Profile of Philosophy Departments (HDS 3)
Findings and Trends
- Among philosophy departments that were granting degrees in 2012, total enrollment in undergraduate courses was 492,300 in fall 2017 (with an average enrollment of 654.7 per department).2
- On average, philosophy departments awarded nine bachelor’s degrees per department in the 2016–17 academic year (a statistically significant decrease from 2012). Students also completed an average of 8.9 minors per department.
- Total enrollment in graduate-level philosophy courses was 24,970 in fall 2017 (with an average enrollment of 33.2 students per department). The average number of students pursuing an advanced degree in philosophy was 54 per department that granted such degrees.
- Philosophy departments employed 6,735 full- and part-time faculty members in fall 2017, with an average of nine faculty members per department. Sixty-eight percent of these faculty were either tenured or on the tenure track, and 22% were employed part-time.
- Seventeen percent of philosophy departments hired a new permanent faculty member for the start of the 2017–18 academic year (the smallest share found among the disciplines included in the survey), and 27% of the departments had a faculty member come up for tenure in the previous two years (also a comparatively small share).
- Women constituted 27% of the faculty members in philosophy departments in fall 2017, the smallest share among the disciplines included in the survey. Twenty-five percent of tenured faculty members were women, compared to 48% of faculty members on the tenure track and 15% of those off the tenure track.
- While 90% of philosophy departments provided research support for their full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members and 66% offered such support for full-time nontenured or non-tenure-track faculty, only 24% offered such support for part-time faculty.
Supporting Student Careers
- Forty-three percent of philosophy departments rated the career services programs at their college or university “good” or “very good” for their students, while 11% rated the services “poor” or “very poor.”
- A relatively small share—about 10%—of philosophy departments had a professional program (such as teacher credentialing). (The average for all disciplines in the survey combined was 24%.) Philosophy, however, had a relatively large percentage of departments with faculty teaching courses in a professional school at their institution (17%, compared to 12% across all disciplines in the survey).
Engaging the Digital
- A comparatively small share of philosophy departments, 11%, had one or more faculty members specializing in the digital humanities. The survey found a smaller share only among combined English/LLE departments.
- In the 2016–17 academic year, 37% of philosophy departments offered fully online courses, while 14% offered hybrid courses. Departments offered an average of 4.1 fully online courses and 0.5 hybrid courses (each average was calculated over the number of departments offering a course of that kind).
- 2Students who enrolled in more than one course in the discipline are counted in each course in which they enrolled. The same is true for the graduate course enrollment values given below. Medians for all “per department” quantities mentioned in this section are available in the corresponding data tables (please see the Appendix, Part B).