November 7, 2014

Placement Data

In order to better understand the departments ranked in the Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR) and how they are connected to non-ranked departments, in the past few weeks I went to the placement webpages of PGR ranked departments and tabulated the information on those websites.

I broke down the placements into five categories: 
  • Tenure track positions at PGR departments ranked in the top 25 (including US, UK, Canada and Australia).
  • Tenure track positions at the other PGR ranked departments (25-75).
  • Tenure track positions at non-ranked departments (including research universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, departments in other countries and so on).
  • Non-tenure track positions (including visiting assistant professors, adjunts, lecturers, post-docs and so on).
  • Positions outside of academic philosophy.

A few notes:

1) I am not as familiar with how positions are categorized in other countries, and so I focused only on the placements of the fifty ranked programs in the US.

2) For a given student as listed on a placement webpage, I only counted the "highest" position they had. So if a person first had an adjunct position and then two years later had a tenure-track position, for that person I only counted the tenure-track position. If the person went from a non-ranked tenure track position to a ranked tenure-track position, I only counted the latter. And so on.

3) The information provided on departments' placement webpages differ greatly in terms of how many years back they go. Some go just 5-10 years back, and others go 30 years back. So what is tabulated are not all of the placements made by these departments, but rather just what they have listed on their placement webpage.

4) My sense is that departments are often adding or otherwise changing information to the placement pages. So what follows is based just on the data on departments' webpages in October 2014.

The main fact that jumps out from the data is that only 13% of the graduates from US PGR ranked programs obtained tenure track positions in PGR ranked programs. Meaning that in order to place their graduate students in jobs, the ranked departments are undeniably dependent on the unranked programs. Not just a little dependent, but mostly dependent.

Overall on the US ranked departments' placement websites there were 3,573 placements listed. 217 got TT positions in the top 25. 256 got TT positions in the other ranked programs. 1,772 got TT positions in unranked programs. 936 got non-TT positions. And 392 pursed non-academic philosophy positions.

In terms of percentages, it is as follows.


A breakdown of the data for individual departments can be found here. The percentages for each of the ranked departments in the US are as follows.


  1. "Meaning that in order to place their graduate students in jobs, the ranked departments are undeniably dependent on the unranked programs."

    I don't know what to say except.... duhhh

  2. Thank you so much for collecting this information! - Grad School Applicant

  3. It would be better if in future you can share more about this subject. Keep posting.
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