This page presents information and suggestions for undergraduate and graduate students at HKU and for students thinking about pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy, particularly Chinese philosophy.

For Undergraduates

For HKU Graduate Students

Graduate Study in Chinese Philosophy

A detailed discussion I wrote in 2009 about pursuing a Ph.D. in Chinese Philosophy is posted beginning on this page.

In forming plans for an academic career, it’s best to consider a range of opinions from professors and students in your prospective field. The links below lead to various discussions and advice concerning postgraduate study in Chinese philosophy.

As of 2009, I would have strongly recommended my own institution, the University of Hong Kong, as a beneficial environment in which to pursue graduate study in Chinese thought. Because of recent changes in the funding model for postgraduate scholarships at HKU, as of 2016 I no longer recommend that students apply here.

Graduate Study in Philosophy

Links to a wide range of useful discussions concerning postgraduate study in philosophy generally.

  • "A User's Guide to Philosophy Without Rankings." Extensive, helpful information, including discussions of the limitations of any ranking system, especially the PGR.

  • The Philosophical Gourmet Report on postgraduate programs in philosophy contains much useful information. Be sure to read the explanations, clarifications, caveats, and recommendations. Use the report as a starting point to learn more about the field and about a range of programs that might interest you. Don’t attach much importance to small differences in rank between top programs (the top twenty or so), nor to larger differences between other programs. (Given the nature and methods of the PGR, I doubt that the bottom half of the rankings accurately reflect concrete differences in faculty quality.)

  • Zachary Ernst offers an informative discussion of whether you should attend graduate school in philosophy.

  • Keith DeRose has an invaluable, detailed blog post on how to choose a postgraduate program. The comments and his replies are also informative. He has also posted some reflections on the PGR methodology here.

  • David Brink offers some helpful explanations and advice (pdf) on postgraduate study in philosophy.

  • Michael Huemer offers a somewhat harsh appraisal here. Balance his remarks against the comments here.

  • Willem deVries has posted a lengthy, straight-talking essay offering advice on postgraduate study (pdf) in philosophy.

  • Eric Schwitzgebel wrote a pair of informative blog posts in 2007 about applying to postgraduate programs in philosophy. They are here and here.

  • Aidan McGlynn has assembled a long list of links to articles offering advice to wannabe philosophers. Lots of information here.

  • Mathew Lu has some helpful advice and reflections on his graduate education here.

  • Lin Hanti has posted a detailed set of notes on pursuing PhD and finding employment teaching philosophy.

  • Several young philosophers reflect critically on the significance of the PGR and discuss choosing postgraduate programs here.

  • Richard Heck’s advice on choosing a postgraduate program.

  • Those contemplating postgraduate study in the humanities should be aware of the concerns William Pannapacker raises in this column, this one, and this later follow-up.

  • The American Philosophical Association’s page on "Philosophy as a Profession."

  • Students thinking about a career in philosophy would benefit from reading this essay by Susan Haack.

  • An interesting discussion of factors to consider in choosing a graduate supervisor.

  • A useful, lengthy discussion (read the comments too!) of the process of finding a job teaching philosophy.

  • Karen Kelsky runs a consulting service for academic job seekers and has written a number of columns worth consulting. Here's one, "Graduate School is a Means to a Job."

  • Think an academic career is for you? Here's an informative run-down of just what professional academics do, day by day: "It's the Academic Life for Me." Most people assume that what professors primarily do is teach and are surprised when I tell them that some years teaching amounts to 20% or less of my job.