In this blog post I provide some detailed, up-to-date information about two philosophy PhD programs. This week's picks are The Catholic University of America and University of Kansas. These programs were chosen randomly, using an app called "Pickster." (Next week's picks are listed at the bottom of this post.) This information comes from the APDA database, and was updated by my research assistant, Anna Durbin, using the program's placement page and what she could find online. The running tally includes select numbers from all of the programs covered so far.
- CUA is about twice as large as Kansas, yet few students participated in the survey
- CUA has very high permanent academic placement, largely into religious institutions
- Kansas also has above average permanent academic placement, but within a broad range of institutions
- CUA students focus on History and Traditions, whereas Kansas students are in Value Theory
- Both programs have below average gender diversity, and Kansas also has below average racial/ethnic diversity
Overall placement, 2012-present
CUA had 52 PhD graduates in this period, whereas Kansas had 21. Of CUA's 52 graduates, 40 went into academic or unknown employment, and they placed 33 of these into tenure-track or other permanent academic positions (83%), with 3 of these in programs that offer a PhD in philosophy (8%). Kansas placed 10 of 19 into permanent academic positions (53%), with none in philosophy programs with a PhD.
Of CUA's other graduates, 4 have temporary academic placements, 12 are in nonacademic positions, and 3 have no or unknown placement.
Of Kansas's other graduates, 6 are in temporary academic positions, 2 are in nonacademic positions, and 3 have no or unknown placement.
The average salary of Kansas graduates is $48,496 and 100% preferred an academic job, whereas too few CUA graduates provided salary information to report.
The current database values for all 2012 and later graduates now in permanent academic positions, out of those in academic positions overall, is 42%, with 14% in programs that offer a PhD in philosophy.
Areas of Specialization, by Category
Including all past and current students in the APDA database, 24% of CUA students are in LEMM, 18% are in Value Theory, 52% are in History and Traditions, and 6% are in Science, Logic and Math. 25% of Kansas students are in LEMM, 46% are in Value Theory, 25% are in History and Traditions, and 4% are in Science, Logic, and Math. For Kansas, 40% of graduates 2012 onward placed into permanent academic positions were in LEMM and 40% were in Value Theory, whereas the plurality of those from CUA were in History and Traditions (45%).
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, 15% of those from CUA are women, as are 22% of Kansas students.
The current database percentage is 31% for all past graduates and current students.
Including all past graduates and current students, 11% of those who answered questions about race and ethnicity from Kansas identified as something other than White, non-Hispanic. (Too few from CUA provided this information 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 from Kansas and CUA provided socioeconomic information 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.
(Students from Kansas and CUA did not provide public comments on how philosophy could be more inclusive.)
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 Kansas students selected "neither likely nor unlikely" (3.2, n=6), whereas too few CUA students provided this information 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.
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the advice and preparation this program provides to its graduate students for undergraduate teaching," Kansas students selected "very satisfied" (4.7, n=6).
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the advice and preparation this program provides to its graduate students for academic research," Kansas students selected "neutral" (3.2, n=6).
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the financial support this program provides for its graduate students, Kansas students selected "satisfied" (4.0, n=6).
(Note that these comments primarily come from current students and recent graduates, but in some cases may be from non-recent graduates.)
CUA students provided public comments on the program overall:
Strong program in the history of philosophy with emphasis on the Catholic tradition. Many professors not merely historians but philosophers in their own right.
The program provided a thorough grounding in the history of philosophy, which opened up innumerable avenues for understanding contemporary philosophical problems in novel ways.
Kansas students did not provide any public comments.
Over the next two weeks I plan to take time off work. In the new year I hope to look at Institut Jean Nicod and University of California, Irvine. Feedback is welcome, at firstname.lastname@example.org.