Well, it was always a notion. Certainly, it was mostly even always a possibility. However, my wife and I have officially committed to it. We have made a plan, discussed places we can stomach living, and have a feasible plan for income, etc. So, I went to work shopping for PhD programs. I will offer for discussion and encouragement “the list.” More importantly, I offer the methods by which I chose these programs, and hopefully the community here will be able to commiserate with, encourage, and perhaps even begin work on the process together. So, without further ado in no particular order, “the list”:
Each of these programs fit into the criteria I ultimately worked out with my wife (and it may still change). /1/ Field of Study: What do I want to study? Does the university have faculty currently doing research in that field? For me, I hope to study philosophical theology (I have been thinking specifically of our theology of time, or of the philosophical necessities of Eucharistic theology)/2/ Placement: At what rate does the university place its PhD students in full-time (tenured?) teaching positions? The lowest on the list has an 85% placement rate for its graduates. /3/ Financial Aid: How much of tuition and expenses are covered by Fellowships and Teaching Assistant/Associate positions? Each of the universities on my list offer between 83% and 100% tuition reimbursement, and an added stipend for teaching undergraduates (which is important for me, since I want to teach).
So, What are your criteria? Have any of you delved into the application process? Upcoming posts will cover my experiences with applications, GRE test prep., etc.