Philosophy PhD Programs: University of Kent and University of California, Santa Cruz

In this blog post I provide some detailed, up-to-date information about two philosophy PhD programs. This week's picks are University of Kent and University of California, Santa Cruz. 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 Kent and UCSC are small programs, with few survey respondents
  • Both have below average academic placement
  • Both have above average gender diversity, and UCSC also has above average racial/ethnic diversity

Overall placement, 2012-present
Kent appears to have had just 10 graduates in this period, whereas UCSC has had 12. Kent placed 2 of these graduates into permanent academic positions (20%), with both in programs that offer a PhD in philosophy — Kent, itself. UCSC also placed 2 into permanent academic positions (17%), neither of which were in a program that offers a PhD. Of Kent's other graduates, 2 are in postdoctoral or fellowship positions, 4 are in other temporary academic positions, and 2 are in nonacademic positions. Of UCSC's other philosophy graduates, 1 is in a postdoctoral or fellowship position, 3 have other temporary academic placements, 5 are in nonacademic positions, and 1 is in no or unknown placement. In both cases, too few graduates provided information on salary or job preference 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 $68,542 and 90% who prefer an academic job.

Areas of Specialization, by Category
Including all past and current students in the APDA database, 20% of Kent students are in LEMM, 20% are in Value Theory, 47% are in History and Traditions, and 13% Science, Logic and Math. 19% of UCSC students are in LEMM, 50% are in Value Theory, 19% are in History and Traditions, and 13% are in Science, Logic and Math. For Kent, permanent placements were split between LEMM and Value Theory. For UCSC, they were split between LEMM and History & Traditions.

Note that the current database values for all past graduates and current students are 28% in LEMM, 34% in Value Theory, 24% in History and Traditions, and 14% in Science, Logic, and Math.

Including all past graduates and current students, 33% of those from Kent are women, as are 37% of UCSC students.

29% is the overall proportion reported by APDA in 2017. The current database percentage is 31% for all past graduates and current students.

Including all past graduates and current students, 50% of those who answered questions about race and ethnicity from UCSC identified as something other than White, non-Hispanic. (Too few students from Kent responded to this question and the following questions to report.)

13% is the overall proportion reported by APDA in 2017. The percentage from the Diversity and Inclusivity survey is 14%. The current database percentage is 20%, but this is likely inflated relative to the true population due to some of our data gathering efforts.

Too few students answered questions about first generation status to report.

The percentage of all survey respondents who are first generation college students is 23.4%, compared to 31% for all United States doctoral degree recipients in 2015.

Neither Kent nor UCSC students provided public comments on how philosophy could be more inclusive.

Program Rating

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 UCSC students selected "somewhat likely" on average (3.8, n=5). Too few answered questions on the more specific questions to report.

"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, 3.9 for research, and 3.7 for financial support.

Public Comments

Kent students did not provide any public comments about the program.

UCSC students provided one:

Graduate students are required to take a teaching seminar their first two years. They are provided ample TA opportunities and the opportunity to teach their own classes during summer quarters and in their fourth and fifth years. There are a lot of opportunities to improve on teaching within the college as well. There are so many fellowships, workshops, and conferences available to help improve teaching.

Next week I hope to look at Binghamton University and University of New Mexico. Feedback is welcome, at

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