Most of us know about efforts to sort philosophy programs according to placement rate or prestige, but what of the percentage of PhD graduates from each program who are women or other underrepresented minorities? Thanks to Eric Schwitzgebel's efforts in contacting the National Center for Science Engineering Statistics (see here and here), we have access to some numbers on this issue. Specifically, the NCSES supplied the number of women and minority graduates from doctoral philosophy programs in the United States between the years 1973 and 2014 (but not broken down by year). Below, I provide the top programs in the United States from this list of 96 programs in terms of % of women graduates in this period, as well as the top programs in terms of % of non-white graduates, where for "non-white" I am aggregating the NCSES categories of "Hispanic," "Asian," "Asian or Pacific Islander," "Black" and "two or more races." (I omitted institutions from the NCSES data that no longer offer doctoral degrees in philosophy.) One striking feature of these lists is how many of the programs show up on Brian Leiter's list of PhD programs "whose existence is not easy to explain." A provocative rhetorical question follows: Should we be closing PhD programs that better serve women and minorities in philosophy? I welcome discussion below.
Three notes of caution (added 1/21/16):
1) These data are from 1973 to 2014, and so give only a longterm view of diversity. All programs are likely to have increased in diversity and many programs likely look much better with a more shortterm view (thanks to Chris Stephens for this point).
2) Programs may be above average without this deviation from average being statistically significant (thanks to David Wallace for this point).
3) Aggregating the NCSES categories of "Hispanic," "Asian," "Asian or Pacific Islander," "Black" and "two or more races" into "non-white" may make less visible the differential treatment of these groups (thanks to Lionel McPherson for this point). See my new post for a disaggregated view.
Thanks are also due to Elizabeth (who I am not sure would want me to specify her last name), for helping me to realize I should be listing programs above the mean, rather than above the overall % (except in the case of the list of 11 programs, since there I am more concerned with the set of students as a whole than the individual programs).
Here are philosophy PhD programs organized by % of women graduates, listing only those 39 programs with a greater or equal than mean percentage of women graduates for this time period (1973-2014).
|Institution||Men||Women||Grads 1973-2014||% Women|
|University of Memphis||24||31||55||56.36%|
|Arizona State University||13||9||22||40.91%|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||87||49||136||36.03%|
|University of Oregon||67||37||104||35.58%|
|University of Minnesota||117||63||180||35.00%|
|University of South Carolina||19||10||29||34.48%|
|Stony Brook University||145||74||219||33.79%|
|University of Washington||57||29||86||33.72%|
|University of New Mexico||29||14||43||32.56%|
|University of Pennsylvania||106||51||157||32.48%|
|University of Colorado||108||50||158||31.65%|
|Bowling Green State||50||23||73||31.51%|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||135||59||194||30.41%|
|University of Florida||33||14||47||29.79%|
|City University of New York||173||70||243||28.81%|
|Washington University in St. Louis||93||37||130||28.46%|
|University of Maryland||66||26||92||28.26%|
|Loyola University Chicago||106||40||146||27.40%|
|University of Tennessee||80||30||110||27.27%|
|University of Illinois, Chicago||73||27||100||27.00%|
|Michigan State University||85||31||116||26.72%|
|University of Massachusetts Amherst||127||46||173||26.59%|
|University of Nebraska-Lincoln||49||17||66||25.76%|
|University of Utah||35||12||47||25.53%|
|New York University||79||27||106||25.47%|
|Rutgers, New Brunswick||120||41||161||25.47%|
|University of Pittsburgh||200||68||268||25.37%|
|Claremont Graduate University||72||24||96||25.00%|
|Overall Total Numbers and Mean Percentage||10,282||3,283||13,565||24.57%|
Here are philosophy PhD programs organized by % of non-white graduates (among permanent residents or citizens of the United States), listing only those 38 programs with a greater or equal than mean percentage of non-white graduates for this time period (1973-2014).
|Institution||# Non-White Citizens/Permanent Residents||# Citizens/Perm Residents 1973-2014||% Non-White Citizens/Permanent Residents|
|Arizona State University||6||20||30.00%|
|Bowling Green State||11||54||20.37%|
|University of Hawaii, Manoa||15||90||16.67%|
|Wayne State University||6||36||16.67%|
|University of Miami||13||79||16.46%|
|University of Memphis||7||45||15.56%|
|UC Santa Barbara||16||103||15.53%|
|University of New Mexico||6||42||14.29%|
|University of South Florida||6||46||13.04%|
|University of Oklahoma||10||77||12.99%|
|UC Santa Cruz||4||31||12.90%|
|Stony Brook University||25||195||12.82%|
|University of Oregon||11||89||12.36%|
|University of Michigan||22||183||12.02%|
|Claremont Graduate University||10||89||11.24%|
|University of Cincinnati||4||38||10.53%|
|City University of New York||20||191||10.47%|
|University of Wisconsin||21||221||9.50%|
|Indiana University, Bloomington||10||107||9.35%|
|University of Illinois, Chicago||8||86||9.30%|
|University of Utah||3||33||9.09%|
|Rutgers, New Brunswick||11||122||9.02%|
|University of Maryland||6||67||8.96%|
|Overall Total Numbers and Mean %||909||11,294||8.51%|
Overall, from 1973-2014, 96 philosophy programs had 24.20% women (among all graduates) and 8.05% non-white (among U.S. permanent residents and citizens) PhD graduates. The numbers for the programs listed at Brian Leiter's blog (Texas A&M's data were unreported due to low numbers of graduates) are 28.27% women and 9.73% non-white graduates, listed below alphabetically:
|Institution||Men||Women||Grads 1973-2014||% Women||# Non-White Citizens/Permanent Residents||# Citizens/Perm Residents||% Non-White Citizens/Permanent Residents|
|Arizona State University||13||9||22||40.91%||6||20||30.00%|
|Michigan State University||85||31||116||26.72%||7||99||7.07%|
|University of Florida||33||14||47||29.79%||3||37||8.11%|
|University of Kansas||82||17||99||17.17%||7||84||8.33%|
|University of Oregon||67||37||104||35.58%||11||89||12.36%|
|University of South Carolina||19||10||29||34.48%||1||24||4.17%|
|Overall Totals and %||10,282||3,283||13,565||24.20%||909||11,294||8.05%|
What of the provocative rhetorical question provided above? Should these programs close, as is suggested by Brian Leiter? An argument against this is that these programs (as a set) host more women and other underrepresented minorities than philosophy as a whole, and so should be celebrated for that fact. Yet, one might be concerned that these graduates are not actually "better served" if one thinks these programs are less prestigious or have lower placement rates. I am not one to argue for the closure of PhD programs on the grounds of prestige, so I am going to set that aside. As for placement rate, two of these programs have very high placement rates into tenure-track positions (Oregon and Villanova). Although the data gathering efforts of the Academic Placement Data and Analysis project are not yet complete, I suspect that they will both land in the top 20 in terms of percentage of graduates between 2012 and 2014 who have by now found tenure-track positions. A few other programs from this list look to have tenure-track placement rates for this period that are just about the same as some top ten programs, according to PGR prestige. So I don't think that placement rates are likely to warrant the closure of many of these programs. Then again, I am not in favor of closing graduate programs (I would rather see philosophy aim for more transparency and relevancy than fewer programs!), so perhaps I am biased. As I say above, discussion is welcome!
Also, feel free to take a look at the raw data here.
Update: Perhaps worth noting is that some programs listed here are newer than others, and so it is worth exploring whether their percentages are inflated, relative to other programs. For purposes of further transparency, I italicize above the names of any programs who had a smaller number of graduates 1994 or prior (a rough halfway point) relative to graduates 1994 or later than these 98 programs taken overall. (That is, I italicized all programs whose number of graduates 1994 or earlier was less than 44.4% of their total graduates for this time period, since these programs overall had 44.4% of graduates 1994 or earlier.) Around half of the graduate programs discussed above have this quality, which is what we would expect (22 of 41 in the first section, 24 of 41 in the second section, and 6 of 11 in the third). In other words, more recent programs do not seem to be especially over-represented in the above lists.
Another Update: Thanks to Brian Weatherson's suggestion, I am updating the above for the non-white category to reflect the fact that race and ethnicity was reported for only permanent residents and citizens of the United States. Per his suggestion, I am now using the total number of permanent residents and citizens as the total for these calculations (but not for gender).
Updates Galore! To check whether the difference between the 11 programs mentioned above and all other programs is statistically significant with respect to the percentage of women and non-white graduates, I ran a test in the second tab of the spreadsheet, linked above. As I say in comments below, the difference is highly statistically significant for the percentage of women graduates (p=.002) and very nearly statistically significant for the non-white graduates (p=.06).
Update 1/21/16: I replaced overall % with mean % as the cut off for the above lists (thanks to a comment by Elizabeth), removed Oklahoma State University (thanks to a comment by Anonymoose), updating numbers where required, and added three notes of caution, above.