In this blog post I provide some detailed, up-to-date information about two philosophy PhD programs. This week's picks are University of Cincinnati and University of South Carolina. These programs were chosen randomly, using an app called "Pickster." (Next week's picks are listed at the bottom of this post.) I updated this information myself, using the program's placement page and what I could find online. I aim to construct these posts with an eye to what can be seen about the programs from the APDA data set alone. This information has come from several sources, including current students and graduates. Prospective graduate students should look at the websites for the programs, linked above, for more complete information. The running tally includes select numbers from all of the programs covered so far.
- Both are small programs, and in South Carolina's case there were too few survey participants to report many of the numbers
- Both have close to average placement into permanent academic positions (Cincinnati a bit above, South Carolina a bit below)
- Cincinnati students specialize in Science, Logic, and Math, but South Carolina students are pretty evenly split across AOS categories
- Both are close to average on gender diversity, but Cincinnati has good racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity
- Students of both programs rate it slightly higher than average
Overall placement, 2012-present
Cincinnati appears to have had 12 graduates in this period, whereas South Carolina has had 14. Cincinnati placed 5 of these graduates into tenure-track or other permanent academic positions (42%), with none of these in programs that offer a PhD in philosophy. South Carolina placed 4 into permanent academic positions (29%), likewise with none in programs that offer a PhD. Of Cincinnati's other graduates, 1 is in a postdoctoral or fellowship position, 3 have other temporary academic placements, 1 is in a nonacademic position, and 2 have no or unknown placement. Of South Carolina's other graduates, 1 is in a postdoctoral or fellowship position, 7 have other temporary academic placements, and 2 are in nonacademic positions. Cincinnati graduates reported an average salary of $54,760 and 89% preferred an academic position. Too few South Carolina graduates provided this information to report.
Note that the overall proportion of 2012-2016 graduates from the 135 programs tracked by APDA in permanent academic positions is 36%, with 11% in PhD granting programs. The current database values for all 2012 and later graduates are 37% and 12%, respectively, with an overall average salary of $71,879.
Areas of Specialization, by Category
Including all past and current students in the APDA database, 27% of Cincinnati students are in LEMM, 17% are in Value Theory, 3% are in History and Traditions, and 53% Science, Logic and Math. 11% of South Carolina students are in LEMM, 26% are in Value Theory, 42% are in History and Traditions, and 21% are in Science, Logic and Math. For Cincinnati, the majority of graduates 2012 onward placed into permanent academic positions were in Science, Logic, and Math (80%), whereas for South Carolina they were split evenly between the four categories.
Note that the current database values for all past graduates and current students are 27% in LEMM, 34% in Value Theory, 24% in History and Traditions, and 15% in Science, Logic, and Math.
Including all past graduates and current students, 27% of those from Cincinnati are women (20% of current students, 31% of past graduates), and 33% of South Carolina students are women (all past graduates).
29% is the overall proportion reported by APDA in 2017. Current database values are 31% for all past graduates and current students, 37% for current students, and 28% for past graduates.
Including all past graduates and current students, 23% of those who answered questions about race and ethnicity from Cincinnati identified as something other than White, non-Hispanic. Too few from South Carolina provided this information to report.
13% is the overall proportion reported by APDA in 2017. The current percentage in the database is 15%.
57% of Cincinnati students were first generation, spanning the lower middle to upper middle classes. Too few South Carolina students provided this information to report.
The percentage of all survey respondents who are first generation college students is 23.3% (CI: 20.7% to 26.0%), compared to 31% for all United States doctoral degree recipients in 2015.
South Carolina students did not provide public comments on how philosophy could be more inclusive, but Cincinnati students provided one:
true##(1) cohort hires (2) targeted recruitment at all levels from undergraduates to tenure track faculty (3) collaboration with historically more diverse disciplines/departments for split-hires (4) prioritizing subdisciplines that tend to be more diverse (for example: feminisms, critical race theory, applied ethics, queer theory, and similar areas)
In response to the question: "How likely would you be to recommend the program from which you obtained or will obtain your PhD to prospective philosophy students?" past and current Cincinnati students selected "somewhat likely," on average (4.2, n=9). South Carolina students also selected "somewhat likely" (4.4, n=5). Neither Cincinnati nor South Carolina has a moderate or higher correlation between graduation year and program rating. Of 65 programs with at least 10 survey participants who are past graduates, 15 had moderate negative correlations between these values, 6 had moderate positive correlations, and there is a slight negative overall correlation of -.07.
"Somewhat likely," 4.0, is the average rating reported in 2017. The current database overall average is the same, with an average of 3.7 for teaching, 4.0 for research, and 3.8 for financial support.
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the advice and preparation this program provides to its graduate students for undergraduate teaching," Cincinnati students selected "satisfied" (3.7, n=7). (Too few South Carolina students provided this information to report.)
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the advice and preparation this program provides to its graduate students for academic research," Cincinnati students selected "satisfied" (4.0, n=6).
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the financial support this program provides for its graduate students," Cincinnati students selected between "neutral" and "satisfied" (3.5, n=6).
Cincinnati students left public comments about their program overall:
(1) academically strong yet accessible faculty (2) many opportunities to participate in research (3) strong interdisciplinary partnerships with other programs and departments on campus (4) faculty engaging in innovative interdisciplinary and empirically informed research (5) strong funding support
I would recommend the program for those who are interested in interdisciplinary work, especially philosophy and biology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology.
Good advisors, good philosophical community, strengths in the areas I was interested in, decent funding.
interdisciplinary nature of program
Quality of advisory, quality of teaching preparation, quality of instruction, interdisciplinary research, department community environment, location culture
on training for teaching:
(1) great deal of opportunities to teach both as a teaching assistant and as a primary instructor (2) opportunities to team teach courses with more experienced instructors (even from other disciplines) (3) faculty within the program tend to be effective teachers that are thoughtful about pedagogy and thus are particularly able to mentor those still developing their teaching skills.
and on financial support:
(1) I received consistent and robust funding throughout the time I was a graduate student within the program; the stipend I was provided was sufficient to live relatively comfortably within Cincinnati (2) I received consistent and more than adequate funding for travel throughout my time at UC; this funding allowed me to start my research program, build networks for collaborations, and become more deeply engaged in the broader discipline (3) there is -- and I received -- a large fellowship offered by the Taft Research Center, which is affiliated with UC, this fellowship allowed me to not teach during my penultimate year at UC and travel across the country to carry out interviews associated with my dissertation research
South Carolina students provided one public comment on the program overall:
My program provided a well-rounded education in academic philosophy. Professors were supportive of our professional training.
Next week I hope to look at Arizona State University and University of Alberta. Feedback is welcome, at firstname.lastname@example.org.