In this blog post I provide some detailed, up-to-date information about two philosophy PhD programs. This week's picks are Macquarie University and Carnegie Mellon University. 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.
- Macquarie and Carnegie Mellon are similarly sized programs
- Macquarie focuses on Value Theory, whereas Carnegie Mellon focuses on Science, Logic, and Math
- Carnegie Mellon has above average academic placement, Macquarie has below average academic placement, and both have substantial nonacademic placement
- Macquarie has above average gender diversity, but both have below average SES diversity
- Students from both programs contrast excellent preparation for research with less preparation for teaching
Overall placement, 2012-present
Macquarie appears to have had 29 graduates in this period, whereas Carnegie Mellon appears to have had 27. Of Macquarie's 29 graduates, 21 went into academic employment, and they placed 5 of these into tenure-track or other permanent academic positions (24%), with 1 of these in a program that offers a PhD in philosophy (5%). Carnegie Mellon placed 9 into permanent academic positions of 22 in academic positions (41%), with 4 in a philosophy program with a PhD (18%). Of Macquarie's other graduates, 8 are in postdoctoral or fellowship positions, 6 are in other temporary academic positions, 8 are in nonacademic positions, and 2 have no or unknown placement. Of Carnegie Mellon's other graduates, 11 are in postdoctoral or fellowship positions, 1 has another type of temporary academic placement, 5 are in nonacademic positions, and 1 has no or unknown placement. The average salary of Macquarie graduates is $73,280, and 88% preferred an academic job. The average salary of Carnegie Mellon graduates is $66,400 and 100% preferred an academic job.
Note that removing nonacademic positions from the total number of graduates is a new standard for this project. According to the old standard, 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 according to the new standard are 43% and 14%, 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, 18% of Macquarie students are in LEMM, 58% are in Value Theory, 10% are in History and Traditions, and 15% Science, Logic and Math. 5% of Carnegie Mellon students are in LEMM, 5% are in Value Theory, 0% are in History and Traditions, and 90% are in Science, Logic and Math. For Macquarie, the majority of graduates 2012 onward placed into permanent academic positions were in Value Theory (60%), whereas 100% of those from Carnegie Mellon were in Science, Logic, and Math.
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, 35% of those from Macquarie are women, as are 20% of Carnegie Mellon 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, 15% of those who answered questions about race and ethnicity from Macquarie and 13% from Carnegie Mellon identified as something other than White, non-Hispanic.
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.
17% of those from Macquarie and 0% of those from Carnegie Mellon were first generation college students.
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.
Macquarie students provided one public comment on how philosophy could be more inclusive:
The official steps have been pretty much taken. Two further suggestions might be considering minorities more in hiring processes (and not only the number of good publications) and also paying attention to seminar and discussion practices.
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 Macquarie students selected "somewhat likely," on average (4.3, n=11), whereas students from Carnegie Mellon selected "definitely would recommend" (4.8, n=6). Macquarie did not have a moderate or higher correlation between graduation year and program rating. Of 69 programs with at least 10 survey participants who are past graduates, 14 had moderate negative correlations between these values, 7 had moderate positive correlations, and there is a slight negative overall correlation of -.06.
"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.
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the advice and preparation this program provides to its graduate students for undergraduate teaching," Macquarie students selected "satisfied" (3.8, n=6), whereas Carnegie Mellon students selected "neither likely nor unlikely" (3.4, n=5).
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the advice and preparation this program provides to its graduate students for academic research," Macquarie students selected "very satisfied" (4.7, n=6), as did students from Carnegie Mellon (5.0, n=5).
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the financial support this program provides for its graduate students," Macquarie students selected "satisfied" (3.8, n=6), as did Carnegie Mellon students (3.8, n=5).
Macquarie students provided public comments on the program overall:
The research expertise of advisory faculty. The friendliness and amiability of the advisory faculty
on preparation for teaching:
No real support for undergrad teaching, I learned more about undergrad teaching through casual positions at other universities.
on preparation for research:
I had two good supervisors who were both experts in the field I was researching. That is, I had all the advice for research I asked for. In addition, library was quick and efficient in attaining research material.
and on financial support:
I had a scholarship which covered fees and provided a living allowance. The living allowance was low but normal for Australia. Tutoring was available which was a helpful supplement and, since tutoring is relatively well paid in Australia, I could get enough money to live comfortably enough with tutoring only taking up about 15-20% of my time.
Carnegie Mellon students provided one public comment on the program, with respect to financial support:
I had a perfectly reasonable fellowship. Liveable, but not luxurious.
Next week I hope to look at King's College London and University of Illinois at Chicago. Feedback is welcome, at firstname.lastname@example.org.