Placement Rankings

•June 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Here is a really interesting ranking of graduate programs in philosophy based on placement. Now it’s worth noting that this is based on the self-reported information that folks post on Leiter’s blog regarding hiring– but still, it’s interesting, and perhaps worth keeping in mind when you think about where to apply.



•May 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I thought it might be useful for prospective graduate philosophy applicants if someone put together a place where they could find some of the resources others are using, so here it is (well, here it is in progress). I suspect any one who finds this has already found at least some of these resources on their own, but it might be helpful to have a place where we can put the links all together.

Be sure to check out the other pages listed in the column to the right (that’s where most of the information is).

Finding ways to stand out

•May 20, 2011 • 1 Comment

Given that there are vastly more well-qualified applicants than there are available spots in graduate programs, I tried to think about ways I could help my application stand out. Most people will have excellent letters of recommendation (in fact, some of my undergraduate professors would not write recommendations at all unless they were sure they could honestly write an excellent letter), most people will have given conference presentations, most will have excellent grades, etc., etc.– so I didn’t think I could count on this sort of stuff to set me apart; I tried to find other ways to make my application interesting. To be frank, I have absolutely no idea what worked and what didn’t. I have no idea why some admissions committees chose my application over others. That said, here’s a couple of things I did (that I did not do my first time applying)…

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How competitive is the application process?

•April 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Very (I know, informative right?).

But really, on a recent post about graduate admissions on Leiter Reports, Mark Schroeder (USC), commented “This year at USC we had just over 130 applications. Of those, no more than five were weak enough to be ‘not serious candidates’.” And actually 130 seems like a relatively low number of total applicants to me, when compared to the number of applications other schools received this year. I imagine it becomes even more competitive, the more applications a program receives in a given year.  

To put it in perspective, Columbia Law School’s acceptance Rate is about 16%; Harvard Law School, 11%; Yale Law School, 7%; Cornell Law School, 21%. Of the schools I was accepted to this year, the highest acceptance rate (that I know of, and not including waitlists) was about 10%, and the lowest was 3%.

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Alternative program guides

•March 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This list of helpful guides to programs was shared by maxhgns in a comment, but I thought I’d put it in a post instead so it would be easier for folks to find:

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Deciding between offers

•March 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Dr. Keith DeRose wrote a post on the subject, here, and Dr. Richard Heck’s advice is available here.

There are a number of factors you’ll want to consider, and this is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some things to think about:

Funding. Getting a PhD isn’t going to have the same sort of financial return as e.g., an MBA would. In fact, I strongly suspect that many philosophers could make more money if they worked in a different field. In the current job market (here’s hoping it changes soon!) this should be an even bigger concern since there may not be a job for you at the end of the tunnel. So with that in mind, better funding should count in favor of an offer. And don’t forget to compare costs of living (helpful website for that, here).

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External funding for graduate school

•March 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Funding will no doubt be important to you in deciding where you will ultimately study, but it will also be important to the schools where you apply. Most graduate programs will offer funding in the way of tuition remission and some sort of fellowship or stipend—which means that schools are limited in the number of applicants they can accept by how many spots they can afford to fill. If you can find external funding, you may increase your chances of admission (and for students interested in studying in the UK — where funding is difficult to come by — external funding may be your only option) . Below are some external funding opportunities you may want to check out. 

Note: The earlier you can look into this the better—if can get external funding, you will definitely want to make note of this in your applications.

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