Friday, September 12, 2008

Applying to Phd programs?

I want to start a post for those of us who will be applying to PhD programs this fall. My hope is that we can share advice and keep each other accountable for reaching our application goals. I know that I need someone to push me a little bit, and I would hope I could push someone else (in a good way). We can post links to informative websites, thoughts about writing samples/personal statements, and so on.


Than said...

Curtis Sharp, a grad student from last year, gave me this helpful link about PhD programs from Leiter. Regular contributors include people who sit on admissions boards.

Christopher Hom said...

Yeah, that's a great thread with lots of good advice, so thanks to Than and Curtis for pointing it out. I'd just like to highlight a few things:

1. The ratio of applications to spots at the top programs is truly staggering (e.g. Rutgers had 284 applicants for 7 places, Cornell had 240 for 6, Toronto had 400 for 14). And this was in 2007. There is a good chance that with this economy it will be even more competitive this year, and not only at the top tier. This should affect the number of applications that you plan to submit.

2. Christopher Morris' short comment on the second page is important. The GRE score plays a large role in competing for university-wide fellowships. It's one of the only ways to compare grad students across disciplines. And getting a fellowship (i.e. being paid to study philosophy without having to work as a TA) is a huge advantage.

3. While the application process can be complex, there is some very simple advice can get lost in the details: Get A's. If you work hard and write good papers in your seminars, the rest of this stuff will usually take care of itself.

Ralph said...

I'll add a site. Eric Schwitzgebel, a philosopher at UC Riverside, did a series of informative posts on admissions on his blog a while back. Here's the link:

Christopher Hom said...

This post on Brian Leiter's blog about writing samples for job candidates is also applicable for those of you working on your writing samples for PhD applications:

Christopher Hom said...

Here's another link from Leiter's blog to be sure to check out:

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir / Madam
i need help for finding a good university for phd of art . would you mind helping me ?