Philosophy PhD

I'm very happy to announce that I've recently been accepted for the PhD program in philosophy at Saint Louis University. I can't express how happy I am at this moment. In fact, I'm still in a state of shock because I wasn't expecting to get accepted into any program this year. Out of the 16 programs that I applied to, 14 rejected me (I still haven't heard back from the last one). Every week for almost two months I received at least one rejection; it was extremely disheartening. I actually don't remember the last time I was so depressed for such a long time. To make myself feel better in this low point of my life, I started taking more showers and going on walks around the park. I know that sounds a bit silly, but they actually did help.

Before I describe the program, I should mention that they offered me a full financial package, which includes tuition remission, a stipend, and health insurance. And this is for all five years assuming that my academic performance is satisfactory. This is the typical teacher assistant package, I believe, and in return, I would need to teach a few courses throughout my time there. I've never taught a philosophy course before so I'm very excited.

A few interesting things about the program:
  • The program requires students to take courses in three out of the following four areas: epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and social and political philosophy. I've never done any reading on epistemology or metaphysics so I'm not sure which one I would like more, though my gut feeling tells me that I would prefer the latter. 
  • The program also requires students to take a course on advanced symbolic logic, which, according to the student handbook, is a course that “examines the metatheory of propositional and predicate logic.” I sort of know what that is, but I have no idea how difficult it will be. 
  • In order to graduate, I would also have to demonstrate reading proficiency in French and German. This is a bit unfortunate because I have no history with French whatsoever and I don't really care for it. This is going to be an interesting experience. 
  • My supervisor will be Dan Haybron, who is a philosopher who does research on well-being and its political implications. For those of you who don't know, his work almost completely coincides with my interests. In fact, there is almost no one else whose interests are more closely aligned with mine than Haybon's. I'm extremely happy that I will be able to study under him. 
Another thing I want to mention is that being accepted to this program means that my lifestyle is going to change. Ever since high school, I haven't lived in one place for more than two consecutive years. I have, for most of my adult life, been a nomad. On the one hand, I have quite enjoyed my travels and I don't regret any of them. Through my various experiences, I have learned much about foreign cultures and I have made many foreign friends. On the other hand, since I keep moving around, I constantly have to leave my newly acquired community (and this was especially painful when I left York). Staying in one city for the next five years will be a big change for me; I hope it will be overwhelmingly positive. In any case, I'm looking forward to it.

Before I end this post, I should mention a couple of the worries that I'm having. The first worry is that Haybron moves to another university. If that happens, I don't know what I'll do since there isn't anyone else in the department that does the research I'm interested in. The second worry is regarding the competitiveness of the job market for philosophy PhDs. There are simply not enough philosophy jobs for everyone. Furthermore, since SLU is not a high ranking school, the chances of me finding a tenure track position is even lower. I think I'll ultimately find something so I'm not too worried, but I am expecting the road ahead to be rough.