The department offers many opportunities for students to sharpen and practice some of the skills they need to develop as effective researchers and teachers of philosophy.
Writing for Publication
The department offers a writing seminar in which students have an opportunity to read cutting-edge philosophy and take supervised steps towards crafting critical essays for publication.
The Dissertation Seminar
Each week, students who are developing a dissertation project meet to present their work-in-progress to their peers. The dissertation seminar gives students an opportunity to practice presenting their work in a semi-formal setting, the chance to get feedback from their peers, and a regular deadline to encourage progress.
We believe that it is an important part of the mission of our PhD program to prepare our students to be effective and reflective classroom teachers. When PhD students begin to TA, in the fall of their second year, they also register for Phil 593: Teaching Practicum in Philosophy. This 2-credit course is designed to support the efforts of our students both to serve our undergraduates in the classroom, and to develop their teaching skills for the future. We also have a program of peer and faculty classroom observations and feedback, and closely monitor student performance for opportunities for improvement. We firmly believe that our PhD graduates are well-prepared to be successful teachers in a variety of institutional and classroom settings.
All students are encouraged to begin presenting their work at conferences starting in the second year, and every year our students present at dozens of conferences, ranging from graduate conferences and regional professional conferences to competitive major international conferences. This helps our students network with other philosophers with similar interests, as well as develop and polish their skills in effectively presenting their research. It also helps develop the same skills that are important for successful publication, which pays off in the many articles our students are now publishing before they complete the degree or apply for jobs. Our students have recently published articles in Mind, Ethics, Nous, Philosopher’s Imprint, Thought and many other journals.
The department placement committee works with students well in advance to give them the best preparation for all aspects of the process of the academic job search in philosophy. Further details of our placement program are available to enrolled students.