Philosophy PhD Programs: King's College London and University of Illinois at Chicago

In this blog post I provide some detailed, up-to-date information about two philosophy PhD programs. This week's picks are King's College London and University of Illinois at Chicago. 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.

tl;dr

  • KCL is a much bigger program than UIC
  • Yet, UIC has a much better placement record
  • KCL appears to focus on LEMM, whereas UIC appears to have a focus on History and Traditions
  • UIC has above average racial/ethnic diversity
  • Ratings from past and present UIC students are also higher than average, with an especially high rating for teaching preparation

Overall placement, 2012-present
KCL appears to have had 61 graduates in this period, whereas UIC appears to have had 24. Of KCL's 61 graduates, 58 went into academic or unknown employment, and they placed 11 of these into tenure-track or other permanent academic positions (19%), with 6 of these in a program that offers a PhD in philosophy (10%). UIC placed 11 into permanent academic positions of 23 in academic or unknown positions (48%), with 3 in a philosophy program with a PhD (13%). Of KCL's other graduates, 15 are in postdoctoral or fellowship positions, 13 are in other temporary academic positions, 3 are in nonacademic positions, and 19 have no or unknown placement. (KCL's placement page is incomplete, intentionally covering only about 2/3 of its graduates, so I had to look for dissertation records to determine all of the graduates, and in many cases could not determine current employment.) Of UIC's other graduates, 10 have temporary academic placements, 1 is in a nonacademic position, and 2 have no or unknown placement. The average salary of UIC graduates is $76,333, and 86% preferred an academic job. (Too few KCL graduates answered these questions to report.)

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, 39% of KCL students are in LEMM, 18% are in Value Theory, 24% are in History and Traditions, and 19% Science, Logic and Math. 21% of UIC students are in LEMM, 21% are in Value Theory, 30% are in History and Traditions, and 27% are in Science, Logic and Math. For KCL, the majority of graduates 2012 onward placed into permanent academic positions were in LEMM (55%), whereas for UIC they were in History and Traditions (55%).

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.

Diversity
Including all past graduates and current students, 33% of those from KCL are women, as are 32% of UIC 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, 10% of those who answered questions about race and ethnicity from KCL and 27% from UIC 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 UIC were first generation college students. (Too few students from KCL answered this question 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 KCL and UIC did not provide 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 UIC students selected "somewhat likely," on average (4.3, n=8). (Too few students from KCL answered this question 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," UIC students selected "very satisfied" (4.6, n=7).

In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the advice and preparation this program provides to its graduate students for academic research," UIC students selected "satisfied" (4.1, n=7).

In response to: "Rate your satisfaction with the financial support this program provides for its graduate students," UIC students selected "satisfied" (4.0, n=7).

Public Comments

KCL students provided one public comment on the program overall:

My PhD granting institution is an internationally top-notch department with a world-class reputation. I have immense respect for the work of the current faculty there. However, the current faculty are also quite narrowly focused on a few areas of philosophy. While I would have no hesitation recommending that institution to a prospective graduate student who is interested in one of those fields, the narrow focus of the department severely limits my recommendation to just any graduate student.

and one on financial support:

As a public UK university, my PhD granting institution was reasonably priced. And I had received a scholarship to help further with the tuition. However, there was no opportunity for a stipend and limited opportunities for paid teaching assignments. However, one positive point was that the department was quite generous in offering financial help to graduate students who were travel to conferences.

(UIC students did not leave any public comments.)

Next week I hope to look at Stanford University and Australian National University. Feedback is welcome, at apda@ucmerced.edu.

Link to this post at: http://placementdata.com:8182/kclanduic/