Baylor began offering the PhD in philosophy in the 2001-2002 school year. At that time, fellowship funding for the terminal MA degree, which Baylor had offered since 1950, ceased being offered. Baylor has placed PhDs at such schools as Biola University, Georgetown College, Georgetown University, Houston Baptist University, Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, and West Georgia State University.
Currently about 30 PhD students are actively working on the degree. The average GRE scores for the 2015 and 2016 incoming classes were: Verbal 164, Quantitative 158 and Analytical Writing 5.3. We usually admit 3-6 new students each year. Baylor is becoming known for the unusually collegial relationships that prevail within its philosophy PhD community. Our graduate students are quite active in presenting papers at American Philosophical Association meetings and other professional conferences, and in recent years have had papers accepted by such journals as Faith and Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy East and West, Res Philosophica, Synthese and Religious Studies.
According to Academic Analytics (2016), 69% of our faculty are in the top 20% of philosophers nationwide. The 2017 Academic Placement Data and Analysis report ranks our Department #5 internationally for graduate student placement and #15 for graduate alumni satisfaction.
Normally, admitted students receive a stipend for five years, currently at least $17,500 per year, and full tuition remission, both subject to satisfactory performance. The Ph.D. program is designed to be completed within five years.
Instituting the PhD in philosophy was part of a university-wide development plan known as Baylor Vision 2012, which called for the university to become a first-rate research university while enhancing and widening its commitment to the Christian tradition. The degree of excellence in both faculty and PhD students that Baylor achieved seems to attest to the wisdom of Vision 2012’s architects in linking aspirations to academic excellence with aspirations to Christian faithfulness.
In May of 2012, the Baylor Board of Regents adopted Pro Futuris: a Strategic Vision for Baylor University. Developed over the course of two years, Pro Futuris reflects the input and wisdom of the extended Baylor community. Pro Futuris serves as a compass for our future, providing direction without dictating specific actions—pointing us toward our destination while inviting creativity in determining the paths by which we will arrive. It follows on the heels of the very successful Baylor 2012 vision which ushered in unprecedented growth and development at Baylor impacting every area of university life.