In this blog post I provide some detailed, up-to-date information about two philosophy PhD programs. This week's picks are University of Miami and DePaul University. 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.
- Miami and DePaul are both mid-sized programs with above average permanent academic placement
- Miami students focus on LEMM, whereas DePaul students focus on History and Traditions
- DePaul's numbers are better than Miami's on gender and socioeconomic diversity, but not racial/ethnic diversity
- Miami students gave their program much higher ratings than DePaul students
- The biggest gap between the two was for financial support, with Miami students "satisfied" and DePaul students "unsatisfied"
Overall placement, 2012-present
Miami had 32 PhD graduates in this period, whereas DePaul had 35. Of Miami's 32 graduates, 31 went into academic or unknown employment, and they placed 15 of these into tenure-track or other permanent academic positions (48%), with 2 of these in programs that offer a PhD in philosophy (6%). DePaul placed 17 of 33 into permanent academic positions (52%), with 4 in philosophy programs with a PhD (12%).
Of Miami's other graduates, 3 are in postdoctoral or fellowship positions, 10 have other temporary academic placements, 1 is in a nonacademic positions, and 3 have no or unknown placement.
Of DePaul's other graduates, 2 are in postdoctoral or fellowship positions, 10 have other temporary positions, 2 are in nonacademic positions, and 4 have no or unknown placement.
Nonacademic positions held by graduates of Miami include teaching, whereas those held by graduates of DePaul include software engineer.
The average salary of Miami graduates is $56,384 and 100% preferred an academic job, whereas this is $56,892 and 83% for DePaul graduates.
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. The average salary of all graduates who took part in the survey is $68,542 and 90% prefer an academic job.
Areas of Specialization, by Category
Including all past and current students in the APDA database, 54% of Miami students are in Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Mind (LEMM), 35% are in Value Theory, 5% are in History and Traditions, and 5% are in Science, Logic and Math. 3% of DePaul students are in LEMM, 29% are in Value Theory, 68% are in History and Traditions, and none are in Science, Logic, and Math. For Miami, the majority of graduates 2012 onward placed into permanent academic positions were in LEMM (60%), whereas the majority of those from DePaul were in History and Traditions (82%).
Note that the current database values for all past graduates and current students are 28% in LEMM, 33% in Value Theory, 24% in History and Traditions, and 15% in Science, Logic, and Math.
Including all past graduates and current students, 21% of those from Miami are women, as are 43% of DePaul students.
The current database percentage is 31% for all past graduates and current students.
Including all past graduates and current students, 14% of those who answered questions about race and ethnicity from Miami and none from DePaul 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 21%, but this is likely inflated relative to the true population due to some of our data gathering efforts.
None* of those from Miami were first generation college students, but 60% of DePaul students reported first generation status.
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.
DePaul students provided one public comment on how philosophy could be more inclusive (Miami students did not provide any):
Ensure effective measures for redress should department members create a hostile work environment or culture of abuse. Hire in non-Western philosophy, critical race theory, feminist philosophy to attract a more diverse student population. Ensure clear consistent standards for tenure so that individuals in these fields are not only hired, but tenured. (In my experience, many people from minority backgrounds or in under-represented sub-disciplines succeed in securing jobs, only to be denied tenure.)
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 Miami students selected "somewhat likely" (4.3, n=6), whereas DePaul students selected "neither likely nor unlikely" (3.0, n=8).
"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," Miami students selected "neutral" (3.2, n=5), as did DePaul students (2.8, n=6).
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the advice and preparation this program provides to its graduate students for academic research," Miami students selected "satisfied" (3.6, n=5), whereas DePaul students selected "neutral" (2.7, n=6).
In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the financial support this program provides for its graduate students, Miami students selected "satisfied" (4.4, n=5), whereas DePaul students selected "unsatisfied" (2.2, n=6).
(Note that these comments primarily come from current students and recent graduates, but in some cases may be from non-recent graduates.)
Miami students provided public comments on preparation for teaching:
The program offers teaching opportunities to its graduate students. The program allows students to introduce courses to teach, if they take the initiative. The program could do more to prepare the graduate students for teaching, maybe by having a document with some tips for first-time teachers.
There was very little support for first time teachers. A workshop was provided after many of the graduate students requested assistance.
and on financial support:
Funding was fine for the main semesters of the academic year, but it would help if the program had some plan for summer funding.**
DePaul students provided one public comment on preparation for research:
It is generally presumed that the student will go on to publish in Continental philosophy journals, so little emphasis is placed on adopting the conventions of scholarship in top-tier journals or becoming conversant with the secondary literature in those journals.
*Since posting this I have heard from a past graduate from Miami who identifies as a first generation college student.
**Otavio Bueno and Brit Brogaard gave me some helpful updates on this:
"Every graduate student in our department has the option of being funded over the summer in the amount of $3,000. To obtain the funding, graduate students must submit a 1-page abstract for a paper they will work on over the summer. Typically, it is a paper to be written, revised or polished for publication or presentation at a conference."
Next week I hope to look at Stony Brook University and Washington University in St. Louis. Feedback is welcome, at email@example.com.