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Dissapointed with my program

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Looking for advice.

I'm winding up the first year of a Ph.D. program in philosophy and feel disappointed with the program. The sources of disappointment are as follows:

(1) Limited choice of coursework. There are few courses offered by my department each semester and my program has strict distribution and minor requirements (essentially mandatory courses). Satisfying these requirements requires me to take 15 or 16 classes. Given both the small number of courses offered, and the distribution and minor requirements, I have very little control over what I study, and am being made to study a lot that I don't care to. In a word, I'm not getting to study/learn the things I feel I came to graduate school to learn and study.

(2) Lot's of TA work. My program requires us to teach every semester from the start, through to the end. I'm finding it very time consuming and it prevents me from engaging with my coursework in a satisfying way.

(3) Difficult location. Frankly, I don't mind where it is (though I don't love it), but my partner is following me here and the location is a tough sell for them. Particularly, they are concerned about being far from family and finding work.

(4) Horrible job market. Of course, I knew the job market was bad going in, but I thought "well, I still want to study x,y,z, and it feels important to me to study these things. If I go, I'll get to study these things and then I'll reevaluate whether pursuing an academic job/finishing the Ph.D. is something I want to do." The trouble is that I'm not getting to study xyz and given the stringent distribution and minor requirements, I'm unlikely to.

Do I (A) drop out, because the program is not helping me meet my educational goals and unlikely to help me meet my professional goals, (B) pursue a transfer to another program, or (C) tough it out and try to make the program work? My primary consideration in favour of (A): I'm turning 27, and feel it's time to pursue something that will yield a reasonable career instead of floating around in/in between graduate school(s). My primary considerations in favour of (B) and (C): It feels important to me to study xyz in grad school, I enjoy academic work, and find it very stimulating. I LOVE the conversation. Further, I worry that pursuing other paths will not be as intellectually fulfilling as this one; I'd like to milk graduate school for all I can, while I can (but not if I have to accept problems 1-4). Moreover, getting a professor job, even if unlikely, would be a really wonderful outcome and I'm reluctant to rule it out. But then, how do I determine whether (B) or (C) is the right course?

Thoughts? What should I do?


Edited by Featherless Biped
Clarification of (1) and (4).
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