The Vanderbilt Philosophy Department has a long and distinguished history of excellence and innovation in Philosophy. Faculty research spans the major areas of philosophical inquiry and reflects an uncommonly broad spectrum of methodological commitments, encompassing analytic, continental, pragmatist, and historical approaches. Departmental research strengths include Epistemology, Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, History of Philosophy (Ancient, Medieval, Modern, 19th and 20th Century), Metaphysics, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Race, and Social and Political Philosophy.
The Department’s disciplinary breadth is well represented in its course offerings at the undergraduate and graduate level, and is reflected in its ongoing series of academic events, including the Philosophy Colloquium, the Social and Political Thought Workshop, and the annual Berry Lectures, all of which bring distinguished philosophers from around the world to Vanderbilt. In addition, the Department regularly hosts regional, national and international conferences; recent topics have ranged from the epistemic regress problem to pacifism and Latina feminism. Informal study groups and research workshops, such as the department Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) chapter's reading group, are organized by graduate students and often involve participation from students and faculty alike.
Every student admitted to our PhD Program receives five years of full funding, which includes a tuition waiver, insurance, and a stipend. Our PhD Program is designed to be completed in five years.
Our placement record is especially strong. Current placement data can be found here. The Department has an ongoing commitment to gender, racial, and ethnic diversity. This commitment is evident in our graduate student population; in recent years, the gender proportion of students entering our PhD program has been over 60% women.