled its graduate program guide. It used to be an annual publication. Now it is a regularly updated searchable website. Mike Morris, the APA’s communications and marketing manager, writes:
The Grad Guide now offers the ability to search by multiple criteria, including areas of specialization, degrees offered,..
As some of you know, Geoff Pynn (Northern Illinois) has over the years provided an important service to the philosophy profession: maintaining a list of master’s programs in philosophy and the kind of funding they offer their students. The list now includes 31 U.S. MA programs:
- Cal State Los Angeles
- Colorado State
- Florida State
- Georgia State
An undergraduate who is interested in pursuing graduate studies in philosophy writes in seeking advice about making up for deficits in his logic background:
I’m a student at a small liberal arts college. I have a double major in Philosophy and Literature. My school’s Philosophy program is very good at what it does, but it is limited. Among other things, there are..
From a philosophy professor who prefers to remain anonymous, a question about whether it is now the norm for successful applicants to PhD programs to have (or be on their way to having) a terminal MA:
When I applied to grad school, (I think) the norm was to apply straight from one’s undergraduate institution to PhD programs. Terminal MAs were seen as good fallbac..
A student has written with a question about how MA programs should list their placements: should the program list all of the PhD programs (or other programs) to which their students were admitted, or should the program list only those PhD programs which their students ended up enrolling?
My sense is that so long as the information is very clearly labeled, either ..
How does your department evaluate graduate students as they progress through the PhD program? One common method is an annual letter from the department to the student, based on a discussion about the student at a faculty meeting. How informative are these letters? What kinds of information do they provide? My sense is that comparative information (rankings or sortin..
Our doctoral programme can now be run on either an attendance or distance learning basis. The principles are the same – i.e. a course of high-level supervised research leading to a substantial and original thesis. However, the supervision happe..
Under the so-called 5+2 program, humanities graduate students at Irvine will receive additional funding designed to push them through course work and their dissertations within five years. Those who finish within that time frame are eligible to apply for an up to two-year, teaching-intensive postdoc. Assistant adjunct professors, as they’re called, will receive rela..
Many graduate programs set aside a time for all prospective students to visit and learn about their departments and universities. Lauren Leydon-Hardy, a philosophy graduate student at Northwestern University, writes in with some information about one aspect of their “recruitment weekend”:
When I visited Northwestern as a prospective student in 2011, I used an opp..
Shawn Miller (UC Davis) writes in with some news about the good work being done at PhilWiki:
A User’s Guide to Philosophy Without Rankings is a new site “intended for the use of prospective graduate students in philosophy, faculty (including chairs or heads) in philosophy, and deans, provosts, and other administrators, all of whom need resources for the decisions they make about philosophy programs.” It is based on the idea that “currently, there are no ran..
Another grad program wiki is up — this time for experimental philosophy. It was put together by Joshua Knobe and Christian Mott (both at Yale). Shawn Miller (UC Davis), who created PhilWiki and the template that has been used to make the various subject-specific wikis, writes:
Notable, perhaps, is that the total time it took Joshua and Christian to get the site..
The latest addition to the set of informational wikis about the strengths of PhD programs is on 20th Century Continental Philosophy. Developed by Noëlle McAfee (Emory), in consultation with a number of other philosophers, the aim of the wiki is “to provide an unranked yet searchable list of Ph.D. (and terminal M.A.) programs that have strengths in 20th (and early 21..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has released its 2014 Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy. The guide provides information on faculty, program strengths, placement, financial aid, and demographics. The APA notes: “All data in the guide are self-reported by representatives of the institutions, and data are included only for institutions that complete..
The 2014 edition of the Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR) has been released. The PGR is a reputational survey of a selection of PhD-granting philosophy departments based on questionnaires completed by around 230 philosophers. The release of the PGR was slightly delayed this time around, owing to considerable controversy about its editor-in-chief, Brian Leiter, its ..
Shawn Standefer has created a wiki of PhD programs in philosophical logic. It “provides an unranked list of PhD (and (eventually) terminal M.A.) programs that have strengths in philosophical logic. Links are provided to the websites, CVs, and PhilPapers profiles of the relevant faculty at each program. Additionally, when known, the specialties and willingness of fac..
A philosopher who prefers to remain anonymous has noticed a marked drop in applications to his graduate program and is wondering whether this is part of a general trend. As such information might be useful to the profession as a whole, please consider sharing any knowledge you have regarding increases or decreases in the recent volume of applications to the PhD and ..
Grad students of philosophy! And other relevant parties! Behold! Daniel Silvermint, assistant professor of philosophy and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Connecticut, has developed a list of unhelpful thoughts that might occur to you every once in a while. He calls them “grad traps,” and the idea is that if you are able to recognize t..