Second Quartile of Philosophy PhD Programs Ranked by Average Student Rating with Placement Rate and Student Comments

Last week I posted information about the top quartile of philosophy PhD programs according to average student rating. This week I am covering the second quartile.

What is the difference between these quartiles? There are only two statistically significant ones out of all the measures reported here: average student rating and permanent academic placement rate. (There is moderate correlation between student rating and placement rate for all the programs covered; r=.37). The average student rating for the top quartile is 4.5 out of 5, and for the second quartile is 4.1; the average placement rate is 57% for the top quartile and 46% for the second. Other differences that would have been statistically significant if I didn't correct for multiple comparisons include: total 2011 and later graduates now in permanent academic positions, total participants in the survey, and satisfaction with research preparation, all of which have higher values for the top quartile. (In fact, the top quartile has higher values on every measure but satisfaction with preparation for teaching, which is 3.7 out of 5 for both groups.)

Thus, in this blog post I collate updated information about 29 philosophy PhD programs in philosophy:

  • keywords (if 3+ participants chose the keyword),
  • average program ratings by past graduates and current students (if 5+ participants rated the program on that dimension),
  • job placement,
  • and public student comments (with identifying information removed).*

This includes roughly the second quartile of the full list of 123 programs and is ordered by average student rating. (Note that small differences in order should be treated with a grain of salt and the bottom of one quartile will be virtually indistinguishable from the top of the next.) There is a table with some of the information included in this blog post here: https://prezi.com/i/xlzuqydltzt6/. Programs excluded are those with no 2020/2021 graduates in the database and those with no placement page/dissertation records. All values that are above average by at least one standard deviation are bolded. See the last two research reports for details on methodology, participation, etc.

I plan to release the next blog post, on the 3rd quartile, a week from today.

You can link to the post at: http://placementdata.com:8182/secondquartilephilosophyphdprograms/

*Update Nov 12th: Programs that wish to respond to material presented here can do so in the comments, below, or by reaching out to me directly.

31) University of Kentucky

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Ancient, Phenomenology

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.3 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 4.2 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
33 total, 7 in permanent academic jobs, 7 in non-academic jobs (27% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Excellent historical focus, great faculty. Wholeheartedly recommend the school for its educational experience. There are some difficulties with funding on the administrative level, however, and a school with a bigger name would help with placement.
The program was supportive, but not nearly enough effort was spent by professors to ensure that grad students were doing what they needed to be doing and doing well in order to succeed. The campus is great, but the funding was a little under the national average though I believe they have somewhat rectified that since I matriculated. Also, they have watered down requirements for the PhD and that, to me, is the biggest fault of this program. it used to be substantially rigorous and now it is not.

32) William Marsh Rice University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Ancient, Bioethics/Medical Ethics, Ethics, Mind, Political

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.2 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.8 teaching preparation (satisfied); 3.8 research preparation (satisfied); 4.6 financial support (very satisfied); 5.0 program climate (very satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
28 total, 14 in permanent academic jobs, 7 in non-academic jobs (67% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Faculty commitment to student success, healthy departmental climate, teaching certificate program, access to resources for things like conferences
Highly recommend this program, especially for students in ethics, political philosophy, mind, and for students who want to be in a mainly analytic-ish environment that is more pluralist and open to diverse ways of doing philosophy than many analytic programs. Environment was conducive to doing good philosophy: funding is pretty good, teaching expectations are low, faculty are encouraging, and grad students were fairly tight-knit. Everyone who graduated in my cohort got a full-time philosophy job and overall placement is decent (but placement record online, last I checked, hadn’t been updated to reflect recent successes).

33) University of Connecticut

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
African, Analytic, Logic/Formal, Metaphysics, Mind

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.2 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 4.1 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
41 total, 20 in permanent academic jobs, 4 in non-academic jobs (54% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Faculty are engaged with the guild, with each other, and with graduate students. The graduate mentoring program in philosophy is a plus. All in all, they do a good job of preparing graduates for a job in philosophy.
I found mentors and friends who contributed to my philosophical education. The department has also been working on improving diversity and have made some great hires since I graduated
I would not recommend getting a Ph.D. in philosophy to anyone.
Professors are very helpful and great advisors, but you just have to seek them out because they are (of course) so busy. However, there are professors in other departments who are just as busy but will offer advice or help with your research at the drop of a hat; the comparison with philosophy is fairly stark. Seminars are useful and involved, though often on mainstream analytic phil topics. The grad community is great, and there are plenty of extracurricular groups for those with non-mainstream interests. Admin/organization in the department is very often unclear and getting paperwork done can require seeking out several people to find out what to do. But overall the pros outweigh the cons.

34) University of Missouri

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Epistemology, Logic/Formal, Metaphysics, Political

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.2 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.2 program climate (neutral)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
35 total, 10 in permanent academic jobs, 3 in non-academic jobs (31% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Collegial, rigorous, analytic, supportive, frank, qualified faculty, connected broadly to the discipline
extensive teaching opportunities, excellent faculty, reasonable cost
I would have certainly recommended the department at Missouri a decade ago when I graduated. But since then, the University as a whole and the department in particular have been rocked by scandals . Additionally, the department has lost a number of their top faculty since I was a graduate student.

35) University of Rochester

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Epistemology, Ethics

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.2 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
22 total, 8 in permanent academic jobs, 5 in non-academic jobs (47% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Our placement rate is only modest, but the professors provided an excellent education. As a member of a religious group underrepresented in philosophy, I felt, on the whole, very welcome and valued.

36) London School of Economics and Political Science

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Epistemology, History and Philosophy of Science, Interdisciplinary, Logic/Formal, Naturalist/Empirical, Physics

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.2 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 4.4 teaching preparation (satisfied); 4.1 research preparation (satisfied); 3.4 financial support (neutral)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
50 total, 17 in permanent academic jobs, 6 in non-academic jobs (39% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
- small but very active and lively program; very good supervision carried out by two faculty members; great variety of graduate students, with diverse philosophical interests; set within a big school of social science, with all academic ressources available nearby. At the time I studied there, most of the PhD students received funding and/or TAships.
Excellent academic staff, well thought, deep professor bench, great students, ..
Expertise of faculty, specificity of the department: probably the only one in the world offering a degree entirely in logic and philosophy of the natural and/or social sciences. Environment and facilities are top-level.
High academic level; friendly and respectful climate
My area of interest is alternative (Chinese) medicine and various epistemological issues surrounding its concepts as well as methodological issues in clinical trials for Chinese medical interventions (observational studies versus randomized clinical trials). The PhD program at LSE provided an excellent background for researching these issues.
The department was friendly and flexible. The programme was well run. The academic quality of the researchers at the department was very high.
The intellectual resources at LSE and in the London environment are formidable.

37) University of South Carolina

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.2 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
27 total, 5 in permanent academic jobs, 4 in non-academic jobs (22% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
My program provided a well-rounded education in academic philosophy. Professors were supportive of our professional training.

38) Cornell University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Ancient, Historical, Logic/Formal, Metaphysics, Mind, Naturalist/Empirical

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.2 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.9 teaching preparation (satisfied); 4.6 research preparation (very satisfied); 4.9 financial support (very satisfied); 4.3 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
62 total, 26 in permanent academic jobs, 11 in non-academic jobs (51% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Excellent supervision in wide range of areas, great sense of community among students, high proportion of senior women (including senior women of colour).
My department was very welcoming and supportive - it felt like both faculty and fellow grad students were open and receptive to talking philosophy (as well as personal issues) and that everyone wanted each other to succeed (with the exception of one faculty member who has since left the department). This is important for how I answered question #1 because, given the way the job market is, I would only recommend someone go to grad school in philosophy if they believe they will enjoy the experience for itself. A lot goes into whether you enjoy grad school or not, but I personally can’t imagine enjoying it in a department that is not supportive.
My dissertation committee members were extremely supportive of me, and gave me a great deal of personalized attention and feedback. Furthermore, they gave me and other students in my area many opportunities to expand our knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and network with other professors. through bringing us to conferences, giving us money to organize conferences, etc. My coursework gave me a broad background in philosophy, which has been useful while job hunting.
Strong faculty in philosophy, good interdisciplinary programs.
Wonderful support for ancient philosophy generally. An environment conducive to good hard pleasant work.

39) Arizona State University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Applied, Epistemology, Ethics

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.2 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.2 teaching preparation (neutral); 4.0 research preparation (satisfied); 3.7 financial support (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
17 total, 8 in permanent academic jobs, 1 in non-academic jobs (50% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Faculty is supportive, funding is adequate.

40) University of Sheffield

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Epistemology, Ethics, Gender/Feminist, Language, Political, Pragmatism

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.9 teaching preparation (satisfied); 4.4 research preparation (satisfied); 3.4 financial support (neutral)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
77 total, 23 in permanent academic jobs, 9 in non-academic jobs (34% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
- Fantastic supervisors - Supportive community of phd students
-Extremely supportive -Very friendly -Very impressive placement record
Excellent supervisors, dedicated graduate seminar chaired by faculty members, a very supportive environment -- I got to try out conference talks/job talks in front of faculty members, we simulated job interviews, we received specific job market training, those who taught would meet every other week with a member of staff to discuss issues, marking etc. I also got a chance to teach my own UG/MA course. My PhD was extended accordingly, and I received 6 extra months of funding. It was a great experience, from which I learned a great deal. It proved invaluable when I went on the job market.
Excellent support on the job market. Excellent opportunities to gain teaching experience. Friendly and collegial environment.
Firstly, it was really useful for an international student like me to participate in a language and academic skills programs to improve my writing in English. Secondly, the department of philosophy has a very diverse and integrated student community that supports the accomplishment of the degree. Thirdly, there are different kinds of academic activities (such as workshops, seminars, reading groups, etc.) where I could present the progress of my work and get feedback from both classmates and academics. Finally, I really appreciate my work with my supervisor who gave me strong and useful feedback and tips for the success of my thesis project.
Friendly department. Activities for women philosophers. Excellent supervision
Graduate student community, training opportunities, funding opportunities, supportiveness of faculty. I chose "somewhat" rather than "definitely" because several of the faculty with whom I had the most contact during my time at my PhD institution have moved, and because Brexit has made pursuing a graduate degree in the UK significantly less attractive in general.
Minuses - not very stimulating from an intellectual point of view - micro-community with very similar ideas, close-minded intellectual milieu - little opportunities to network or funding for periods abroad - little support for job-hunting. Pluses - a lot of nice people - informal environment - excellent library resources (but prob less than excellent for UK standards)
Sheffield provided a fantastic learning environment with a vibrant graduate community, world class supervision, and excellent scholarly activities. They also provided detailed training for entering the academic job market (including lots of teaching opportunities and sustained guidance for publishing) plus a wealth of experience to prepare a potential non-academic career.
There is a strong post-graduate community and a supportive and collaborative research environment. The supervision was focused on producing a PhD thesis, but the overall program aimed to build your broad knowledge, and to make you competitive on the job market. It was an excellent environment in which to grow as a philosopher and researcher.
Wide range of specialisms, very inclusive and welcoming department.

41) Harvard University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Early Modern, Epistemology, Ethics, Historical, Logic/Formal, Metaphysics, Mind, Political

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 4.2 teaching preparation (satisfied); 3.3 research preparation (neutral); 4.3 financial support (satisfied); 3.7 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
48 total, 31 in permanent academic jobs, 7 in non-academic jobs (76% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Harvard profs set an inspiring example of doing creative work on important questions (not just chasing current fads and publication). The departmental culture was extremely caring, friendly and comfortable for me as a mixed race woman with various mental health diagnoses. And my advisors consistently went above-and-beyond to help me solve problems re: teaching, writing and the job market.
Supportive, structured, intellectually challenging.
The program does a nice job exposing students to a wide variety of philosophical approaches and traditions. The lectures that mix grad student and advanced undergrads can be very useful for graduate students acquiring an overview of a number of areas of philosophy. There are also lots of cognate faculty spread around the university, and you have the opportunity to talk to excellent grad students in a variety of disciplines. Many of the faculty are excellent mentors and advisers. However, some of the prominent faculty are close-minded and discourage independent intellectual thought, which is a huge problem. (Some of those faculty are now gone though). This closed-minded mentality as a tendency to seep into the graduate community, which tends to be more dogmatic than comparable departments. Also, there has historically been little thought put into preparing students for the job market (with some of the faculty bemoaning the need to publication and looking down on people who actually manage to produce work).

42) Pennsylvania State University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
African, Continental, Critical Theory, Ethics, Gender/Feminist, German, Historical, Phenomenology, Pluralist, Pragmatism, Race

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 4.0 teaching preparation (satisfied); 4.5 research preparation (very satisfied); 4.2 financial support (satisfied); 4.0 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
53 total, 30 in permanent academic jobs, 8 in non-academic jobs ( 67% placement rate )

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Departmental strength in the history of philosophy, continental philosophy, feminist philosophy, critical race theory. Recent hires add breadth to the department and make it even more appealing.
Diverse and inclusive department, excellent training, focus on pedagogy, graduate student community.
It is hard to answer this question, as there have been a number of changes in the faculty (due to retirement, faculty moving to other institutions, etc), but I would probably recommend this program to those whose interests in philosophy align with the specializations reflected in the current faculty body.
The emphasis on the history of the discipline along with the close reading of texts was invaluable. It is difficult to know 20-years later if that emphasis remains.
The program that I experienced [time period removed] is no longer the program that exists- with a complete change-over in faculty, the department has largely reinvented itself.
The relatively isolated rural setting of the school made it easier for me to stay focused on my graduate work. Faculty were generally supportive of interdisciplinary course work.

43) New York University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Contemporary, Epistemology, Ethics, Language, Logic/Formal, Metaphysics, Mind

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 2.9 teaching preparation (neutral); 4.0 research preparation (satisfied); 4.6 financial support (very satisfied); 3.4 program climate (neutral)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
58 total, 30 in permanent academic jobs, 4 in non-academic jobs (56% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Excellent faculty, excellent fellow students.
Extraordinary faculty and graduate students. Sensible curriculum. Intense but supportive environment.
Faculty are often not responsive to the concerns of graduate students and often not committed to graduate student mentorship.
Faculty members are, in general, excellent and engaged. The same goes for PhD students.
It is a good program in terms of funding and placement record. But I found the climate for women very bad, especially during the first few years that I was in the program. Some of the faculty are very dedicated to graduate training, but some are not at all.
My professors made themselves very available to me and offered frequent, detailed feedback on my work. The requirements of the program were easily tailored to my areas of interest and specialization. I benefited from a phenomenal exchange program with the [university removed].
Pros: Great faculty, top-notch peers, prestige. Cons: Little professional development, spotty advising, lack of junior faculty.
The intellectual qualities of the faculty and the other grad students. Also the city is fabulous.
The only problem with the grad program at NYU from my perspective is that faculty are less proactive/involved with guiding their graduate students than--I get the impression--they are at other departments. Otherwise it is fantastic. Super stimulating and intellectually rigorous, engaging, and friendly. The grad student community is very supportive and people work on lots of diffrerent, super interesting stuff. I feel very glad to be here.
Very good instruction and advising. Extremely helpful and supportive advisors after graduation (on the job market, applying for fellowships, etc.). Met great students who have been helpful colleagues and good friends.

44) University of Cincinnati

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Biology, Cognitive Science, History and Philosophy of Science, Interdisciplinary, Mind, Naturalist/Empirical

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.7 teaching preparation (satisfied); 4 research preparation (satisfied); 3.5 financial support (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
19 total, 9 in permanent academic jobs, 2 in non-academic jobs (53% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
- Pros of program: Highly interdisciplinary (esp. sciences); some very excellent faculty members - Cons of program: Unrealistic expectations for types of jobs we were trained for, e.g., although a non-top 40 Leiter program, we were pushed to emphasize research and dissuaded from developing teaching; some very terrible faculty members
(1) academically strong yet accessible faculty (2) many opportunities to participate in research (3) strong interdisciplinary partnerships with other programs and departments on campus (4) faculty engaging in innovative interdisciplinary and empirically informed research (5) strong funding support
(1) strong yet accessible faculty (2) numerous research opportunities (including with faculty from other programs) (3) methodologically innovative faculty, this is particularly useful for potential graduate students interested in integrating empirical research into their philosophical work
Good advisors, good philosophical community, strengths in the areas I was interested in, decent funding.
I would recommend the program for those who are interested in interdisciplinary work, especially philosophy and biology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology.
interdisciplinary nature of program
Quality of advisory, quality of teaching preparation, quality of instruction, interdisciplinary research, department community environment, location culture,

45) University of California, Santa Barbara

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Early Modern, Epistemology, Ethics, Language, Logic/Formal, Metaphysics, Mind

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.8 teaching preparation (satisfied); 3.3 research preparation (neutral); 3.5 financial support (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
33 total, 10 in permanent academic jobs, 4 in non-academic jobs (34% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Excellent and devoted faculty, and a program in which students without a great pedigree or track record can prove themselves and get financial support quickly.
My advisor trained me well, helping me to produce publishable work and complete my PhD. After getting my PhD, the university offered me lecture positions.

46) York University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Cognitive Science, Mind

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
32 total, 10 in permanent academic jobs, 3 in non-academic jobs (34% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
During my time, there seemed little sense of camaraderie among students--- probably because a commuter campus. Only a handful of profs were good at mentoring and really invested in student success, and they took on a disproportionate amount of students. I suppose it would be the same elsewhere. No notoriously bad supervisors. Nevertheless, compared with other institutions, it was a low-drama department (surprisingly important). Given their recent hires and the success of recent graduates, I think they will become known for ethics
I found York University to be a nurturing and caring environment, and one that offers courses in non-standard fields of inquiry such as transgender theory, feminist epistemology, and philosophy of psychology & psychiatry. This allows diverse students to pursue research of personal interest and of relevance to their lives.
I was happy with the support I received from my supervisor. There was also help available for preparing a job dossier. The variety of courses were also good.
It’s in Canada, which is less cut-throat & capitalist than the U.S. You don’t have to go on ‘campus visits’ or apply to 20 departments. Just go to the university down the street & save your money.
There were many wonderful, interdisciplinary features to the program that made it an excellent program of study. The support for future work, however, and their own attitudes towards hiring and tenure in the department, needed to be updated. They adhered quite firmly to traditional attitudes and decisions regarding careers in philosophy and hiring within the department. This was, of course, 10 years ago, so things may have changed.
While I found the program to be very good, I had decided to do my PhD at York university because I wanted to work with [name removed], who has since retired. I know there are other excellent professors, but I am not as familiar with their research and their courses since many were hired after I completed my course work.

47) University of California, Los Angeles

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Contemporary, Ethics, Historical, Language, Law, Logic/Formal, Mind, Political

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 4.2 teaching preparation (satisfied); 4.6 research preparation (very satisfied); 4.3 financial support (satisfied); 3.9 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
61 total, 29 in permanent academic jobs, 8 in non-academic jobs (55% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Department gender/social climate, inclusivity & diversity, funding, support for graduate student research, placement and low attrition
Excellent faculty, staff support.
Excellent mentoring and rigorous preparation.
My program trained me very, very well, and the values and skills it inculcated are sorely needed in the profession.
Outstanding faculty that worked closely with graduate students.
The department wasn’t very supportive and rife with implicit bias that no one owned up to. It wasn’t hospitable to people of color.

48) University of Pennsylvania

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Ancient, Biology, Contemporary, Early Modern, Historical, History and Philosophy of Science, Interdisciplinary, Mind, Political

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.9 teaching preparation (satisfied); 4.5 research preparation (very satisfied); 4.4 financial support (satisfied); 3.7 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
49 total, 25 in permanent academic jobs, 5 in non-academic jobs (57% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
1. The level of support received from faculty on dealing with the psychological difficulty of going through a PhD. 2. The intellectual skills gained. 3. The freedom to explore intellectual questions. 3. The social experiences gained during the PhD program.
Faculty at Penn were very engaged in mentoring, which prepared me well for the job market
I experienced Penn as a superbly supportive environment. Both the graduate student community and the faculty contributed to the positive atmosphere. There was little competition for scholarships among the graduate students, which contributed to collegiality (everybody was on the same scholarship for the first five years when I was in the program). I had wonderful teachers and mentors at Penn and quite a few of those were women! It was a fantastic place to study the history of philosophy. I would recommend Penn very highly. But some of the faculty I worked with have left since I was in the program and its character has changed quite a bit. So I can only speak within limits to the program in its current composition.
I would definitely recommend the program for anyone doing philosophy of science/biology, and some other AOS. Not necessarily for all AOS.
My advisory committee was helpful in many different ways. My primary advisor provided me with excellent guidance and support, without attempting to impose his own philosophical views on my thinking. This made me feel like I had a certain independence and ownership of my project. I benefited from that immensely.
Networking opportunities, letters of reference from well-established philosophers, rigorous research community, great pay (relative to other graduate students), few teaching demands
philosophy of science faculty are wonderful advisors; strong support for interdisciplinary coursework and research

49) University of Waterloo

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
26 total, 4 in permanent academic jobs, 9 in non-academic jobs (24% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
I joined the program during a period of rapid change in the department. My aim was to study with research professionals who were experts in their fields and who had a feeling for and drive towards independent inquiry. However, by the end of my degree, the focus in the department quickly shifted towards collaborative and experimental work, which I personally have less use for. But my needs are idiosyncratic. So whether I recommend or do not recommend the department would depend on the needs and interests of the person who is asking for advice.
The freedom to explore philosophy outside the academy with (paid) research opportunities in industry.
The proseminar brings all students in the coursework phases of their degree programs together, and incorporates aspects of writing grant or scholarship applications, peer reviews, and preparing manuscripts for presentation or publication. The department does not approach philosophy as blood sport, but as an ongoing constructive dialogue. The department (pre-COVID) is collegial, with many faculty members and grad students maintaining a daily presence. PhD students have opportunities to design and deliver 1st- and 2nd-year undergraduate courses.
The range of research areas that the faculty can support. The lack of diversity among faculty and the level of oversight regarding diversity issues when I started, though it has improved slightly during my enrollment in the program.

50) Princeton University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Ancient, Ethics, Metaphysics

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.4 teaching preparation (neutral); 4.8 research preparation (very satisfied); 5 financial support (very satisfied); 3.3 program climate (neutral)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
87 total, 47 in permanent academic jobs, 8 in non-academic jobs (59% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Flexible structure and a great community of graduate students. Especially good for students who know what they want to work on.
I would not recommend Princeton to people working on most subfields of philosophy. A few fields are very well represented and accounted for. For example, there is a critical contingent of people, both at the faculty and graduate level, working on ancient philosophy. This means seminars on ancient philosophy are regularly offered, there’s plenty of conferences and workshops, lots of people to talk to, etc. Arguably, the same can be said about metaethics. It is hard to find consistent support and guidance for most other subfields. This is partially explained by the fact that we’ve had several faculty members retire or leave in recent years ([names removed] to name a few notable examples). Another important factor is that Princeton has tended to hire faculty members whose work is highly formal. This has made it the case that graduate students often have to either come to Princeton with some antecedent formal training or be willing to take lots of seminars outside of philosophy. I think there’s a sense among graduate students that this is the only way to fully follow some faculty member’s work and seminars, and maybe more pressingly to earn their respect and attention. Another related factor is that most faculty members are more interested in research than in teaching or mentoring graduate students. This ends up meaning that a few faculty members end up shouldering most of the mentoring responsibilities, whereas others are rarely in dissertation committees. It is true that Princeton has made promising hires recently. Maybe that will help expanding the number of subfields that one could reliably, seriously pursue at Princeton. But most recent hires have been junior, so they might not be an ideal choice for a primary advisor.
Incredible dissertation advisor. A lot of freedom to pursue your interests. Student quality very high—learned as much or more from the students as the faculty.
Most strong programs will have excellent faculty and excellent students, which are both crucial. Here are a couple of things that are notable about this program (or at least were when I was there): 1. On a range between being paternalistic and being free range, Princeton tends to the free range side. For example, the program has fairly minimal structure compared to most peers. This means that if you have a sense of what you want to do when you arrive, it is likely that you can finish in five years, and have focused on the things that you are most interested in. Some people need more structure to flourish, however, and this program can work less well for them. 2. Princeton is in a tiny town. An upside to this is that there tends to be a lot of community among the grad students, which I think is really important to philosophical development, as philosophers tend to talk shop. A downside is that if you need a life outside of the program, it is a bit harder to achieve, unless you are going to try to commute from NYC.
There are a lot of resources (i.e., money) at Princeton and lots of freedom for graduate students to develop their own course of study, which can be good for people with certain temperaments.

51) University of Calgary

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Bioethics/Medical Ethics, Biology, Ethics, History and Philosophy of Science

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
28 total, 6 in permanent academic jobs, 2 in non-academic jobs (23% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Excellent supervision; Supportive environment
Lack of travel funding. Seemingly focusing on the MA program.
The department was not supportive. The faculty and my cohort were generally closed-minded and even hostile towards anything that did not belong in a narrow tradition of analytical philosophy. There was not an open dialogue, and any discussion of ideas that questioned the assumptions of that tradition were shut down and dismissed. My supervisor was not helpful or supportive at all, and the department did nothing to help me obtain employment but rather cut off all communication immediately after I graduated.
The faculty were high quality and helped me with my area of focus and with maturation as an academic. The nurtured my cross-disciplinary study.
The program was very rewarding and the experience meaningful to me. However realistically it is very difficult to obtain an academic position in philosophy and so I would hesitate to encourage someone who was not certain for their own reasons.

52) Loyola University Chicago

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Continental, Historical, Phenomenology

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.1 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.3 teaching preparation (neutral); 3.1 research preparation (neutral); 3.2 financial support (neutral); 3.6 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
49 total, 13 in permanent academic jobs, 12 in non-academic jobs (35% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Good environment for a graduate student. A lot of peer support within the student community - particularly for students that were not from Chicago. Excellent faculty - especially the female faculty.
The philosophy education is excellent, and the culture of inquiry lends itself to excellent scholarship and intellectual community. The professionalization of the discipline is not emphasized, and this, I believe, was detrimental to job placement.

53) Ohio State University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Contemporary, Early Modern, Epistemology, Ethics, Logic/Formal, Mathematics, Metaphysics

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.0 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.6 teaching preparation (satisfied); 3.9 research preparation (satisfied); 4.0 financial support (satisfied); 3.9 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
49 total, 12 in permanent academic jobs, 9 in non-academic jobs (30% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
I enjoyed my time at Ohio State, but--and I suspect this is similar at many other institutions--the education was extremely narrowly analytical. Note, I am an analytical philosopher; so, this might seem a strange remark. But the education had very little breadth, and there was an animus, in some parts of the department, against the history of philosophy. Now, these remarks apply to the Ohio State of the early aughts; perhaps things have changed. A second point: when Ohio State wanted to prepare me for the job market, it attempted to get me ready for interviews at places just like Ohio State. I was more interested in teaching at a smaller, liberal arts institution.

54) University of Utah

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Applied, Asian, Bioethics/Medical Ethics, Biology, Cognitive Science, Early Modern, Ethics, History and Philosophy of Science

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.0 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.9 teaching preparation (satisfied); 3.6 research preparation (satisfied); 4.0 financial support (satisfied); 4.0 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
28 total, 10 in permanent academic jobs, 4 in non-academic jobs (42% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
My department goes above and beyond to create a respectful and inclusive environment. We are competitive, but in a friendly manner.
The faculty are very friendly and open to helping students. The department culture is ideal. They are very strong in fields within Philosophy of Science as well as practical reasoning. They have moderate strength in other areas, such as Early Modern and Political Philosophy. They are lacking in other areas, though. Their TT placement record is okay, but not great.
The program is both challenging and supportive; like a family is supposed to be.
This program is great for those who wish to focus on philosophy of science or applied ethics. It is reasonably good for those who wish to focus on practical reasoning. It could be stronger in the areas of analytic metaphysics, epistemology, and traditional ethics.
University of Utah is recognized . The department focuses on teaching as well as research. Encourages HETS certificate that benefits teaching jobs

55) Columbia University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Ancient, Contemporary, Continental, Critical Theory, Early Modern, Ethics, German, Historical, History and Philosophy of Science, Logic/Formal, Metaphysics, Mind, Physics, Pluralist, Political, Pragmatism, Race

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.0 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.0 teaching preparation (neutral); 3.6 research preparation (satisfied); 3.3 financial support (neutral); 3.8 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
68 total, 31 in permanent academic jobs, 13 in non-academic jobs (56% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Quality of potential letter writers; Quality of instruction; Opportunities to do research
Columbia is open to and supportive of a wide variety of philosophical approaches and traditions, and especially to interdisciplinary work. Columbia is also situated in a very rich philosophical environment (NYC), which makes openness about philosophy an especially valuable characteristic of the department. As a whole, I find that the department tend towards a hands-off approach in advising, so it is important that students advocate for and organize themselves (eg, through dissertation working groups). Fairly self-sufficient students can do very well here.
Columbia is perhaps the broadest top 10 philosophy program, and I really benefitted from that breadth and pluralism. I also was able to partake in the NY area consortium, which enabled me to get the perspectives of several other doctoral programs in the area (The New School, NYU, etc).
Columbia University is a leading program in philosophy. When I attended a while back, there were world-class philosophers in the Department teaching a range of excellent courses in analytic areas. Not all professors were helpful, but most were, and the training was solid.
Excellent coursework offered. Placement assistance is very good. Advising varies very widely according to particular committee members. It is advisable to involve other faculty in the New York area in your research and dissertation work.Guidance for non-academic issues pertaining to personal well-being and other aspects of life is inadequate.
Good access to faculty. Good collaboration with outside faculty and grad students in NYC.
I obtained my PhD from a highly ranked department (a la the Philosophy Gourmet Report) and while I personally place very limited stock in such rankings, they continue to have a major influence on how an applicant is perceived by hiring committees. I also had access to well-established professors who, while not always the most available or supportive from an advising point of view, could write letters that carry a great deal of weight in the profession. It is for these reasons most of all that I would recommend my graduate program.
Location is great for attending events and lectures at a variety of top universities. Good faculty overall. Possibility of close supervision. Good name recognition.
The department made no effort to keep their tradition in decision theory, philosophy of economics and logic. In the past years they made no hires in this area. This lead to a vacuum among new graduate students working in these fields. Also, the department became overly politicized. Less political or less left oriented students sometimes do not feel very comfortable. Furthermore, some faculty are unapologetic when making negative generalizations about republican voters and candidates, or even men as a category. There is certainly lack of political diversity in the program.
very good courses; excellent supervisor; friendly environment.; the amazing richness of NYC philosophical community; the experience of being a student in NYC

56) University of California, Davis

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Biology, Ethics, History and Philosophy of Science, Language, Logic/Formal

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.0 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
33 total, 11 in permanent academic jobs, 4 in non-academic jobs (38% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
The most important thing was the level of interest faculty showed in graduate students. They were very concerned about ensuring that their graduate students had good research projects that would give them the best prospects possible (given the institutional pedigree) in their early careers.
UC Davis has excellent, helpful faculty who are actually interested in the success of their graduate students. There is a healthy and friendly environment there, with several opportunities for interaction and intellectual engagement.
Very helpful guidance; Lots of teaching experience; Helps graduate students make connections; Great staff and professors

57) University of Notre Dame

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Historical, Medieval, Metaphysics

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.0 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 4.0 teaching preparation (satisfied); 4.3 research preparation (satisfied); 4.7 financial support (very satisfied); 4.1 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
105 total, 50 in permanent academic jobs, 13 in non-academic jobs (54% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
- ND has a huge variety of accomplished professors in many sub-fields of philosophy. This allows for interesting interaction and the possibility of work that bridges traditional sub-field boundaries. - The department also has a generally good commitment to mentoring grad students, though with so many faculty there are indeed some who lack this commitment. - When I was there, the job-placement assistance (headed by [name removed]) was excellent and put students in a great position to be hired in a difficult market. - For graduates who choose to seek employment outside of academic philosophy, Notre Dame has an alumni network that is second to none.
Great program from a philosophical perspective--wide breadth, great depth, active community, etc. Not so great when it comes to placement. Make sure you work on your networking extra hard.
I would not recommend any grad program to anyone, given the market.
Notre Dame is a great community, very supportive, very good financial situation for grad students

58) Duquesne University

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Ancient, Contemporary, Continental, Critical Theory, Historical, Phenomenology

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.0 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.9 teaching preparation (satisfied); 3.2 research preparation (neutral); 3.1 financial support (neutral); 3.4 program climate (neutral)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
60 total, 25 in permanent academic jobs, 7 in non-academic jobs (47% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
Duquesne did a good job educating students, giving them skills needed to succeed in philosophy, and showing students how to carry themselves successfully in academia. I was also appreciative of how they developed a sense of community among the graduate students and professors. I found everyone there to be approachable and encouraging of my efforts to develop my philosophical skills in teaching, service, and research.
I found the program very rich for those interested in The history of philosophy, Continental Philosophy,Postmodernism etc.
I loved the program, the professors, and most of my doctoral colleagues. Unfortunately, I cannot in good faith recommend to many, if any, aspiring philosophers to pursue graduate work in this field. This is not the fault of the program or the faculty.
Pros: The faculty in the program are well published and committed to research excellence, yet are also easily accessible to graduate students and care about teaching. The program is both academically rigorous and hospitable to to students. Cons: While the department itself is quite committed to research in philosophy and to its graduate students, there has recently been less support from the administration and the university as a whole has gone through a lot of turmoil lately (e.g., opposition to adjunct unionization, closing of its university press, etc).
Respect and friendship from teachers; Challenging and stimulating academic environment; Support from other members of the department and other graduate students. Nice location
Strong faculty-student community intellectually committed to diverse areas of studies and interests. Active engagement encouraged in educational enrichments like conference participation, reading groups, study abroad, foreign languages studies. Faculty both highly passionate about their work and committed to student intellectual and professional development. Solid collective pedagogical development opportunities re: teaching.
The Philosophy Department at Duquesne is a good choice for those who are interested in continental philosophy especially phenomenology and want to persue a graduate degree in North America. Only few programs there are focused in continental philosophy as Duquesne, even fewer hold a phenomenology center with the access to all manuscripts of Husserl. The AOS of faculties there covers almost all histocial and philosophical areas of continental philosophy, this means that a Ph.D. student can find her advisor easily. Also, Philosophy at Duquesne is friendly for those who are not American, so that for those whose want a Ph.D to begin their academic career in their own country, it will be a decent choice. It is also Also, living prices in Pittsburgh where Duquese is located is comparative low. Thus, those who have finacial concerning can consider it.
What drew me to this program, and what sets its apart from many other graduate philosophy programs, is that it is very collaborative rather than competitive. Through its seminars, colloquia series, and other offerings, students are encouraged to help one another grow as academics. There is very little, if any, competition for funding, academic opportunities, or faculty attention, and I think this has made the program more productive.

59) University of Virginia

Keywords chosen by past graduates/current students:
Analytic, Early Modern, Historical, Metaphysics, Mind

Average program ratings by graduates 2011 and later or current students:
4.0 overall rating (somewhat likely to recommend); 3.8 teaching preparation (satisfied); 3.7 research preparation (satisfied); 4.1 financial support (satisfied); 4.3 program climate (satisfied)

Job placement of graduates 2011 and later:
45 total, 27 in permanent academic jobs, 2 in non-academic jobs (63% placement rate)

Student Comments on Program Overall:
A small department has certain advantages: you actually know nearly everyone in the department. The department seems like a family to me.
Good faculty-student relations. Most faculty are friendly with each other. Great campus. Good preparation for the job market.
It is rigorous, the faculty mostly get along, and they are flexible.
Supportive faculty. Excellent atmosphere between students. Opportunities to teach. Research support.
The department was very supportive. I was especially fortunate in terms of my advisor, who was dedicated and generous with their time, but the department as a whole wanted students to succeed and provided us with guidance and assistance. Also, the graduate students were collaborative rather than competitive.