Sunday, July 8, 2007

In the Dealership, Trying to Get a Test Drive

I took a couple of shots at the Simon Fraser philosophy department yesterday for the grossly misleading tone they use talking about the job market. So in the interest of fairness, I also want to draw your attention to something they’re doing very right.

You can see from their page for prospective grad students that they’ve got a terminal MA program, and they’re pitching it hard. That’s exactly what most philosophy departments way down off the bottom of the rankings should be doing. Terminal MAs give students a taste of grad school in philosophy, but without any pretense that as of yet it’s professional training.

My understanding of this isn't really based on anything, but I have this idea that terminal MA programs are a lot more common in the UK and Canada. (Hm. Maybe it’s a Commonwealth thing. Does the Queen like MA programs or something? Anyone know about terminal MA programs in Australia and New Zealand?) Anyway, MA programs are good things. Much better than here in the US, where a lot of departments like to pretend they’re giving “professional training” to a bunch of people who won't ever, you know, actually work in the profession.


Anonymous said...

Most Canadian students do an MA degree (one or two years, course-based or thesis) before deciding on a PhD. Very few people go from a BA to a PhD program, and that mostly at programs such as Toronto which like to think of themselves as in the big leagues with American departments.

--it's worse in Canada

Anonymous said...

You might want to draw your readers attention to the absurd lies directed toward potential PhD students on the website of the University of Guelph.

one of the leading departments in NA? Yeah, maybe leading at sucking.

One of the largest and best-respected PhD programs in Canada? You might notice the most recent Leiter report has Guelph still teamed up with two other universities to offer a joint PhD. And they, even teamed up as a threesome, can't manage to make a ranking.

I know people who are taken in by this shit and then, years later, can't understand why they are unemployed and unemployable.