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Joint PhD with France?


Stéphane
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Hi everyone, 

 

So this is my first topic and post here. I've been exploring the forums for a while now, and I did not find anything on joint PhDs, so I sincerely apologize if this kind of concern was brought up and dealt with before. Just be assured it wasn't for lack of trying. 

 

I'm specifically interested in potential conventions between la Sorbonne and anglo-americain graduate schools. Here's the situation : I'll be achieving an MA in "contintental" philosophy at la Sorbonne (Paris I) this year, writing a dissertation on an obscure French phenomenologist called Mikel Dufrenne. My supervisor is Renaud Barbaras - for those who might have heard of him -, and he promised me that he was going to supervise my PhD in two years - which hopefully will leave me enough time to pass the "agrégation de philosophie" (French very competitive examination to teach at college level). He's too precious a supervisor for me to let go of him, but I also want to have a broader point of view on phenomenology and French contemporary philosophy as a whole. 

 

So I started looking into American and British graduate programmes. I found a lot of good stuff here too. I guess my top choices would be Loyola, Toronto, DePaul, PennState and Boston College - I'm not the original type. I also stumbled on Warwick, which looks philosophically awesome. I emailed one of their Professors this week - Miguel Beistegui, who happens to be French too - and he replied today saying he was intersted in supervising my work as long as I was okay paying quite high tuition fee (which would mean getting funding from la Sorbonne and then use it one semester a year to pay for Warwick graduate school I guess). 

 

Here's my question : what's up with that? Does that mean that doing a joint PhD implies using the funding you get from one uni to pay for the other? Doesn't that practically mean giving up the funding at all? Also, what do you guys know about the universities I just mentioned and their relation to the sole idea of joint PhDs? 

I hope this is not too confusing... 

Thank you in advance for your help

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You should get in touch with Raoul Moati at the University of Chicago. He just came last year from the Sorbonne, was a student of Jocelyn Benoist's, and would probably know a lot about good American schools for your interests, possibilities for doing a joint degree, etc. Plus I think he might be in France now if you want to meet in person. Good luck!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Please do NOT consider DePaul. I say this because you seem like an intelligent and possibly unconventional person. It may have once been a reputable school, but it is now becoming a veritable degree factory. I wasn't aware this school offered PhDs (I guess you would know more about your specific program than me), but it won't even matter if your program is excellent: The culture here is the lamest and most mainstream that you could find anywhere in the U.S. If you are in any way unconventional or artsy, DO NOT consider DePaul as an option. You will be suicidal. I would say the only exception to attending this U is if someone was attending the theatre school. However, I even know people who disliked their time in that program mainly due to the lame overall culture at DePaul. Lots of sorority/frat-type people.

 

I hope to deter anyone from reading from attending this university. I would argue that the typical DePaul student wouldn't think critically enough to even go on this site, so I don't really fear any backlash. Feel free to PM me with more info.

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I can't stop laughing at: "If you are in any way unconventional or artsy, DO NOT consider DePaul as an option. You will be suicidal." 

 

The philosophy department at DePaul is one of the most rigorous and sought after program in a specific area of philosophy. Your generalizing the DePaulian body against your imposed identity of being "unconventional and artsy" is humorous at best, and stupid at least. 

 

Also, " I would argue that the typical DePaul student wouldn't think critically enough to even go on this site, so I don't really fear any backlash." ?? So where's the argument in the sentence? My goodness. Given that this is a philosophy thread that would probably be immune against imbecility, I don't even feel like I need to defend my status as a DePaulian - but I got into pretty good PhD programs by being an undergrad here. So DePaul has a really good philosophy program. As far as I know, 4 of our undergrads in philosophy this year had straight admissions into really good PhD programs in philosophy.  

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^Okay, well I actually just wrote you a nice message apologizing before reading your above comment, Nietxsche, so you can just totally disregard my civility in the PM due to your extreme rudeness! You also totally seem like a typical native Chicagoan with your insecurity and defensiveness (the bloviating Second City Syndrome strikes again, folks).

 

Maybe I overreacted in my initial comment and shouldn't have posted in this section, but my intention was not negative. Are you immune to bad days? Yes, I have heard this program is renowned and I admit I shouldn't have posted my above comment, but your response totally crossed the line. I am allowed to my opinion that the general DePaul culture is lame and, quite frankly, if you're already attending the university, I don't know how you couldn't see or admit to that! I'm talking about the general overall atmosphere--not your program.

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Other people reading this thread besides Nietz..., I am attending another program besides the philosophy PhD. I was just curious to see what other people were posting about DePaul. I stand by my statements about the overall atmosphere at the Lincoln Park campus and am entitled to my opinion, but, true, maybe I shouldn't deter people from attending this particular program that is highly regarded.

 

I'll send people private messages from now on to avoid being attacked!

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I'll send people private messages from now on to avoid being attacked!

 

I don't think anyone here is going to 'attack' you with anything more than downvotes. Since I don't have experience with DePaul or the city of Chicago, it is still worth pointing out that for the most part your comments were not helpful to the OP. Ok, so the culture of the university might be 'lame' and the city might be 'second-rate.' But given what the OP said it seems that she wants to continue doing serious research in her area of interest while also obtaining an international joint degree. DePaul is a good school to study philosophy at, especially phenomenology. Whether or not it is artsy or counterculture seems to be something that one should dictate to the culture of the area and not the other way around. If you want to hang out with a certain scene of people, I am sure there are others who share your interests. I don't see how it could be helpful to your desire to have more alternative people and culture at DePaul by telling others who might share that desire not to attend...

 

Enough of this trollish, mostly unhelpful digression.

 

So I started looking into American and British graduate programmes. I found a lot of good stuff here too. I guess my top choices would be Loyola, Toronto, DePaul, PennState and Boston College - I'm not the original type. I also stumbled on Warwick, which looks philosophically awesome. I emailed one of their Professors this week - Miguel Beistegui, who happens to be French too - and he replied today saying he was intersted in supervising my work as long as I was okay paying quite high tuition fee (which would mean getting funding from la Sorbonne and then use it one semester a year to pay for Warwick graduate school I guess). 

 

Here's my question : what's up with that? Does that mean that doing a joint PhD implies using the funding you get from one uni to pay for the other? Doesn't that practically mean giving up the funding at all? Also, what do you guys know about the universities I just mentioned and their relation to the sole idea of joint PhDs?

I second the recommendation of Chicago. Also worth a mention is McGill in Montreal, they have a great program, but I do not know who you should contact directly. Other programs that would be worth looking at further, but maybe aren't at the top (Like Chicago, Toronto and McGill), are Stony Brook (one of the best in Continental Philosophy), Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Emory, Fordam, and Duquesne. They all should have people working on phenomenology. Since my list is not exhaustive, look at:

 

http://pluralistsguide.org/program-recommendations/continental-philosophy/#awp::program-recommendations/continental-philosophy/

 

This should give you an idea of the ones worth investigating further. The ones you mentioned and mentioned so far are probably the best, but there really are a lot of schools that might be worth looking at (I don't know why Chicago is not on the list, they are one of the best overall and especially in Continental).

 

To answer your question about funding, it seems that you are on the wrong side of the deal. UK schools are relatively expensive and then US schools are even more expensive. They tend to offer funding for their own students and then allow them to study abroad and even obtain joint degrees. For example, King's College London offers a joint philosophy degree with Humboldt in Berlin and with Singapore. So the cost of attending a US university is more than the typical foreign university, so they offer to pay for your studies abroad (since the typical US PhD is fully funded with a living stipend). To sum up, it seems difficult that you will get funding from these institutes without first being accepted into their program and then studying abroad. I would think your best bet is to see what sort of funding the Sorbonne would offer for this and to contact schools you are interested in directly. Their information is far better than mine, but I hope I was a little bit helpful.

Edited by TheJabberwock
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To answer your question about funding, it seems that you are on the wrong side of the deal. UK schools are relatively expensive and then US schools are even more expensive. They tend to offer funding for their own students and then allow them to study abroad and even obtain joint degrees. For example, King's College London offers a joint philosophy degree with Humboldt in Berlin and with Singapore. So the cost of attending a US university is more than the typical foreign university, so they offer to pay for your studies abroad (since the typical US PhD is fully funded with a living stipend). To sum up, it seems difficult that you will get funding from these institutes without first being accepted into their program and then studying abroad. I would think your best bet is to see what sort of funding the Sorbonne would offer for this and to contact schools you are interested in directly. Their information is far better than mine, but I hope I was a little bit helpful.

 

I've met someone who started out at one of the Paris universities and is pursuing a joint degree in philosophy with the University of Toronto, so I know it's possible. Maybe the Canadian connection makes it easier, because their universities don't cost as much as American ones? Alternatively, you can always have an external member on your dissertation committee if you transfer and want to keep Barbaras as one of your advisors. You can ask him now if he'd still be willing to work with you even if you were no longer at the same university, and go from there.

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I don't know anything about DePaul, but I just want to say that I tend to give people's negative experiences a lot more credibility than positive ones. Most people don't mind most places (and some people shine wherever they are), but having one person experiencing it so negatively they can't help but express it publicly is alarming enough.

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I tend to look for a trend. One really dramatic person is often the kind of person who could find a reason to be dramatic anywhere. But, of course, it depends on the story the person has to tell.

Agreed. I went to DePaul for my undergrad in Philosophy and found it a perfectly pleasant and interesting place to be, particularly if you want to study continental philosophy. I think it would be rather difficult to find a university where the majority of people, both at an undergraduate and graduate level, aren't "mainstream" because, well, that's commonly how mainstream culture works. I think you can (and will) find pockets of interesting, artsy, and/or counter-cultural individuals anywhere you go (as I did at DePaul). 

 

To the OP- if you have questions about DePaul, feel free to PM me. Most of my knowledge comes from being an undergraduate in the program though. 

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  • 4 months later...

Wow, I must admit I didn't think anything was still going to happen on this thread after two weeks of nothingness. It seems I couldn't have been more wrong! 

Thank you all for answering - Megs80 included, since she didn't mean any harm. She tried to warn me in a clumsy fashion about what she felt was true about DePaul. I have no idea whether this is true or not, this is for DePaulians to confirm or infirm.

Anyway, I feel kind of guilty I didn't come back on this forum before, but that final dissertation though... Following Jailbreak's and Jabberwock's advice, I'll apply to the Sorbonne and others (including Chicago indeed!) and see which offers the most interesting programme and possibly funding. And maybe spend a year at the Sorbonne as a visiting researcher... This is what Warwick's admissions office advised me to do anyway. 

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