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What are job search committees looking for in a sample syllabus, or what makes a sample syllabus stand out?


I'm currently a philosophy undergrad with hopes of completing my Masters. In this, I can imagine becoming a lecturer someday for my vocation.

Has anyone here completed that transition before? If so, do you have any advice for the breadth/depth of knowledge I'd need or the perspective I should adopt over the coming years to prepare myself for this?

Daniel NA

I am interested in applying to philosophy programs, but I'm worried i'm too weak a candidate. The pluses: I concentrated in political philosophy in undergrad, and I see myself to be an outstanding learner and writer with pretty good samples and a solid idea for a potential dissertation proposal. I also have references who can speak well about my theoretical abilities. Finally, I took one philosophy course--in French!-- during my MA, from which I finished with a 3.9.

The minuses: I majored in political science, not philosophy. I wasn't exactly part of any philosophy department, and I ended up taking just 4 philosophy classes and then went on to get an MA in a social sciences program. My undergrad GPA was only about 3.6 overall, with a couple of B+'s in the philosophy classes. I would attribute this in my statement to personal reasons (my sloppier grades correlate with time, not subject) and explain that I've grown more capable since my MA. I also have virtually no background in analytic philosophy, but I'm absolutely willing to learn.

Can anyone give me realistic prospects on being admitted to a decent program or if I'm in over my head? Needless to say I would be thrilled to study it--I just want to know if it's seriously worth applying.

new grad instructor

This might have been discussed in a previous post that I missed in my search, but does anyone know of any resources for teaching graduate students in particular? And aside from resources already available online, are there formats or ways of approaching grad seminars that you think are more successful than others? Just looking for some different perspectives as a newbie grad instructor!


To those on the job market, it's often recommended to include R&R status for papers on your CV (say in an 'under review' section). Suppose I discuss this paper on my research statement. Is it appropriate to indicate there, too, that it has received an R&R at a particular journal?

question asker

A co-authored paper of mine was recently accepted to a conference. I can no longer make it to the conference, but my co-author has agreed (with the conference's permission) to present the paper on our collective behalf.

My question is about how to represent this on a CV. On the one hand, I am an author of the accepted paper, which is an accomplishment (however small). On the other, it is misleading to simply list it under 'conference presentations', since I am not presenting. Could I get around this by placing an asterisk next to it and adding *presented by co-author? Alternatively, should I simply exclude this from my CV? For me personally, excluding it is no big deal; my CV is robust enough now that this sort of thing would not make or break me. However, I can imagine more junior scholars for whom being able to list an accepted paper at a good conference is valuable, despite having to leave the presentation itself to their co-author.

Maybe I am approaching this all wrong, and this is no different from a case where a single-authored paper is accepted but the author declines to present. Such a thing would not be listed on one's CV (or would it?), so maybe the same holds true for the co-authored case?

Wondering about AOCs

I have a question about developing AOCs. Specifically, I am curious how people go about deciding what AOCs to develop, what the best practices there might be. Obviously it would be nice to have competence in areas of interest to me personally, but also, I want to think strategically in terms of the job market.

One piece of advice was that the AOS and AOC should paint a coherent picture -- so my AOS and my AOC(s) are clearly related in content. E.g., specializing in ancient, project is on an ancient figure's view of mind, AOC in contemporary mind. Something like that. But if this is good advice, I'm wondering if one risks seeming overly specialized.

Another piece of advice was to think about what areas hiring committees might like to offer undergrad courses in. I'm less clear how this one works (maybe choosing an often underrepresented area like race/gender, nonwestern areas, etc.? or a 'core' subfield, or a history one, assuming these are needs every department might have?). But if this is good advice, I'm wondering how to actually figure out what areas those might be.

Finally, I was curious whether AOC-related advice differs in terms of research-focused and teaching-focused job searches. (For what it's worth, I personally will be focusing my job search at SLACs, but I'm curious about advice more generally.)

grad student

Suppose after submitting a manuscript for review, I get back comments (perhaps I even get the verdict 'minor revisions'). Am I allowed to make major changes to the manuscript beyond what the reviewers recommend, and should I note this somewhere?

Basically, while waiting for reviewer reports, I've gotten feedback for the paper from a conference and want to make some major changes.

Mr. metaphors

Grad Student
The journal that invites you to submit a paper with minor revisions is not committing to reviewing a radically reworked paper. You can always keep your new extra ideas for another paper. You risk losing the bird in your hand if you try to grab that majorly revised bird in the bush.

another postdoc

I have a question about writing samples...would it be frowned upon to send an introduction to a dissertation or book project in progress as a writing sample? I work in a pretty technical area, so I think my introduction is clearest and most engaging for a general audience. But, of course, it's only the beginning of an argument, and perhaps search committees want to see a full argument in article form? Apologies if this has been asked before.


Does anyone know about the MDPI journal "Philosophies"? I see several recognizable names on the editorial board:


I also have heard concerns about the publisher: borderline predatory practices and worries about the peer-review process. It isn't on Beall's list and a quick Google search only yields one Reddit thread warning people to be wary, but without specifics.


I hope this question is in the scope, because I am genuinely curious for practical reasons. Is anyone here a faculty at an elite program who has also worked in non-elite programs? How do those experiences compare? In particular, are you bothered by/developing/acting out some elitism? How do you like this aspect? Does anyone like their non-elite program experience better, assuming all duties are roughly equal? I have never been in a super elite program for study or work, and find it awkward to ask this in real life.

Grad student

Do people have any thoughts/tips about putting together an academic website? I take it that it's a consensus good thing, but are there platforms/kinds of content/organization tips that people would recommend?

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