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Total Number of PhD Applicants per year?


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I've just been thinking about what the potential range is for the number of Philosophy PhD applicants per year. If a place like NYU or Columbia gets 400 applications per cycle, there must be a huge overlap with the other "top-tier" programs, as well as a sizable overlap with more mid-ranked programs. Anyone have any guesses? Or anyone good at math (I gravitated toward English/lit/philosophy in secondary school to avoid math, so it's beyond me)?

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I can not really speak to philosophy specifically, but what I found in my application cycle was that basically everyone who was in my "interview cohort" at the schools I interviewed at were basically the same with a few people swapped out here and there. I found it very interesting (granted my specific field is much smaller than a broad, major subject) that so many of the same people had applied to the same programs and were that program's "top picks" for interviews. So I would assume there is quite a large overlap between the programs.

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There's no official count that I'm aware of. When I was applying (in '08 and '09), even pretty low-ranked programs were getting 300-400+ applicants. Things have definitely slowed down a lot since then, so I'd guess that the total number of applicants (if you count applicants overseas, those who only apply to one or two programs, and applications to non-PGR-ranked programs [including VERY unranked programs]) is <1000 for Anglophone programs. I'd put it at somewhere in the vicinity of 500-600.

But that's a total guesstimate based on little more than intuition.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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