Continental Report Updated!

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, University of Oregon, University of Memphis, and University of New Mexico have been added to the Continental report.  Consequently, all of the numbers and rankings have been updated.  My thanks to Colin Koopman, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon, for helping me determine which schools to add and for providing me with updated data on Oregon’s placement.  Click here to view the report.

“Is College Still Worth It?”: Latest Research Says It is

Wondering whether college is still worth the price you pay?  Pew Research has released a report

Wondering whether college is still worth the price you pay?  Pew Research has released a report that indicates that college graduates today make on average $17,500 more per year than comparable students with only high school degrees. Click here for the full story.

How Academia Resembles the Health Care Profession

An article on the evolution of the Professor and the job market from The Chronicle of Higher Education, noting the stratification in academia: “we now have a distended pyramid, with a huge base of people whose primary job is teaching, often entry-level courses; a layer of specialists in particular fields and researchers who may hardly even teach above them; and a thin spire of administrators commanding the peak.” A nice comparison to health care professionals and how academia might adopt a similar job market structure in the future.  Click here for the full article.

Graduate School Placements in Philosophy: Continental Programs Job Type Placements

pr_contential

This article is an attempt at an analysis of the placement records of most leading graduate programs in Continental philosophy. I analyze trends, create rankings, and discuss the issues surrounding and importance of placement records for these programs. I also analyze placement rankings of schools that had hired graduates from either the analytic or continental traditions and how graduates from both of these types of programs fare in terms of landing a position in academic philosophy.

Other Reports

pr_phd13The Placement Report for Ph.D. Programs
pr_terminalma5The Placement Report for Terminal MA Programs
pr_prestige1The Placement Report Based on School Prestige 

The Summary

Here are some of the highlights from this study

  • Women have a slightly greater change of finding a job in academic philosophy over men
  • Continental graduate initial placement seems to be largely into tenure track and permanent positions
  • State University of New York, Stony Brook ranks highest for initial tenure track and permanent placements
  • Approximately 63% of Continental graduates are currently in permanent positions in academic philosophy
  • From the data, 89% of Continental graduates are employed in academic philosophy
  • Approximately 24% of all Continental graduates are initially or currently placed in schools with a Catholic heritage
  • Continental graduate dissertations like to analyze Kant more than any other thinker
  • Social and Political Philosophy is the top category for dissertations followed by History of Philosophy and the  Ethics.

The Motive: Why Do this Study?

I received a lot of feedback on the initial PhD and MA placement reports.  One main concern was that schools that did not appear in the Leiter Report, particularly Continental-oriented programs, were not included.  I offer this report as an attempt to address that feedback. (Note: until this data is finalized, I will keep this as a separate report.  Perhaps at a future date, depending on feedback about the benefits and drawbacks, this report will be combined with the other PhD report.)

The Method

I compiled a list of the “best” Continental Philosophy programs in the United States based on email feedback, and by looking at the SPEP site and Earlham College's data.  Since I do not come from the continental approach to philosophy (as I am trained in the analytic approach), I relied on these sources and feedback exclusively for determining the list.  These schools (with year-range of data, and notes on the data) are:

  • Boston College
  • Boston University
    • (not in dataset)
    • Notes: I left out Boston University as it is already included in the other PhD report.
  • DePaul University
  • Duquesne University
  • Emory University
  • Fordham University
    • (2000-2013)
    • Notes: this data came from Fordham's site and from a Philosophy Professor at Fordham.
  • Loyola University, Chicago
  • Northwestern University
    • (not in dataset)
    • Notes: I left out Northwestern University as it is already included in the other PhD report.
  • Pennsylvania State University
    • (2005-2012)
    • Notes: this data came entirely from Penn State's site.  This data is a “summary of the placement record” for Penn State, and as such, it will be missing students.  I am working on acquiring the full dataset.
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • State University of New York, Binghamton
  • State University of New York, Stony Brook
    • (2000-2012)
    • Notes: this data came from Stony Brook's site and from a 2004 alumnus of the PhD philosophy program at State University of New York, Stony Brook.
  • Texas A&M University (PhD)
    • (2006-2011)
    • Notes: this data came entirely from Texas A&M's website
  • University of Memphis
  • University of New Mexico
  • University Of Oregon
    • (2000-2013)
    • Notes: this data came from University of Oregon’s website and from a Philosophy Professor at the University of Oregon.
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Villanova University
    • (2000-2013)
    • Notes: this data came from Villanova's site and from a staff member of the Philosophy department at Villanova University.

As noted before in other reports, there are many difficulties to gathering and assembling this data.  Please see my explanation for more details.

 

The Meat: Results, Observations, and Conclusions

I gathered approximately 750 placement records since the year 2000 from these 16 schools. These students have been placed at approximately 220 different colleges and universities around the world.   Here are some other results.

Gender:

Approximately 70% of Continental graduates since 2000 are male, while 30% are female.  This ratio has been fairly constant apart from a few spikes and dips.

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Does one’s gender make a difference in terms of position placement?  Perhaps a little.  Initially, women place into tenure track or permanent positions at a higher rate than men do (about 10%).  That it, if one is a woman, one is more likely to receive a tenure track or permanent position than if one is a man.  Men are slightly more likely to end up in post-doc positions (or to already be tenured when graduating).  Women are slightly more likely to not initially place into academic philosophy and to also initially be lecturers.

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In terms of current placement, women are still more likely to be in tenure track or permanent positions than men are, although men have a slight edge in tenured positions.  Men are almost twice as likely to currently be lecturers.  Women are still very slightly more likely to not be in academic philosophy, and now are more likely to be in Post-doc/Researcher positions.

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Rough conclusion?  It seems that it is slightly advantageous in terms of career prospects to be a graduating woman in academic philosophy.

 

PhD School:

Here is a breakdown of the percentage of students for each school in the dataset.  Since some schools did not have complete data from 2000-2013, this should not be taken as showing the exact percentage of graduates from each of these programs since 2000.  This only shows how much each school is represented in the data set.  Fordham University is represented the most with 12% and Texas A&M the least with 1%.

 

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First Placement School:

Only three schools report having initially placed students back into their department.  Loyola has initially placed 19% of its graduates back into its department, and Villanova has initially placed 13% of its graduates back into its department.  University of Memphis is third with 11%.  This doesn’t mean much, however, since most of the schools did not report initial placements, only current placements.

PhD School First Placement School Ratio
Loyola University, Chicago Loyola University, Chicago 0.19
Villanova University Villanova University 0.13
University of Memphis University of Memphis 0.11

 

First Placement Type:

Since over half of the initial placement type is unknown, it is hard to make any good judgments about what is going on in initial placements.  That being said, the largest type of Continental graduate initial placement seems to be into tenure track / permanent positions.

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If we removed the unknown (58%) and looked at only what was known,  then 48% of continental graduates from these schools that have a known initial placement receive a tenure track / permanent position.  This is a little higher than the largely analytic schools (39%), but not by much.   Lecturers are next at 32%, then non-academic employment at 13%.

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Note: Keep in mind that this data is only from 16 schools (compared to 60 analytic schools) and these schools are considered to be the very best continental schools, excluding less well regarded programs that would increase the dataset.  As such, any conclusions regarding analytic vs. continental school placement will be tentative until more data can be gathered.

Is this distribution changing over time?  It seems so. The overall trend of Tenure Track/Permanent initial placements is downward, while Lecturer and Not in Academic Philosophy placements have risen overall.  Post doc and tenured placements seem to be holding steady.

image

 

Again, given the large number of “Unknown” placements, these conclusions are tentative.  However, when removing the “Unknown” values and focusing on what is known, these trends remain the same.  Where once tenure track / permanent position initial placements were more common than lecturer or Not in Academic Philosophy placements, the reverse is now true.  And as we might suspect, the change seems to have happened between 2007 and 2009 in the midst of the economic downturn.  Will these trends continue?  Only time will tell.

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Now on to the rankings of schools by type of placement.  Keep in mind, the data is still very tentative regarding initial placements.

Note: I am now only counting students that sought academic employment.  A student that is not in academic philosophy AND did not seek academic employment does not count against that school’s academic placement record.

 

1. Tenure-Track/Permanent Initial Placements (for students that sought academic employment) 

Which schools initially place the most students into Tenure-Track/Permanent positions?  Of those schools which provided this data, we have (1) Stony Brook at 72% , (2) University of Memphis at 64%, and (3) Villanova at 44% initial TT/Permanent placements. Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.72 1
University of Memphis 0.64 2
Villanova University 0.44 3
Texas A & M University 0.43 4
Vanderbilt University 0.42 5
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.38 6
University of Oregon 0.35 7
Fordham University 0.27 8
Loyola University, Chicago 0.14 9

 

Since 2011, we have (1) Stony Brook at 67% , (2) Vanderbilt at 57%, and (3) University of Oregon at 36% initial TT/Permanent placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.67 1
Vanderbilt University 0.57 2
University of Oregon 0.36 3
Villanova University 0.33 4
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.29 5
University of Memphis 0.25 6
Loyola University, Chicago 0.08 7
Fordham University 0.06 8

 

2. Post-doc/Researcher Initial Placements (for students that sought academic employment) 

Which schools have the most initial placements in Post-doc/Researcher positions?  Of those schools which provided this data, we have (1) Oregon at 9%, (2) Stony Brook at 8%, and (3) Villanova at 6% initial Post-doc/Researcher placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of Oregon 0.09 1
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.08 2
Villanova University 0.06 3
Fordham University 0.05 4
Vanderbilt University 0.04 5
University of Memphis 0.03 6

Since 2011, we have (1) University of Oregon at 21%, (2) Binghamton at 14%, and (3) University of Memphis at 13% initial Post-doc/Researcher placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of Oregon 0.21 1
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.14 2
University of Memphis 0.13 3

 

3. Lecturer/Temporary Initial Placements (for students that sought academic employment) 

Which schools initially place the most students into Lecturer/Temporary positions?  Of those schools which provided this data, we have (1) Loyola University, Chicago at 77% , (2) Villanova at 53%, and (3) Texas A&M at 43% initial Lecturer/Temporary placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Loyola University, Chicago 0.77 1
Villanova University 0.53 2
Texas A & M University 0.43 3
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.38 4
University of Memphis 0.31 5
Vanderbilt University 0.27 6
University of Oregon 0.25 7
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.2 8
Fordham University 0.1 9

Since 2011, we have (1) Loyola University, Chicago at 100% , (1) Texas A & M University at 100 %, and (3) Villanova at 67% initial Lecturer/Temporary placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Loyola University, Chicago 1 1
Texas A & M University 1 1
Villanova University 0.67 3
University of Memphis 0.5 4
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.33 5
University of Oregon 0.29 6
Vanderbilt University 0.29 6
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.14 8
Fordham University 0.06 9

 

4. Not In Academic Philosophy Initial Placements (for students that sought academic employment) 

Which schools initially place the most students into “Not In Academic Philosophy” positions?  Of those schools which provided this data, we have (1) University of Oregon at 12% , (2) Stony Brook at 7%, and (3) Fordham University at 5% initial “Not In Academic Philosophy” placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of Oregon 0.12 1
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.07 2
Fordham University 0.05 3
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.04 4
University of Memphis 0.03 5

 

Since 2011, we have (1) University of Memphis at 13%  and (2) University of Oregon  at 7% initial “Not In Academic Philosophy” placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of Memphis 0.13 1
University of Oregon 0.07 2

 

5. Sought Academic Employment (or Unknown)

As I do not wish to punish schools for “Not in Academic Philosophy” placements where the student explicitly did not seek academic employment, I am adding this section to show which schools have the highest percentages of students seeking academic employment.  Note: where it was unknown if a student sought academic employment, the student is counted as having sought academic employment.  Only students that explicitly did not seek academic employment are left out. Of those schools which provided this data, the following list shows the ratio of all students that sought academic employment (or unknown) compared with all students from that school:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
DePaul University 1 1
Duquesne University 1 1
Emory University 1 1
Pennsylvania State University 1 1
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 1 1
State University of New York, Binghamton 1 1
State University of New York, Stony Brook 1 1
Texas A & M University 1 1
University of New Mexico 1 1
University of Oregon 1 1
Vanderbilt University 1 1
University of Memphis 0.95 12
Fordham University 0.86 13
Villanova University 0.85 14
Boston College 0.85 15
Loyola University, Chicago 0.81 16

 

Current Placement Type:

Since 2000, approximately 38% of these Continental graduates are in Tenure track/permanent positions.  15% have received tenure, so overall, approximately 53% of Continental graduates are currently in permanent positions in academic philosophy.  Unknowns still comprise 15% of the data.

image

If we remove the unknowns, tenure track/permanent positions comprise 45% of current placements and tenured positions comprise 18% of current placements. Thus, approximately 63% of current Continental graduates since 2000 have a permanent position in academic philosophy.  This is slightly higher than largely analytic schools (54%).  But as I stated earlier, this is a much smaller dataset from the top Continental schools, so comparisons should be made with caution.  Lecturers comprise 24%, and post-docs 2% of current placements.  As such, it appears that 89% of Continental graduates are employed in academic philosophy.

image

1. Tenure Track / Permanent / Tenured Current Placements (for students that sought academic employment) 

Which schools have the most current placements in Tenure Track / Permanent / Tenured positions?  Of those schools which provided this data, we have (1) Penn State at 96% (Note: see comment on this data above), (2) Boston College at 82%, and (3) Stony Brook at 75% current Tenure Track / Permanent / Tenured placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Pennsylvania State University 0.96 1
Boston College 0.82 2
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.75 3
Villanova University 0.71 4
University of Memphis 0.67 5
University of New Mexico 0.64 6
Fordham University 0.61 7
University of Oregon 0.58 8
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.54 9
Emory University 0.51 10
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 0.51 11
Duquesne University 0.49 12
Texas A & M University 0.43 13
Loyola University, Chicago 0.27 14
Vanderbilt University 0.08 15

Since 2011, we have (1) Penn State at 86% (Note: see comment on this data above), (2) Stony Brook at 67%, and (2) Boston College at 67% current Tenure Track / Permanent / Tenured placements. Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Pennsylvania State University 0.86 1
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.67 2
Boston College 0.67 2
University of Oregon 0.57 4
University of New Mexico 0.5 5
Villanova University 0.5 5
Duquesne University 0.5 5
Fordham University 0.47 8
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 0.31 9
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.29 10
Vanderbilt University 0.29 10
University of Memphis 0.25 12
Loyola University, Chicago 0.08 13

 

2. Post-Doc/Researcher Current Placements (for students that sought academic employment) 

Which schools have the most current placements in Post-Doc/Researcher positions?  Of those schools which provided this data, we have (1) State University of New York, Binghamton at 8%, (2) Fordham University at 5%, and (3) Fordham University at 4% current Post-Doc/Researcher placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.08 1
Fordham University 0.05 2
Pennsylvania State University 0.04 3
University of Oregon 0.04 4
Villanova University 0.03 5
University of Memphis 0.03 6
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 0.02 7
Boston College 0.01 8
Emory University 0.01 9

 

Since 2011, we have (1) Fordham University at 18% , (2) Villanova University at 17%, and (3) Emory University, Pennsylvania State University, State University of New York, Binghamton, and University of Oregon all  at 14% current Post-Doc/Researcher placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Fordham University 0.18 1
Villanova University 0.17 2
Emory University 0.14 3
Pennsylvania State University 0.14 3
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.14 3
University of Oregon 0.14 3
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 0.06 7

 

3. Lecturer/Temporary Current Placements (for students that sought academic employment) 

Which schools have the most current placements in Lecturer/Temporary positions?  Of those schools which provided this data, we have (1) Loyola University, Chicago at 68%, (2) Texas A & M University at 57%, and (3) Southern Illinois University, Carbondale at 38% current Lecturer/Temporary placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Loyola University, Chicago 0.68 1
Texas A & M University 0.57 2
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 0.38 3
Villanova University 0.32 4
Duquesne University 0.32 5
Emory University 0.26 6
University of Memphis 0.25 7
University of New Mexico 0.21 8
University of Oregon 0.21 9
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.21 10
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.17 11
Fordham University 0.14 12
Boston College 0.14 13

 

Since 2011, we have (1) Texas A & M University at 100%, (2) Loyola University, Chicago at 92%, and (3) University of Memphis at 63% current Lecturer/Temporary placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Texas A & M University 1 1
Loyola University, Chicago 0.92 2
University of Memphis 0.63 3
University of New Mexico 0.5 4
Villanova University 0.5 4
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 0.44 6
Duquesne University 0.36 7
Boston College 0.33 8
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.33 8
Emory University 0.14 10
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.14 10
Fordham University 0.12 12
University of Oregon 0.07 13

 

4. Not In Academic Philosophy Current Placements (for students that sought academic employment) 

Which schools have the most current placements in “Not In Academic Philosophy” positions?  Of those schools which provided this data, we have (1) University of New Mexico at 14%, (2) University of Oregon at 14%, and (3) Duquesne University at 12% current “Not In Academic Philosophy” placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of New Mexico 0.14 1
University of Oregon 0.14 2
Duquesne University 0.12 3
State University of New York, Stony Brook 0.07 4
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 0.07 5
University of Memphis 0.06 6
Fordham University 0.05 7
Loyola University, Chicago 0.05 8
State University of New York, Binghamton 0.04 9
Boston College 0.01 10

Since 2011, we have (1) University of Memphis at 13%, (2) University of Oregon at 7%, and (2) Duquesne University at 7% current “Not In Academic Philosophy” placements.  Here is the full list:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of Memphis 0.13 1
University of Oregon 0.07 2
Duquesne University 0.07 2
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 0.06 4

 

Catholic School Placements:

I noticed in analyzing the data that many graduates were placed into with a Catholic heritage—much more so than in the analytic tradition. I’ll offer a brief theory for why this is.  As I understand the history of philosophy in the 20th century, the analytic tradition was dominated by logical positivism from the early 1900s through the 1960s and 1970s.  Since metaphysics, values, and theology were unverifiable by empirical methods, any discussion about them was regarded as meaningless.  Consequently, the analytic tradition focused mainly on the more “scientific” and “empirical” sub-disciplines such as philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science.  Logical positivism has fallen out of favor (at least in the form it once took) and once more the analytic tradition has embraced these “unverifiable” sub-disciplines as meaningful topics of discussion.  However, Continental schools still largely remain the home of Catholic philosophy, as they had been its refuge for 70 years.

Consequently, it is not surprising that so many Continental graduates (11%) are doing dissertations on Theology and Religion, Augustine, Aquinas, Levinas, and Kierkegaard (see below).  Indeed, among these top Continental programs, Boston College, DePaul, Duquesne, Fordham, Loyola, and Villanova are all Catholic in origin. So it should not be surprising that many graduates do place into Catholic schools. How many?  By my estimations, approximately 24% of all graduates are initially or currently placed in schools with a Catholic heritage.  If we count only graduates from these 6 Catholic Continental programs, then this percentage increases to 31%! Thus, if you want to end up at a Catholic college or university, going to one of these Catholic schools is a great bet.

Analytic vs. Continental Hiring:

Based on a suggestion from one of our readers, I combined the list of schools that had hired graduates, both initially and currently, from either the analytic or continental traditions.  This resulted in a list of 1,408 distinct names of schools that have hired a philosophy graduate since 2000 (Note: I have not cleaned up all of the names, so there will be some repeats based on misspellings, different naming conventions, etc.).  Here are some interesting facts I discovered…

  • Only 154 schools have hired from both traditions.  That is about 11% of all the schools that have hired a philosophy graduate since 2000.
    • 174 schools have only hired from Continental programs.  That is about 12% of all schools that have hired a philosophy graduate since 2000. Since there are 328 distinct schools that have hired Continental graduates, that means that 53% of schools that have hired a Continental graduate have hired only Continental graduates.
    • 1080 schools have only hired from Analytic programs.  That is about 77% of all schools that have hired a philosophy graduate since 2000.  Since there are 1234 distinct schools that have hired Analytic graduates, that means that 88% of schools that have hired an Analytic graduate have hired only Analytic graduates.

Here are some charts to help visualize these percentages:

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Based on this, it seems that schools that hire analytic graduates are much more likely to only hire analytic graduates, whereas schools that hire Continental graduates are much more likely to hire from both traditions.  Consequently, it seems that there are less schools that are interested in Continental graduates as compared with those interested in graduates from Analytic programs.  Whether this means that there are less “Continental positions” available in departments (because these Continental positions are already filled), or that more schools will not consider graduates from Continental programs (since there are no Continental positions in the department and perhaps a department is biased against Continental graduates), I do not know.

Of the schools which have hired from both traditions, which schools have hired the most Continental graduates as a percentage of their total hires since 2000?  American University is first at 83%, Villanova University second at 80%, and California Polytechnic State University third at 75%.  Here is the full list of schools that have a hiring ratio of Continental graduates greater than 0.50:

Hiring School Percentage Continental of Total Hires
American University 0.833
Villanova University 0.8
California Polytechnic State University 0.75
Ashford University 0.667
Gonzaga University 0.667
Mercer University 0.667
Providence College 0.667
Transylvania University 0.667
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga 0.667
Emory University 0.625
Dickinson College 0.6
Kent State University 0.6
Mount Allison University 0.6
DePaul University 0.571
Duquesne University 0.533
Loyola University, Chicago 0.524

Of the schools which have hired from both traditions, which schools have hired the most Analytic graduates as a percentage of their total hires since 2000?  Harvard University is first at 98%,  (ironic, given what I have said about Catholic schools) the University of Notre Dame is second at 97%, and the University of Colorado, Boulder is third at 97%.  Here is the full list of schools that have a hiring ratio of Analytic graduates greater than 0.50:

Hiring School Percentage Analytic of Total Hires
Harvard University 0.98
University of Notre Dame 0.97
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.97
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.96
Duke University 0.96
University of Alberta 0.96
New York University 0.95
University of Kentucky 0.94
Dartmouth College 0.94
Syracuse University 0.94
University of St. Thomas 0.94
Concordia University 0.92
University of Delaware 0.92
California State University, Chico 0.91
St. Olaf College 0.91
University of Cincinnati 0.91
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 0.91
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 0.9
Southern Illinois University 0.9
Bryn Mawr College 0.89
George Washington University 0.89
Pacific University 0.89
Boston College 0.88
Georgia State University 0.88
Illinois State University 0.88
Niagara University 0.88
University of Dayton 0.88
University of Houston 0.88
Florida International University 0.87
Brigham Young University 0.86
Centre College 0.86
Grand Valley State University 0.86
Kirkwood Community College 0.86
Middlebury College 0.86
Northern Arizona University 0.86
Pepperdine University 0.86
University of San Diego 0.86
West Virginia University 0.86
American University, Beirut 0.83
Calvin College 0.83
Grinnell College 0.83
Indiana University of Pennsylvania 0.83
Luther College 0.83
Pacific Lutheran University 0.83
Siena College 0.83
Southern Connecticut State University 0.83
University of North Carolina, Wilmington 0.83
Georgia Southern University 0.8
Long Island University 0.8
Loyola University, New Orleans 0.8
Seoul National University 0.8
St. Mary’s University 0.8
St. Michael's College 0.8
University of North Carolina, Charlotte 0.8
University of Toledo 0.8
Utah Valley University 0.8
Wofford College 0.8
McGill University 0.78
Augustana College 0.78
California State University, Los Angeles 0.78
Marist College 0.78
University of Portland 0.78
Loyola Marymount University 0.77
University of South Carolina 0.77
Colorado State University 0.75
Creighton University 0.75
Georgetown College 0.75
Gettysburg College 0.75
Haverford College 0.75
Laurentian University 0.75
Seattle University 0.75
Stony Brook University 0.75
Temple University 0.75
University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point 0.75
University Of Memphis 0.73
California State University, Bakersfield 0.71
LeMoyne College 0.71
California State University, Fullerton 0.7
University of New Mexico 0.7
Ave Maria University 0.67
Champlain College 0.67
Cleveland State University 0.67
Fayetteville State University 0.67
High Point University 0.67
Juniata College 0.67
Lake Forest College 0.67
Memorial University 0.67
Metropolitan State University of Denver 0.67
Nashville State Community College 0.67
Neumann University 0.67
Oklahoma State University 0.67
Santa Clara University 0.67
St. Leo University 0.67
Stetson College 0.67
Susquehanna University 0.67
University of Omaha 0.67
University of Scranton 0.67
Westminster College 0.67
Xavier University 0.67
Michigan State University 0.64
Occidental College 0.64
University of Colorado, Denver 0.64
Fairfield University 0.63
Hofstra University 0.63
Miami University 0.63
Colby College 0.6
Pennsylvania State University 0.6
Rhodes College 0.6
Rochester Institute of Technology 0.6
University of Texas, El Paso 0.6
American University, Cairo 0.57
Drexel University 0.57
University of Texas, Pan American 0.57
Wheaton College 0.57
Fordham University 0.52

 

Which schools have hired the most Continental graduates?  In terms of Current placement counts, (1) Fordham University and Emory University have 8 current Continental graduates, (3) Duquesne University has 7 current Continental graduates, and (4) Loyola University, Chicago has 5 current Continental graduates.  Here is the full list of schools with counts of Continental graduates above 2:

Hiring School Current Counts of Continental Graduates
Fordham University 8
Emory University 8
Duquesne University 7
Loyola University, Chicago 5
McGill University 4
Pennsylvania State University 4
University of Texas, Pan American 4
Sacred Heart University 4
Saint Xavier University 4
Loyola Marymount University 3
University of South Carolina 3
Michigan State University 3
Fairfield University 3
DePaul University 3
Gonzaga University 3
California Polytechnic State University 3
Villanova University 3
American University 3

 

Which schools have hired the most Analytic graduates?  In terms of Current placement counts, (1) the University Toronto has 28 current Analytic graduates, (2) the University of Chicago has 19 Analytic graduates, and (3) Harvard University and Oxford University both have 18 current Analytic graduates.  Here is the full list of schools with counts of Analytic graduates above 10:

Hiring School Current Count of Analytic Graduates
University of Toronto 28
University of Chicago 19
Harvard University 18
Oxford University 18
University of Pennsylvania 17
University of Western Ontario 16
Princeton University 16
University of Colorado, Boulder 16
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 16
Stanford University 15
University of St. Thomas 15
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 15
University of Texas, Austin 15
University of Tennessee, Knoxville 14
Indiana University, Bloomington 14
University of British Columbia 14
University of Notre Dame 13
Yale University 13
University of Pittsburgh 13
Auburn University 13
Georgetown University 13
University of California, Irvine 13
California State University, Northridge 13
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 13
University of Missouri, Columbia 13
University of Illinois, Chicago 13
New York University 12
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 12
Washington University, St. Louis 12
Australian National University 12
Iowa State University 12
University of California, Berkeley 12
Duke University 12
Ohio State University 11
University of California, Los Angeles 11
Colgate University 11
University of Alberta 11
Mississippi State University 11
Arizona State University 11
Florida State University 11

 

What does this mean?  The sample isn’t balanced between Continental and Analytic graduates (so a direct count comparison would not make sense, and these results are tentative), but it does seem clear that certain schools have a strong preference for Continental graduates and others have a strong preference for Analytic graduates.  Also, it seems that most schools are more inclined to hire Analytic graduates than Continental graduates.

 

Primary Area of Study:

Being from the analytic tradition, I was not exactly sure how to classify primary areas of study as derived from dissertation titles.  I did notice that many more dissertation titles in the Continental tradition reference a major historical philosopher. As such, I have first categorized dissertation titles by any major philosopher mentioned in the title (i.e., who is the primary historical figure this dissertation is engaging with?).  Second, if there was no historical figure mentioned, or that historical figure was only mentioned once or twice in all of the dissertation titles, I tried to topically categorize the dissertation along common themes I saw.  Here are the results:

(1) Social and Political Philosophy at 14%, (2) History of Philosophy at 8%, and (3) Ethics at 8%.

 

image

Moving Forward: What Next?

This report comes from a small number of schools, some of which do not have complete data.  In moving this report forward, I’d like to:

1. Add more schools oriented towards Continental philosophy.  If your school’s philosophy program is oriented towards Continental philosophy and you would like to see how it compares with the schools listed here, please send me a .csv file, using the same columns and meanings that I have given here and here.  Or at least send me the name of the school and where I can get the data, and I will work on adding it as soon as possible.

In particular, the New School for Social Research has been recommended to me on several occasions.  If you have a connection with this philosophy department and can provide some placement data, please let me know.

2. If you believe I have grossly misrepresented your school and would like me to correct it, please send me a .csv file, using the same columns and meanings that I have given here and here, with all of the corrected and complete information. I will update this article as often as necessary to keep the data current, correct, and fair.

3. I’d like to do a similar report for MA programs that are oriented towards continental philosophy.  However, I have not been able to find much data on these programs and I have not received any data from them thus far.  If you have access to this data, please send it along.

4.  If you have any suggestions about how to make this report better, please send me an email.

Finally, if you know any students in or currently considering graduate school in Continental philosophy, please send them a link to this article.  I know I would have benefited greatly from an article like this when I was weighing my decision to continue pursuing academic philosophy, and I am sure they will too.

Thanks,

Andy Carson
pn_logo16x16_thumb1Philosophy News

How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang

Considering a graduate degree for the purposes of teaching in higher education? Beware. The academic job structure is similar to that of a drug gang, and it won’t work in your favor. See here for the full story...

Considering a graduate degree for the purposes of teaching in higher education?  Beware.  The academic job structure is similar to that of a drug gang, and it won’t work in your favor.  See here for the full story : http://alexandreafonso.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/how-academia-resembles-a-drug-gang/

Rochester Moves to Top 10!

With some updated and new data, the University of Rochester has moved into the top 10 of current tenure-track/permanent/tenured placements! It sits at number 8 with 72% of all current graduates since 2000 having one of these types of positions.

With some updated and new data, the University of Rochester has moved into the top 10 of current tenure-track/permanent/tenured placements!  It sits at number 8 with 72% of all current graduates since 2000 having one of these types of positions.  See what else has changed by clicking here!

Trending Topics and Words in Philosophy Dissertations

What are the hot topics of philosophical dissertations since 2000? Click here to find out which words are most common in these dissertation titles.

What are the hot topics in philosophical dissertations since 2000?  Using the approximately 2,000 dissertation titles (excluding all “Unknown” dissertations) I had collected for other analyses, I separated out each word in a single title and put it into a column with all of the words from other titles.  The combined result was approximately 16,500 individual words (so about 5 words per title), and of those, about 3,400 distinct words.  After removing common and uninteresting words like “the” and “and”, I found how many times each word was used in this collection of dissertation title words. (Note: I did not correct for misspellings.  The words are as I found them in the placement records.)

Which words were the most popular? 

In first, the word “Theory” was used 177 times, meaning that 9% of dissertation titles used this word.  In second, “Philosophy” was used 98 times.  And in third, “Ethics” was used 76 times.  Here are the top 100 results.

Word WordCount
THEORY 177
PHILOSOPHY 98
ETHICS 76
DEFENSE 62
KNOWLEDGE 57
NATURE 56
PHILOSOPHICAL 55
EPISTEMOLOGY 55
METAPHYSICS 53
SCIENCE 53
MIND 46
POLITICAL 45
ETHICAL 45
ACTION 45
EPISTEMIC 43
ACCOUNT 42
PRACTICAL 42
PROBLEM 42
LANGUAGE 42
REASON 42
STUDY 40
APPROACH 40
MORAL 38
VIRTUE 38
SCIENTIFIC 37
MEANING 36
IDENTITY 36
AGENCY 36
EXPLANATION 36
LOGIC 35
TOWARD 35
SOCIAL 34
HUMAN 34
JUSTIFICATION 33
ESSAY 33
WHAT 33
CONTENT 32
THOUGHT 31
REASONS 31
REALISM 30
CRITIQUE 29
GOOD 29
MENTAL 29
NATURAL 29
FOUNDATIONS 28
CRITICAL 28
ESSAYS 28
CAUSATION 28
COGNITIVE 28
TRUTH 28
TIME 27
UNDERSTANDING 27
VALUE 27
SELF 27
RESPONSIBILITY 27
THEORIES 27
SEMANTICS 27
FREEDOM 27
INTERPRETATION 27
PERCEPTION 26
ROLE 26
SKEPTICISM 25
ARISTOTLE 25
NEW 24
LAW 24
PSYCHOLOGY 24
WORLD 24
RATIONALITY 23
NORMATIVITY 23
AUTONOMY 23
CONCEPTS 23
CONCEPTUAL 22
BETWEEN 22
ANALYSIS 22
NORMATIVE 22
REPRESENTATION 22
WITTGENSTEIN 22
STRUCTURE 21
OBJECTIVITY 21
ABSTRACT 21
EXPERIENCE 21
CONTEMPORARY 20
ONTOLOGY 20
LIFE 20
INQUIRY 20
HUME 20
PLATO 19
MATHEMATICS 19
ART 19
BEING 19
COGNITION 19
QUANTUM 19
PERSONAL 18
HEGEL 18
HEIDEGGER 18
JOHN 17
LIBERALISM 17
MAKING 17
MODAL 17
NIETZSCHE 17

Which word pairings/trios were the most popular?

It had been suggested to me that I should look at word clusters, that is, which words appear together often, in the dissertation titles.  These will be more revealing of the topic being discussed in the dissertation.  Once again, I split up each of the words in a dissertation title, but I kept track of which were associated with a specific dissertation.  Then I matched each word with every other word in the same dissertation and then found the most common pairings and trios.  Below are the approximately 180 most common and interesting pairings I found (counts > 3) and the 2 interesting trios (counts > 3) (Note: I have tried to get rid of repeats, but I may have missed some):

Pairs:

Word1 Word2 PairCount
PHILOSOPHY SCIENCE 15
PERSONAL IDENTITY 13
PRACTICAL REASON 13
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 11
VIRTUE ETHICS 11
MENTAL CAUSATION 10
THEORY TOWARD 10
TOWARD THEORY 10
THEORY DEFENSE 10
THEORY MIND 8
FREEDOM WILL 8
THREE ESSAYS 8
EPISTEMIC JUSTIFICATION 8
NATURAL PHILOSOPHY 7
MATHEMATICS PHILOSOPHY 7
ETHICAL THEORY 7
TRUTH THEORY 7
QUANTUM MECHANICS 7
FREE WILL 7
ANALYSIS PHILOSOPHICAL 6
SEMANTICS LOGIC 6
QUA PROBLEM 6
FOLK PSYCHOLOGY 6
THEORY CONTENT 6
HUME TREATISE 6
QUANTUM THEORY 6
PHILOSOPHICAL THEORY 6
LANGUAGE THOUGHT 6
POLITICAL IDEAL 6
BEING TIME 6
MAKING SENSE 6
MILITARY ETHIC 6
SOCIAL THEORY 6
THOMAS AQUINAS 6
HUMAN NATURE 6
CONTENT THEORY 6
PROBLEM QUA 6
GOOD WHAT 6
ACTION THEORY 5
BUSINESS ETHICS 5
CAUSATION METAPHYSICS 5
CONTENT MENTAL 5
CRITICAL THEORY 5
CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY 5
EARLY PHILOSOPHY 5
ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS 5
EPISTEMOLOGY UNDERSTANDING 5
ETHICAL NATURE 5
ETHICAL ETHICS 5
EXPLANATION THEORY 5
FOUNDATIONS THEORY 5
GOOD THEORY 5
HABERMAS THEORY 5
IDENTITY THEORY 5
INQUIRY INTO 5
INTUITIONS PHILOSOPHICAL 5
MENTAL REPRESENTATION 5
MENTAL CONTENT 5
METAPHYSICS CAUSATION 5
MIND SCIENCE 5
MODAL LOGIC 5
NEW THEORY 5
NORMATIVE THEORY 5
PHILOSOPHICAL INTUITIONS 5
PHILOSOPHY MIND 5
PHILOSOPHY LANGUAGE 5
POLITICAL OBLIGATIONS 5
PRACTICAL REASONS 5
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN 5
SCIENCE MIND 5
SCIENTIFIC REALISM 5
SEMANTICS MEANING 5
THEORY GOOD 5
THEORY EXPLANATION 5
THEORY FOUNDATIONS 5
VIRTUE THEORY 5
WITTGENSTEIN LANGUAGE 5
WITTGENSTEIN TRACTATUS 5
ACCOUNT ACTION 4
BAYESIAN THEORY 4
BEING METAPHYSICS 4
BEING HEIDEGGER 4
BELIEF LANGUAGE 4
CAUSATION PROBLEM 4
CAUSATION THEORY 4
CAUSATION EXPLANATION 4
COLLECTIVE ACTION 4
CONTEXT SCIENCE 4
CONTEXT JUSTIFICATION 4
CRITICAL EXAMINATION 4
DECISION THEORY 4
DEFENSE EPISTEMIC 4
DEMOCRATIC THEORY 4
DIRECT REALISM 4
DIVINE LEIBNIZ 4
EARLY CENTURY 4
EPISTEMIC DEFENSE 4
EPISTEMIC THEORY 4
EPISTEMIC KNOWLEDGE 4
EPISTEMOLOGY JUSTIFICATION 4
EPISTEMOLOGY SCIENTIFIC 4
EPISTEMOLOGY PROBLEM 4
ESSAY PHILOSOPHY 4
ESSAYS PHILOSOPHICAL 4
ETHIC TOWARD 4
EXPLANATION CAUSATION 4
FREE DEFENSE 4
FREEDOM HEGEL 4
GETTING IT 4
GOD SKEPTICISM 4
GRAMMAR MATHEMATICS 4
HEIDEGGER BEING 4
HUMAN ETHICS 4
IDEAL THEORY 4
IDEAL OBLIGATIONS 4
IDENTITY RESPONSIBILITY 4
INTELLIGENT BEHAVIOR 4
INTERPERSONAL SHARED 4
INTERPRETATION THEORY 4
JOHN LOCKE 4
JUSTIFICATION EPISTEMOLOGY 4
JUSTIFICATION CONTEXT 4
KANT REASON 4
LANGUAGE BELIEF 4
LEIBNIZ DIVINE 4
LOGICAL FORM 4
MARTIN HEIDEGGER 4
MATHEMATICS GRAMMAR 4
MEANING THEORY 4
MENTAL PROBLEM 4
METAPHYSICAL FOUNDATIONS 4
METAPHYSICS PHILOSOPHY 4
METAPHYSICS PROBLEM 4
METAPHYSICS BEING 4
MORAL PSYCHOLOGY 4
NATURAL SCIENCE 4
NATURALIZED EPISTEMOLOGY 4
NATURE REASON 4
NEW APPROACH 4
NORMATIVE ETHICS 4
OBLIGATIONS IDEAL 4
PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS 4
PHILOSOPHICAL STUDY 4
PHILOSOPHY ESSAY 4
PHILOSOPHY METAPHYSICS 4
PLATO REPUBLIC 4
POLITICAL AUTHORITY 4
POLITICAL THEORY 4
POSSIBLE WORLDS 4
PRACTICAL AGENCY 4
PRACTICAL THEORY 4
PROBLEM APPROACH 4
PROBLEM METAPHYSICS 4
PROBLEM EPISTEMOLOGY 4
PROBLEM CAUSATION 4
REASON NATURE 4
REASON KANT 4
RESPONSIBILITY IDENTITY 4
RULE LAW 4
SCIENCE CONTEXT 4
SCIENCE SCIENTIFIC 4
SCIENTIFIC EPISTEMOLOGY 4
SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION 4
SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE 4
SHARED INTERPERSONAL 4
SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY 4
SPATIAL REPRESENTATION 4
SPINOZA THEORY 4
STATE NEUTRALITY 4
STUDY CASE 4
THEORY KNOWLEDGE 4
THEORY INTERPRETATION 4
THEORY TIME 4
THEORY MEANING 4
THEORY SPINOZA 4
THEORY PRACTICAL 4
TIME THEORY 4
TOWARD ETHIC 4
TOWARD UNDERSTANDING 4
VIRTUE EPISTEMOLOGY 4

Trios:

After controlling for dissertation titles that used the same word multiple times in their title (e.g., “Military”), I only found 2 trios that were used more than 3 times in separate dissertations.  But perhaps someone else can find more…

Word1 Word2 Word3 TrioCount
Causation Mental Problem 4
Free Will Defense 4

 

Which words were the Most Unusual/Surprising?

Which words/topics would it be surprising to find in a dissertation title?  Here are some that I found which jumped out at me and which were used more than once:

Word Count of Word
LOVE 9
SPIRIT 5
SHAME 4
SILENCE 4
FAILURE 4
SECESSION 3
SEX 3
MILITARY 3
HOPE 3
DOUBT 3
BUDDHISM 2
FORREST 2
ARMCHAIR 2
COUCH 2
SLAVES 2
SEXUAL 2
GANGSTER 2
ANATOMY 2
UNIVERSE 2
HONEYBEE 2
CONFESSION 2
RESCUE 2
ENTRENCHMENT 2

What do you notice?

Click below to download the full dataset of dissertation titles (approximately 2,000). Please post in the comments below anything interesting that you find in the dataset.  Thanks!

DissertationTitles.csv (122.14 kb)

PhD Placement Report: Updates to Data

The data and charts for the PhD placement report have been significantly updated. See here for the specific details. New and updated data is from Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Brown University, and the University of Toronto.

The data and charts for the PhD placement report have been significantly updated.  See here for the specific details.  New and updated data is from Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Brown University, and the University of Toronto. Most notably, Northwestern University is no longer in the top 3 when it comes to current placement in tenure-track/permanent/tenured positions.  However, it is still in the top 10.  Click here to view the updated report and find out what else has changed...

Graduate School Philosophy Placement Records In the US/CA: Prestige Placement Rankings

In this report, we rank PhD programs in philosophy according to how well they place schools based on the prestige of their (1) Terminal MA Philosophy program placements, (2) PhD philosophy program placements, (3) US News National University placements, and (4) US News Liberal Arts placements.

pr_prestige

In this report, we rank PhD programs in philosophy according to how well they place schools based on the prestige of their (1) Terminal MA Philosophy program placements, (2) PhD philosophy program placements, (3) US News National University placements, and (4) US News Liberal Arts placements.

 

Other Reports

pr_phdThe Placement Report for Ph.D. Programs
pr_terminalmaThe Placement Report for Terminal MA Programs
pr_contentialThe Placement Report for Continental Philosophy

The Motivation: Why do this Study?

In my initial work on philosophy placement records, I received a lot of feedback and criticism regarding my ranking of programs by job placement type, that is, by the ratio of students that receive a tenure-track/permanent position upon graduation to all graduating students, and the ratio of students that are currently in a tenure-track/permanent/Tenured position to all graduating students.  As my main goal in that article was to focus on the question, "Will I get a Job?", it seemed appropriate to me to focus simply on that question.

While I do think this sort of ranking is important in its own right (since some students will only/mostly care about getting a stable position, no matter where it is), I do agree that this is not the whole story when it comes to placement.  As such, I have worked on a way to measure the quality of placement (i.e., the rank of the school) as opposed to merely the kind of placement (i.e., tenure-track/permanent, post-doc/researcher, lecturer/temporary).  I do want to present as much of the full picture as I can regarding placement, so these efforts are an attempt to round out and complete the analysis.

The Method : How the Report was Created

I already had all of the placement data that I had collected for the previous article.  However, I needed a way to measure the quality of placement, both initially and currently, for each PhD program.  I found four sources to use for doing this.  The first is the terminal MA programs in philosophy rankings from the Leiter Report.  I found the average rank for each MA program from 2002 onwards, and then matched that rank up with each PhD placement to that school.  Then I found the average overall MA placement rank for each PhD program, weighted the rank by the percentage of students from the PhD program that went there, and then ranked PhD programs in order based on that weighted ranking.  Second, I used the PhD rankings from the Leiter Report to find the overall PhD placement rank using the same method as I did for the MA rankings.  Thus, these two sources can be used to measure the best overall placement into philosophy departments.

Third, I used the 2013 US News National University rankings to find the overall National University placement rank for each PhD program, using the same methods as before.  Fourth,  I used the 2013 US News Liberal Arts College rankings to find the overall Liberal Arts College placement rank for each PhD program, using the same methods as before. Thus, these two sources can be used to measure the best overall placement into universities and colleges in the US from the standpoint of which universities and colleges are currently ranked the best overall.

Each of these four methods provides a different insight into the sort of placement one can expect from a school, and as such, each can be used or not depending on a prospective student's interest.  If he or she wants to work at the best liberal arts college possible but wants to avoid a large university and doesn't care as much about the quality of the philosophy department, then the liberal arts rankings will be the most useful.  If a student wants to be in a great philosophy department, but does not care about the quality of the school overall, then the first two rankings will be most helpful.

(Note: there are close to 1,000 distinct schools mentioned in the placement data, and over 500 schools mentioned in the US News rankings, and sometimes, the names aren't exactly the same, even when it is the same school.  Please be patient with me while I working on normalizing the names so that they are consistent throughout, and as such, properly represented in the dataset. Further, the definition of quality I’m using in this study is a factor of the rankings determined by the sources I note above. Many consider quality to be somewhat of a subjective measure and I’m making no claims about a particular school’s quality all things considered. This is a study based on qualitative data from sources that attempt to assign a quality measure but I acknowledge that an individual’s assessment of a quality program may differ dramatically from the assessment given in those sources.)

The Meat: Which PhD Programs Have the Best Prestige Placement Rankings?

1. Prestige Rankings by Placement into Best MA Philosophy Program Departments

The following lists the rank of each PhD program according to how well it initially placed graduates into the best departments featuring a terminal MA in philosophy.  The columns mean the following things (note: these will have the same meanings for each list).

PhDSchool - The PhD program that is doing the placement

AvgOverallRank (AOR)- The average overall rank of all of the MA schools (PhD schools / National Universities / Liberal Arts colleges) that a graduate was placed at.

RatioOfRankedPlacements (RRP)- The ratio of students placed into these MA schools (PhD schools / National Universities / Liberal Arts colleges) compared with the total number of graduates from that school.

WeightedRank (WR)- The AvgOverallRank / RatioOfRankedPlacements.

PlacementRankScore (PRS) - The ranking of the school based on the WeightedRank (from low to high)

Why is the weighted rank necessary? Because not all schools are ranked, I needed a way to compensate for the ratio of students each school sent to a highly ranked program.  It wouldn't be fair if a school that only sent 1 student to a number 1 program ranked higher than a school that sent 100 students to a number 1 program and 1 student to a number 2 program.  Clearly, the ratio of students going to a ranked school should make a difference in how each PhD program is ranked.

Using the following list as an example, we can see that MIT and Stanford have the same AvgOverallRank. However, MIT has sent more of its students to these #1 schools then Stanford has.  So shouldn't it be ranked higher? I judge that is should. Similarly, the University of California, Berkeley has an AvgOverallRank of 2 while the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor has an AvgOverallRank  of 7.4.  However, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor has sent nearly 10% of its students to highly ranked MA programs while UC, Berkeley has sent only 2% of its graduates.  Imagine that we added 10 more ranked MA programs, and UC, Berkeley had more placements to these schools than Michigan did.  Then its AvgOverallRank would be much lower.  However, since these programs are not currently being counted, it looks as though UC, Berkeley has a better MA placement than Michigan does, when in fact, the reverse may be true. Thus, the weighted rank compensates for the ratio of PhD students being sent from a department and for the lack of rankings for all schools.  A PhD program that places most of its students in moderately high programs should rank more highly than a school with very few students that end up in very highly ranked programs, since the former normally has a better placement record than the latter.  As such, the weighted rank better represents the normal placement of a school.

Now on to the rankings.  In order, the PhD programs that have the best INITIAL placement of students who place into great terminal MA philosophy departments are (1) MIT, (2) Stanford, and (3) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.   Here is the full list of all PhD programs that have initially placed students into great terminal MA philosophy departments:

In order, the PhD programs that have the best CURRENT placement of students who place into great terminal MA philosophy departments are (1) Stanford, (2) MIT, and (3) New York University.   Here is the full list of all PhD programs whose graduates are currently in great terminal MA philosophy departments:

2. Prestige Rankings by Placement into Best PhD Philosophy Program Departments

In order, the PhD programs that have the best INITIAL placement of students who place into great terminal PhD philosophy departments are (1) New York University, (2) MIT, and (3) Princeton University.   Here is the full list of all PhD programs that have initially placed students into great PhD philosophy departments:

In order, the PhD programs that have the best CURRENT placement of students who place into great PhD philosophy departments are(1) New York University, (2) MIT, and (3) Princeton University.   Here is the full list of all PhD programs whose graduates are currently in great PhD philosophy departments:

3.  Prestige Rankings by Placement into Best National Universities

In order, the PhD programs that have the best INITIAL placement of students who place into great National Universities are (1) Carnegie Mellon University, (2) MIT, and (3) University of California, Berkeley.   Here is the full list of all PhD programs that have initially placed students into great National Universities departments:

In order, the PhD programs that have the best CURRENT placement of students who place into great National Universities are (1) Carnegie Mellon University, (2) MIT, and (3) New York University.   Here is the full list of all PhD programs whose graduates are currently in great National Universities departments:

4.  Prestige Rankings by Placement into Best Liberal Arts Colleges

In order, the PhD programs that have the best INITIAL placement of students who place into great Liberal Arts Colleges are (1) New York University, (2) University of Pennsylvania, and (3) University of California, Riverside.   Here is the full list of all PhD programs that have initially placed students into great Liberal Arts Colleges:

In order, the PhD programs that have the best CURRENT placement of students who place into great Liberal Arts Colleges are(1) Washington University, St. Louis, (2) Harvard University, and (3) University of Chicago.   Here is the full list of all PhD programs whose graduates are currently in great Liberal Arts Colleges (Note: Washington University's ranking is based on one student placing very highly.  After the school names have been normalized, I expect this rank to drop significantly.  However, to be consistent, I am leaving it as is for now):

Moving Forward: What Next?

There are lots of rankings here, and I suspect that each ranking will be more appropriate for some students compared with others.  Think about what matters most to you.  At what sort of school do you want to end up teaching initially?  At what sort of school do you want to end up teaching eventually?  A one-size-fits-all ranking system does not make sense for a diverse group of students with different goals and desires, so use these rankings along with other rankings (e.g., faculty rankings, job type placements) and other considerations (e.g., location, funding) you have to make your own ranking of schools, a ranking that suits you best.

Feel free to send me comments and suggestions on this report.

Thanks,

Andy Carson
pn_logo16x16Philosophy News

How Long Is Placement Data Useful?

How long is placement data good for? How far back should students look to gain a sense of a school's placement record? Answer our survey and let us know what you think.

Schools make placement records publicly available for many years after a student has graduated.  In my research, I have seen information about past graduates going back as far as 1920!  However, such information will hardly be useful to any prospective students wanting to get a sense for how a school is currently placing students.  But there is a definite tension here. 

 If we include too much placement data into our dataset, then we will have a hard time seeing new developments and trends in a school's placement.  For example, a PhD program may have hired the best faculty available (or it may have lost great faculty) in the past 5 years, and so its placement record should be really great (or really decline) from those years forward.  However, if we include placement data from 10 to 15 years ago, the school's record will look worse (or a lot better) than what is actually relevant for that prospective student.

On the other hand, it takes time for students to settle into a long term position.  The results of an initial placement are immediate, though to see a good representation of a school's immediate placement, several years will be required at least to get a good sample.  Current placements are not immediate, and sometimes a school's current placement record will not really show fruit for perhaps 5 to 7 years after a student has graduated (after doing post-docs and gaining teaching experience through temporary positions).

What is the right balance?  In general, how long is a school's placement data relevant and useful for prospective students?  Let us know what you think by selecting the answer you most agree with.  Thanks!

How long is placement data good for? That is, for how many years is a school's placement record relevant to a prospective student?






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