UA Philosophy Department Ranks 13th in the World; Political Philosophy Specialty Ranks 1st

The 2009 rankings published in the Philosophical Gourmet Report show that The University of Arizona has one of the best philosophy graduate departments in the world. Overall, the department ranked 13th, tied with Columbia University. It ranked in the top 20 in several specialty areas, ranking first in political philosophy, and second in philosophy of cognitive science.

The rankings are based on peer reviews and measure faculty quality and reputation.

“I'm delighted that our graduate program ranks 13th in the world,” says Chris Maloney, head of the UA philosophy department. “And when the comparison range is restricted to public universities, we rank 5th.

“The thousands of undergraduates we teach annually have the opportunity to study with some of the most influential philosophers of our time. This is a very, very good time to be a student at The University of Arizona,” says Maloney.

For specialty rankings, programs were placed in “groupings” based on the rounded mean.

The UA’s political philosophy program ranked first in the world, tied with Harvard University and New York University. The department’s dominance in this area is due largely to the stellar reputations of Professor Tom Christiano, Gerald Gaus, the James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy, and David Schmidtz, the Kendrick Professor of Philosophy.

“It¹s gratifying,” says Schmidtz. “And these rankings are not just a beauty contest. They are produced by panels of our peers, and our peers ranking us #1 affects our ability first to recruit the best graduate students in the world and then to place them in faculty positions.”

The department is also dominant in the philosophy of cognitive science, where it ranked in second place, tied with three other institutions. UA philosophers such as Shaun Nichols, Terry Horgan, Uriah Kriegel, and Regents’ Professors John Pollock and Keith Lehrer give the UA considerable talent and depth in this field. 

The UA was also very strong in other specialties, ranking in the third group in epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, and history of philosophy (ancient philosophy and early modern philosophy).