Overall Rankings

Overall Rankings

This year’s overall rankings are based on reputational surveys completed by 211 philosophers throughout the English-speaking world and Continental Europe; 274 philosophers participated in either the overall or specialty rankings, often both. Evaluators included 15 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and nearly 10 Fellows of either the British Academy or the Royal Society of Canada, among other learned societies, as well as leading senior and junior philosophers in every area of philosophy. In the overall rankings, evaluators were asked to evaluate randomly ordered faculty lists that did not include the university’s name. They were giving the following prompt:

Please rate the overall quality of the graduate program’s faculty.

Evaluators were given a drop down menu to select their rating from the following scale:

The evaluators could move forwards and backwards in the survey, but there was no ability for those taking the survey to compare their ratings from faculty list to faculty list at the end. A full description of the methodology of the survey is explained in the “description of the report” section of the report. (include link).

Because evaluators do not have reliable access to information about the quality of graduate teaching and mentoring for most departments, this was not a component of the evaluation. As always, students are advised to talk to current students before enrolling at any program.

The rank of each department is based on the “overall” mean. We have included the median, mode(s), confidence intervals, and results from past surveys (2014, 2009, 2006, & 2004) in adjacent columns.

All programs in the top 50 in the U.S., the top 15 in the U.K., and the top 5 in Canada and Australasia from the prior survey were included in this year’s survey. Based on this and past year results, we have reason to think that no program not included in the survey would have ranked ahead of these programs. Other programs evaluated this year are listed unranked afterwards; there may well have been programs not surveyed this year that could have fared as well.

Evaluators were asked not to evaluate either their own department or the department from which they received their highest degree (PhD, DPhil, sometimes the BPhil) and were told that such ratings would be removed. All instances of improper or stray ratings were removed from the survey data.

Ranking Of Faculties In The United States

 InstitutionMeanMedianMode(s)Lower CIUpper CIRegionRank in 2014Rank in 2011Rank in 2009Rank in 2006
1New York University4.9554.84.9USA1111
2Rutgers University, New Brunswick4.54.554.44.6USA2222
3Princeton University4.34.54.0,
4University of Michigan, Ann Arbor4.2444.14.3USA4453
4University of Pittsburgh4.2444.14.3USA6545
6Yale University4.1444.04.2USA57816
7Massachusetts Institute of Technology4443.94.1USA13767
7University of Southern California4443.94.1USA8111716
9Columbia University3.9443.84.0USA1011139
9Harvard University3.9443.84.0USA6567
9Stanford University3.9443.84.0USA8996
9University of California, Berkeley3.9443.84.0USA1014912
9University of California, Los Angeles3.9443.84.0USA101197
14City University of New York Graduate Center3.8443.73.9USA16141523
14University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill3.8443.73.9USA139910
16University of Arizona3.7443.6
17University of Notre Dame3.
18Brown University3.53.543.43.6USA20191716
18University of Texas, Austin3.
20University of California, San Diego3.43.543.33.5USA23222120
21University of California, Irvine3.33.533.23.5USA24292320
21University of Chicago3.
21University of Wisconsin, Madison3.33.533.2
21Washington University, St. Louis3.33.533.23.4USA24313039
25Cornell University3.2333.13.3USA17141716
25Duke University3.2333.1
27University of Pennsylvania3.1333.03.2USA31293027
28Indiana University, Bloomington3332.93.1USA24242327
28Ohio State University3332.93.1USA28242626
28University of Colorado, Boulder3332.93.0USA31242626
28University of Massachusetts, Amherst3332.93.1USA28242624
32Northwestern University2.9332.83.1USA31314153
32University of California, Riverside2.9332.83.0USA28313031
32University of Virginia2.9332.83.0USA31373639
35Carnegie Mellon University2.832.52.63.0USA40403639
35Georgetown University2.8332.63.0USA37363639
35Syracuse University2.
35University of Connecticut, Storrs2.832.52.73.0USA37504348
35University of Miami2.832.52.72.9USA31313432
40Johns Hopkins University2.72.532.52.8USA40374335
40University of Maryland, College Park2.
42University of California, Davis
43University of Illinois, Chicago2.
44Boston University2.42.522.32.6USAnot top 50444850
44Florida State University2.42.522.32.5USA45444344
44Texas A&M University2.42.522.32.5USAnot top 50n/an/a
44University of California, Santa Barbara2.
44University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul2.42.522.22.5USA47444744
49Saint Louis University2. top 50
49University of Rochester2.
University of Utah2.2222.12.4USA
Arizona State University2.1222.0
Purdue University2.1222.02.2USA
University at Buffalo2.
University of Missouri, Columbia2.1222.02.2USA
Rice University2221.92.1USA
University of Nebraska, Lincoln2221.92.1USA
University of Kansas1.8221.7

Graphical Summaries: United States

  • Mean, Mode, and Median Plots
  • Histograms of Votes by Department
  • Kernel Density Plots of Votes by Department

Ranking of Faculties in the United Kingdom

 InstitutionMeanMedianMode(s)Lower CIUpper CIRegionRank in 2014Rank in 2011Rank in 2009Rank in 2006
1Oxford University4.54.554.54.6UK1111
2Cambridge University3.63.543.53.8UK2233
3University of St. Andrews/Stirling Joint Program3.43.533.23.5UK3322
4King's College, London3.33.533.23.4UK5456
5University of Edinburgh3.1333.03.2UK48129
6London School of Economics2.9332.83.1UK61188
6University of Leeds2.9332.73.0UK86129
8University College London2.8332.72.9UK6444
9University of Birmingham2.7332.62.9UK8not top 15not top 15not top 15
9University of Bristol2.72.532.52.8UK1013129
11University of Sheffield2.
11University of Warwick2.
13University of Durham2.
13University of Manchester2.42.522.32.6UKnot top 15
13University of York2.
Birkbeck College, University of London2.32.522.22.4UK13664
University of Glasgow2.32.522.12.4UK
University of Reading2.32.522.02.3UK131099
University of Nottingham2.

Graphical Summaries: United Kingdom

  • Mean, Mode, and Median Plots
  • Histograms of Votes by Department
  • Kernel Density Plots of Votes by Department

Ranking of Faculties in Canada

 InstitutionMeanMedianMode(s)Lower CIUpper CIRegionRank in 2014Rank in 2011Rank in 2009Rank in 2006
1University of Toronto3.9443.84.0Canada1111
2University of British Columbia3332.83.1Canada2244
3University of Western Ontario2.62.52.5,
4McGill University2.
5University of Calgary2.32.522.22.4Canada5not top 5not top 5not top 5
Queen's University, Kingston2221.82.1Canada
York University, Toronto2221.92.1Canada
University of Alberta1.9221.82.1Canada5555

Graphical Summaries: Canada

  • Mean, Mode, and Median Plots
  • Histograms of Votes by Department
  • Kernel Density Plots of Votes by Department

Ranking of Faculties in Australasia

 InstitutionMeanMedianMode(s)Lower CIUpper CIRegionRank in 2014Rank in 2011Rank in 2009Rank in 2006
1Australian National University3.53.543.33.6ANZ1111
2University of Sydney3.2333.03.3ANZ2222
3Monash University2.
4University of Melbourne2.32.522.22.5ANZ34not top 53
5University of Auckland2.1221.92.2ANZ5344
Victoria University, Wellington1.9221.72.0ANZ

Graphical Summaries: Australasia

  • Mean, Mode, and Median Plots
  • Histograms of Votes by Department
  • Kernel Density Plots of Votes by Department

Ranking of the Top 50 Faculties in the English Speaking World

 InstitutionMeanMedianMode(s)Lower CIUpper CIRegion
1New York University4.9554.84.9USA
2Oxford University4.54.554.54.6UK
2Rutgers University, New Brunswick4.54.554.44.6USA
4Princeton University4.34.54.0,
5University of Michigan, Ann Arbor4.2444.14.3USA
5University of Pittsburgh4.2444.14.3USA
7Yale University4.1444.04.2USA
8Massachusetts Institute of Technology4443.94.1USA
8University of Southern California4443.94.1USA
10Columbia University3.9443.84.0USA
10Harvard University3.9443.84.0USA
10Stanford University3.9443.84.0USA
10University of California, Berkeley3.9443.84.0USA
10University of California, Los Angeles3.9443.84.0USA
10University of Toronto3.9443.84.0Canada
16City University of New York Graduate Center3.8443.73.9USA
16University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill3.8443.73.9USA
18University of Arizona3.7443.63.8USA
19Cambridge University3.63.543.53.8UK
19University of Notre Dame3.
21Australian National University3.53.543.33.6ANZ
21Brown University3.53.543.43.6USA
21University of Texas, Austin3.
24University of California, San Diego3.43.543.33.5USA
24University of St. Andrews/Stirling Joint Program3.43.533.23.5UK
26King's College, London3.33.533.23.4UK
26University of California, Irvine3.33.533.23.5USA
26University of Chicago3.
26University of Wisconsin, Madison3.33.533.23.4USA
26Washington University, St. Louis3.33.533.23.4USA
31Cornell University3.2333.13.3USA
31Duke University3.2333.13.3USA
31University of Sydney3.2333.03.3ANZ
34University of Edinburgh3.1333.03.2UK
34University of Pennsylvania3.1333.03.2USA
36Indiana University, Bloomington3332.93.1USA
36Ohio State University3332.93.1USA
36University of British Columbia3332.83.1Canada
36University of Colorado, Boulder3332.93.0USA
36University of Massachusetts, Amherst3332.93.1USA
41London School of Economics2.9332.83.1UK
41Northwestern University2.9332.83.1USA
41University of California, Riverside2.9332.83.0USA
41University of Leeds2.9332.73.0UK
41University of Virginia2.9332.83.0USA
46Carnegie Mellon University2.832.52.62.9USA
46Georgetown University2.8332.62.9USA
46Syracuse University2.
46University College London2.8332.72.9UK
46University of Connecticut, Storrs2.832.52.73.0USA
46University of Miami2.832.52.72.9USA

Graphical Summaries: English Speaking World

  • Mean, Mode, and Median Plots
  • Histograms of Votes by Department
  • Kernel Density Plots of Votes by Department

A Note on the Figures

The Philosophical Gourmet Report aggregates the judgments of a panel of field experts into a ranking of philosophy faculties. For the Overall Rankings in particular it is desirable to give users of the guide an accurate sense of the degree of consensus amongst respondents about the departments ranked in the survey. The Report has long done this numerically by reporting several measures of central tendency in the rankings. For this edition we provide additional graphical summaries of the ranking data. For each rank table (United States Top 50, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, and Overall English-Speaking Top 50) we provide three new views of the rating data. These are (1) Mean, Mode, and Median Plots, (2) Histograms of Votes by Department, and (3) Kernel Density Plots of Votes by Department. Each highlights a different aspect of the ranking data.

Mean, Mode, and Median Plots

These plots graphically reproduce information already contained in the rank tables. They show three measures of central tendency for each department, the mean (or average value), the mode (or most frequently occurring value), and the median (the middle, or 50th percentile value). In several cases, most commonly for the median and mode, some of these values are the same or very nearly the same and appear plotted on top of each other in the figures. The x-axis scale in each of these plots is the same, which means departments in different figures can be compared to one another.

Histograms of Votes

These large panel-plots show the distribution of votes for each department ranked. The figures present departments in rank order beginning in the top left corner reading from left to right. Each panel summarizes the distribution of votes for a department. The x-axis is the score awarded, and the y-axis is the count of votes received. The upper end of the y-axis range is determined by the largest number of votes cast for a department within that plot. This means that while departments can be compared to one other within any single figure, they are not comparable across different figures. To compare departments from different countries, consult the Overall English-speaking Top 50 figure.

Kernel Density Plots

These figures summarize the same information about the distribution of scores within and across departments that is presented in the histograms. Once again the aim is to represent the range of votes for each department, but this time in a way that can be quickly compared along the vertical axis. When the number of departments is large, histograms are less well suited to this. A kernel density can be thought of roughly as a continuous version of a histogram. It is a smoothed, nonparametric approximation of the underlying distribution of scores. It gives an indication of where scores are concentrated at particular values (visible as peaks in the distribution). The total shaded area of the kernels is proportional to the vote count for that department. The height of the peaks corresponds to the number of times a department was awarded about that score by respondents. Darker areas correspond to more votes. Higher-ranking departments do not just have higher scores on average, they are also rated more often. This is because respondents may choose to only vote for a few departments, and when they do this they usually choose to evaluate the higher-ranking departments. Hence higher-ranking departments may appear darker in color, and lower-ranking ones lighter, reflecting the fact that relatively fewer assessments are made about them. The absence of any clear peak in a department’s distribution indicates a more uniform distribution of scores awarded. The wider the spread, the wider the range of votes cast. Comparing down the column also gives a good indication of how much the distribution of expert opinion about departments tends to overlap across departments, and at what points on the scale votes are concentrated for different departments. For more detailed information about the distribution of votes within departments, consult the histograms.