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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall

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  1. I do want to point out that while it suggests your application may have been weaker than some others, it's not fair to yourself to say that it was weak full stop. I suspect that the ratio of qualified PhD applicants to accepted PhD applicants is currently at an all-time high, and getting rejected when you're in many cases competing against literally hundreds of other applicants for a number of seats in the low single digits does not mean that you're unqualified, incompetent, or not worthy of attending a PhD program. As a current PhD student who only barely made it into a good program in what I
  2. Don't worry, you're far from the only one. If there's one thing that academic philosophy has taught me, it's that it'll break your heart over and over again.
  3. The job market in academic philosophy is a nightmare; but then again, so is the job market in academia in general (and at least for the time being, the job market in many other fields as well). It's not strictly true that you have to be at a top 20 PhD program to get a job, but it certainly helps, and many well-respected PhD programs have shockingly bad placement rates (including several in the top 20). So without overstating it or catastrophizing, I think that "grim" is a pretty accurate descriptor for current job prospects in philosophy.
  4. I'd say that the majority of graduate seminars where I am are focused on discussion, but there are also seminars that involve heavy lecturing and seminars that involve different students doing presentations on the course readings each week. It really varies a great deal from professor to professor. A very small percentage of courses available to graduate students are split with undergraduates, although graduate students are typically welcome to audit undergraduate courses on subjects that they're less familiar with.
  5. Oh wow. This is not entirely unexpected, but also really unfortunate for this cycle's applicants. I hope that things turn out alright for everyone.
  6. Current grad student here: Definitely recommend talking to graduate students about it, in my experience they tend to be fairly knowledgable about these sorts of things. With that being said though, I do think that should probably wait until you've already gotten in somewhere and are strongly considering attending.
  7. Just a word of caution, I know someone who transferred out of the graduate program at Rice after his second year despite having a strong interest in philosophy of mind because he felt that the department wasn't well-rounded enough. Granted, he did have other AOIs, so if you're exclusively interested in working in mind, I could see that choice making sense. But realize that the department's lack of other strengths at the moment could potentially pose some issues down the road.
  8. Started this year at a department in the PGR top 25, and no, it's not at all. Everyone here is extremely friendly and interested in discussing each other's work, classes, interests, etc. There's a strong collaborative spirit here, and I can't say that I've had a single bad experience with another graduate student so far. I've heard some bad things about a couple of departments, but such places are by far the exception and not the norm. It does seem like department culture largely dictates the way that graduate students treat one another (with some exceptions of course), which is why it's so im
  9. Just thought I would follow up on this: My application status hasn't changed on their portal either. I emailed the graduate program coordinator and was told that they have contacted everyone who has been accepted or waitlisted. Strangely enough, she didn't say anything about whether they've sent out any rejections yet, although I haven't seen anyone report an official rejections so far. She told me that I am "not among those being admitted or on the wait list at this time", and that "things could still change in the next couple of weeks, but for now we cannot admit you". I am taking this as an
  10. Oh okay, I didn't realize that they sent out solicited responses at all. It didn't seem like anyone had had any luck with that, so I didn't even bother trying to contact them. If you don't mind me asking, who did you solicit the status update from? I might give that a shot if I haven't heard anything from them in a few days.
  11. So just to clarify, nobody has successfully solicited a rejection from UT Austin yet, right? I think that I've decided to accept one of my offers, but I don't want to commit until I've heard something definite from Austin.
  12. If this information is helpful to anyone: I've already declined MA offers from Houston and GSU, and I will be declining an offer from Brandeis and a waitlist from Milwaukee as well.
  13. Just chiming in to agree with the last two replies. As with most things, just as it's bad to blindly accept the PGR rankings, it's also bad to blindly reject the PGR rankings (obviously, I'm not accusing anyone here of falling into either of the above camps, but people of both of those varieties are definitely out there). Regardless of how objectionable Leiter's past conduct has often been, the PGR rankings are useful and remain a fairly accurate measure of certain factors that are really important when choosing a graduate program.
  14. My impression is that the current faculty expects the placement record to be completely different in the coming years, given how drastically the department has been changing for the better recently. They've started to emphasize building up PhD students to have stronger CVs, and I would imagine that having letters from any of the new faculty members would really bolster one's chances on the job market. I've also heard from a very reliable source that Irvine will be making several additional senior hires in the next couple of years, which will no doubt also help. In most cases I do think that pa
  15. Ah okay, that actually makes a lot of sense. I appreciate the clarification, contemporary continental philosophy is definitely an area of relative ignorance for me.
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