Many of our graduating PhD students are fortunate enough to secure a tenure-track position during their first year on the academic job market. Not all are so fortunate, however. It is by no means uncommon for a student not to secure such a position during their very first year as a job seeker. (This is true of the graduating class of any Philosophy PhD program in North America.) In particular, it is not uncommon for some of our first-time job seekers to receive one-year or multi-year temporary teaching positions or post-docs, leaving them still without a secure long-term position after their first year as a job seeker. It also happens that some of our students are not fortunate enough to receive even such positions during their first year on the job market.
On the one hand, we only permit students to defend their PhDs and enter the job market if we think they are strong enough candidates to warrant being appointed to tenure-track positions. On the other hand, we are committed to seeing to it that all of our recent graduates eventually secure such appointments. For those students who receive temporary teaching positions or post-docs, we continue to remain in touch with them and to extend them the full benefit of our placement process over a number of years until they find more permanent employment. For those who emerge from their first year on the job market empty handed, we have a strong record of finding ways to arrange short-term employment for them at the University of Chicago -- usually as MAPH preceptors, stand-alone instructors, or Harper-Schmidt Teaching Fellows -- providing them with an additional window of time within which to land their first job. In short, our placement process is designed to support not only our first-time job seekers but also all of our recent graduates, doing everything we can to help them find permanent employment in a satisfying academic position.
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