1. Where someone goes to grad school has a significant impact on her job prospects. After all, right after getting the PhD we all tend to have very similar CVs (a conference or two, maybe a publication) which will naturally make the school we go to an important part of our application.
2. Prospective students do not have much information about the different graduate programs (props to Leiter for trying to help with this). After all, most people applying to grad school have only been doing philosophy for 1-2 years. This is hardly enough time to figure out which philosophers are alive, much less to figure out the strengths of different departments or a particular person who you want to try to work with.
3. Students are largely admitted to graduate school after 3 years as an undergraduate. When determining who to admit it may make more sense to take people with MAs since they've already decided not to quit, but at least a good portion of us seem to have come straight from undergrad.
This makes it seem like there may be a fairly strong tie between someone’s semi-informed choice of where to go to grad school where her options depend on her potential as a junior in college and her job prospects upon receiving a PhD. Am I just grossly overlooking the importance of dissertation projects or something? I’d like the think my progress as a philosopher’s going to matter in the fall..
-- Second Suitor