Thursday, September 17, 2009

Questions for Graduate Programs

A former undergraduate student of mine is interested in pursuing a career teaching philosophy. She's asked her former professors for advice about where to apply. Of course, no two people recommend the same schools to her.

There's a world of difference between picking a grad school now and in the pre-Internet age. She has the Gourmet report and The Philosophy Smoker to guide her.

But wait! The Gourmet Report will rank departments year after year. But does it answer the questions which really need answering for prospective students? Will it tell you:

1. which locations have affordable apartment rentals?
2. which graduate programs have the fattest stipends?
3. anything at all about attrition rates? (And isn't that, really, the bottom line?)
4. which departments have their misogynists (and misanthropists) under tight control?
5. which departments have teachers that can teach you to teach? and who won't judge you to be a lesser person should you announce that your career goal is to be a superior community college or liberal arts college professor?
6. which departments really do have good placement rates (as opposed to the embroidered facts they post on their websites)?
7. which placement officers can and will aggressively talk up all their department's job candidates?

What questions have I left off?

2 comments:

Erika Leigh said...

One other good blog I refer to often is from CA Riverside:

http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com/2007/01/philosophy-grad-school-applications.html

This has been helpful... but it still lacks answers to some of your above questions-good ones to consider!

Thanks EB, -ES

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