Philosophical Gourmet Report – Overall Rankings 2011

This year’s overall rankings are based on reputational surveys completed by 271  philosophers throughout the English-speaking world and Continental Europe; over 300  philosophers participated in either the overall or specialty rankings, often both.  In the overall rankings, evaluators were asked to evaluate randomly ordered faculty lists that did not include the university’s name along the following dimension:

Please give your opinion of the attractiveness of the faculty for a prospective student, taking in to account (and weighted as you deem appropriate) the quality of philosophical work and talent on the faculty, the range of areas the faculty covers, and the availability of the faculty over the next few years.

After scoring faculties, evaluators then viewed a list of their evaluations organized by score, and had an opportunity to revise their scorings.

Because evaluators do not have reliable access to information about the quality of graduate teaching and mentoring for most departments, this was not a component of the evaluation. As always, students are advised to talk to current students before enrolling at any program.

Evaluators scored departments on the following scale: 5-Distinguished; 4-Strong; 3-Good; 2-Adequate; 1-Marginal; 0-Inadequate for a PhD program. .5 fractions were permitted. The rank of each department is based on the “overall” mean. In the next three columns the department’s rank in the 2009, 2006, and 2004 Reports are given.

All programs with a mean score of 2.3 or higher are ranked, since based on this and past year results, we have reason to think that no program not included in the survey would have ranked ahead of these programs. Other programs evaluated this year are listed unranked afterwards; there may well have been programs not surveyed this year that would have fared as well.

Note: evaluators were not permitted to evaluate either their own department or the department from which they received their highest degree (PhD, DPhil, sometimes the BPhil).

Ranking Of Faculties In The United States

Rank School Mean Median Rank in 2009 Rank in 2006 Rank in 2004
1 New York University 4.8 5.0 1 1 1
2 Rutgers University , New Brunswick 4.5 4.5 2 2 2
3 Princeton University 4.4 4.5 3 3 3
4 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 4.3 4.5 5 3 4
5 Harvard University 4.1 4.0 6 7 9
University of Pittsburgh 4.1 4.0 4 5 4
7 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4.0 4.0 6 7 6
Yale University 4.0 4.0 8 16 24
9 Stanford University 3.9 4.0 9 6 6
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 3.9 4.0 9 10 12
11 Columbia University (incl. Barnard) 3.8 4.0 13 9 6
University of California, Los Angeles 3.8 4.0 9 7 9
University of Southern California 3.8 4.0 17 16 24
14 City University of New York Graduate Center 3.7 4.0 15 23 17
Cornell University 3.7 4.0 17 16 12
University of Arizona 3.7 4.0 13 13 16
University of California, Berkeley 3.7 4.0 9 12 12
18 University of Notre Dame 3.6 3.5 15 13 12
19 Brown University 3.5 3.5 17 16 17
20 University of Chicago 3.4 3.5 21 20 17
University of Texas, Austin 3.4 3.5 20 13 11
22 University of California, San Diego 3.2 3.0 21 20 17
University of Wisconsin, Madison 3.2 3.0 23 24 22
24 Duke University 3.1 3.0 26 27 29
Indiana University, Bloomington 3.1 3.0 23 27 29
Ohio State University 3.1 3.0 26 26 22
University of Colorado, Boulder 3.1 3.0 26 32 36
University of Massachussetts, Amherst 3.1 3.0 26 24 28
29 University of California, Irvine 3.0 3.0 23 20 17
University of Pennsylvania 3.0 3.0 30 27 31
31 Northwestern University 2.9 3.0 41 53 51
University of California, Riverside 2.9 3.0 30 31 32
University of Maryland, College Park 2.9 3.0 30 27 24
University of Miami 2.9 3.0 34 32 44
Washington University, St. Louis 2.9 3.0 30 39 36
36 Georgetown University 2.8 3.0 36 39 44
37 Johns Hopkins University 2.7 2.5 43 35 44
Syracuse University 2.7 3.0 34 32 32
University of Virginia 2.7 3.0 36 39 34
40 Carnegie-Mellon University 2.6 2.5 36 39 36
University of California, Santa Barbara 2.6 2.5 41 39 44
University of Illinois, Chicago 2.6 2.5 36 35 34
43 University of Washington, Seattle 2.5 2.5 43 35 36
44 Boston University 2.4 2.5 48 50 41
Florida State University 2.4 2.5 43 44 44
Rice University 2.4 2.5 48 50 51
University of California, Davis 2.4 2.5 36 35 24
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 2.4 2.5 47 44 36
University of Rochester 2.4 2.5 48 44 44
50 University of Connecticut, Storrs 2.3 2.5 43 48 44
University of Missouri, Columbia 2.3 2.5 48 53 not in top 50
Other schools evaluated in 2011 (not ranked, since there may have been schools not evaluated that might have performed comparably)
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2.2 2.0
University of Nebraska, Lincoln 2.2 2.0
University of Utah 2.2 2.0
Purdue University 2.1 2.0
University of Iowa 1.8 2.0
Vanderbilt University 1.8 2.0
New School University 1.6 1.5
Pennsylvania State University 1.6 2.0

Ranking Of Faculties In The United Kingdom

Rank School Mean Median 2009 Rank 2006 Rank 2004 Rank
1 Oxford University 4.7 5.0 1 1 1
2 Cambridge University 3.5 3.5 3 3 2
3 University of St. Andrews/University of Stirling Joint Program 3.3 3.5 2 2 3
4 King’s College, London 3.0 3.0 5 6 5
University College London 3.0 3.0 4 4 4
6 Birkbeck College, University of London 2.9 3.0 6 4 6
University of Leeds 2.9 3.0 12 9 11
8 University of Edinburgh 2.8 3.0 12 9 11
University of Sheffield 2.8 3.0 7 6 7
10 University of Reading 2.7 2.75 9 9 9
11 London School of Economics 2.6 2.5 8 8 7
University of Warwick 2.6 2.5 9 14 10
13 University of Bristol 2.5 2.5 12 9 14
University of Nottingham 2.5 2.5 9 9 13
15 University of York 2.4 2.0 15 15 Not in top 15
Other Faculties Evaluated (not ranked)
University of Aberdeen 2.0 2.0

Ranking Of Faculties In Canada

Rank School Mean Median 2006 Rank 2004 Rank 2002 Rank
1 University of Toronto 3.7 4.0 1 1 1
2 McGill University 2.6 2.5 3 3 4
University of British Columbia 2.6 2.5 4 4 2
University of Western Ontario 2.6 2.5 2 2 2
Other Faculties Evaluated (not ranked)
Queen’s University 2.1 2.0
University of Alberta 2.1 2.0

Rankings Of Faculties In Australasia

Rank School Mean Median 2006 Rank 2004 Rank 2002 Rank
1 Australian National University 3.7 4.0 1 1 1
2 University of Sydney 2.8 3.0 2 2 3
3 University of Auckland 2.4 2.5 4 4 4
4 Monash University 2.3 2.5 3 4 5
University of Melbourne 2.3 2.5 not in top five 3 2
Other Faculties Evaluated in 2006 (not ranked)
Victoria University, Wellington 2.0 2.0

Ranking Of Top 50 Faculties In The English-Speaking World

Note that departments in the U.S. tend to be larger than elsewhere, which tends to confer an advantage (perhaps warranted) on such faculties for evaluation purposes.

Rank School Region Mean Median
1 New York University U.S.A. 4.8 5.0
2 Oxford University U.K. 4.7 5.0
3 Rutgers University, New Brunswick U.S.A. 4.5 4.5
4 Princeton University U.S.A. 4.4 4.5
5 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor U.S.A. 4.3 4.5
6 Harvard University U.S.A. 4.1 4.0
University of Pittsburgh U.S.A. 4.1 4.0
8 Massachussetts Institute of Technology U.S.A. 4.0 4.0
Yale University U.S.A. 4.0 4.0
10 Stanford University U.S.A. 3.9 4.0
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill U.S.A. 3.9 4.0
12 Columbia University (incl. Barnard) U.S.A. 3.8 4.0
University of California, Los Angeles U.S.A. 3.8 4.0
University of Southern California U.S.A. 3.7 4.0
15 Australian National University Australasia 3.7 4.0
City University of New York Graduate Center U.S.A. 3.7 4.0
Cornell University U.S.A. 3.7 4.0
University of Arizona U.S.A. 3.7 4.0
University of California, Berkeley U.S.A. 3.7 4.0
University of Toronto Canada 3.7 4.0
21 University of Notre Dame U.S.A. 3.6 3.5
22 Brown University U.S.A. 3.5 3.5
Cambridge University U.K. 3.5 3.5
24 University of Chicago U.S.A. 3.4 3.5
University of Texas, Austin U.S.A. 3.4 3.5
26 University of St. Andrews/University of Stirling Joint Program U.K. 3.3 3.5
27 University of Wisconsin, Madison U.S.A. 3.2 3.0
University of California, San Diego U.SA. 3.2 3.0
29 Duke University U.S.A. 3.1 3.0
Indiana University, Bloomington U.S.A. 3.1 3.0
Ohio State University U.S.A. 3.1 3.0
University of Colorado, Boulder U.S.A. 3.1 3.0
University of Massachussetts, Amherst U.S.A. 3.1 3.0
34 King’s College, London U.K. 3.0 3.0
University College London U.K. 3.0 3.0
University of California, Irvine U.S.A. 3.0 3.0
University of Pennsylvania U.S.A. 3.0 3.0
38 Birkbeck College, University of London U.K. 2.9 3.0
Northwestern University U.S.A. 2.9 3.0
University of California, Riverside U.S.A. 2.9 3.0
University of Leeds U.K. 2.9 3.0
University of Maryland, College Park U.S.A. 2.9 3.0
University of Miami U.S.A. 2.9 3.0
Washington University, St. Louis U.S.A. 2.9 3.0
45 Georgetown University U.S.A. 2.8 3.0
University of Edinburgh U.K. 2.8 3.0
University of Sheffield U.K. 2.8 3.0
University of Sydney Australasia 2.8 3.0
49 Johns Hopkins University U.S.A. 2.7 2.5
Syracuse University U.S.A. 2.7 3.0
University of Reading U.K. 2.7 2.75
University of Virginia U.S.A. 2.7 3.0

Unranked PhD Programs outside the top ranks in the US, UK, Canada, and Australasia

There are, by almost everyone’s admission, too many PhD programs, perhaps especially in the United States; students should think very carefully before enrolling in the programs that are not well-ranked overall, though some have, to be sure, particular niches of excellence, that are reflected in the specialty rankings later in this Report. For those specialty niches, programs not well-ranked overall may be a good choice. Be sure, in any event, to get a complete report on job placement from these programs before enrolling: some have better records than others.

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