Prestigious PhD programs in Continental Philosophy?
Prestigious PhD programs in Continental Philosophy?




In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a reader asks:

Most of my department and its graduate students identify very heavily with “the continental tradition,” of the sort that is most represented by the “SPEP” (the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy). I work in core analytic M&E, so it is a tradition which is *extremely* foreign to me.

My question is this: which PhD programs are considered the “prestige” programs in this tradition? For us folks working in the analytic tradition, it’s the “Leiterrific” places. But due to unfamiliarity with the SPEP-affiliated side of the profession, I have no idea what the equivalents might be. This might not be the best question to ask here, since I know that rankings of all sorts are typically looked upon here with an eye of suspicion (often rightly so!).

I recognize that any list of the “prestige” programs in the SPEP arena are going to be subjective and highly anecdotal. But that’s okay — ultimately the PGR is, too. I just need to get some sense of which programs are considered the exceptionally strong ones, and which programs are considered maybe also strong but less exceptionally so. (My tentative sense is: maybe Penn State, Northwestern, Stony Brook, and Emory? Maybe DePaul, too?)

I would like to note that I actually have legitimate professional reasons to be asking about this, but I would like to keep them private for reasons of anonymity.

Interesting question, and I’m not sure what the answer is! I do know that there is placement data out there indicating which continental programs tend to have the best job-placement rates (some of which are better than the best analytic programs)–in fact, I know this because I posted it on the Cocoon a few years back. Alas, I can’t seem to track it down. Anyone able to find that post? In any case, another reader submitted the following reply:

As a grad student in continental philosophy, things are very volatile, since many of the “best” continental programs come from smaller Jesuit universities who I believe were harder hit by COVID and general declining enrollment than others. As far as the “top tier” of continental programs, I think Penn State and Emory are the two ‘best’ programs, in that they are the best funded and most likely to remain strongly continental. Many of the mixed continental programs are shaking off their continental faculty and the smaller programs are losing a lot of lines.

Anyone else have any helpful insights?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More



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