Disciplinary Logics in Doctoral Admissions: Understanding Patterns of Faculty Evaluation

Posselt, Julie R.
November 2015
Journal of Higher Education;Nov/Dec2015, Vol. 86 Issue 6, p807
Academic Journal
Ph.D. attainment rates by race and gender vary widely across the disciplines, and previous research has found disciplinary variation in graduate admissions criteria and practices. To better understand how disciplines shape admissions preferences and practices, which in turn may shape student access to graduate education, this article uncovers disciplinary patterns of faculty evaluation in doctoral admissions. Building on our knowledge of disciplinary cultures, I conducted comparative ethnographic case studies of doctoral admissions in ten highly selective programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, including 86 interviews with 68 participants and 22 hours of admissions committee observations. In this article, I analyze patterns of faculty evaluation evident in three programs representing two high-consensus disciplines, economics and philosophy. Their prevailing theories, epistemologies, methodologies, and practical priorities each have a formative influence on judgments of applicants and the conduct of admissions decision making. I propose that institutionalized disciplinary assumptions are the basis for disciplinary logics: models of rationality by which faculty legitimize in-group standards of quality and evaluative practice that outsiders may deem contestable.


Related Articles

  • USING THE RFM MODEL TO RANK DOCTORAL MARKETING PROGRAMS. Elbeck, Matt; Vander Schee, Brian A. // AMA Summer Educators' Conference Proceedings;2012, Vol. 23, p430 

    Students balance perception with scholarly fact to identify the 'best' marketing doctoral program. We rank doctoral marketing programs using scholarly productivity. The Recency-Frequency-Money (RFM) segmentation model is applied to offer a contemporary measure of scholarly excellence based on...

  • The PhD conundrum. Pearson, Bryan // Africa Health;Mar2014, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p3 

    The author discusses the insufficient number of doctoral holders that will lead new faculties and departments in Africa. The author states that the Africa's struggles in increasing doctoral achievers has affected the country's obtained expansion on higher education. The author adds that the...

  • Presentación.  // Ingeniería y Ciencia;ene-jun2011, Vol. 7 Issue 13, p1 

    No abstract available.

  • Preface. Mallan, Vijay Kumar; Lee, Allison // Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities;Sep2011, Vol. 19 Issue 2, preceding p273 

    No abstract available.

  • A DOCTORAL DEGREE? PERCEIVED EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY CONSTRAINTS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS. Beale, Ruby L.; Brown III, Ulysses J.; Samms Brown, Chevanese L. // Academy of Educational Leadership Journal;2014, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p47 

    This paper examined antecedents to determine what may impact college students' perceived employment opportunities constraints as it relate to obtaining a PhD. There is a growing literature that indicates the increasing importance of graduate education, including doctoral degrees for academic and...

  • The biomedical doctorate in the contemporary university: education or training and why it matters. Kemp, Matthew; Newnham, John; Chapman, Elaine // Higher Education (00181560);May2012, Vol. 63 Issue 5, p631 

    The form and function(s) of doctoral education continue to be a subject of much debate by stakeholders internal and external to the university. Notable concerns driving this debate derive from a seemingly discursive array of factors including increasing student numbers, increased understanding...

  • The South African PhD: Insights from employer interviews. TREPTOW, REINHOLD // Perspectives in Education;Jun2013, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p83 

    Current international trends reveal that doctoral education is increasingly expected to satisfy workplace demands. In South Africa, Work Integrated Learning (WIL), introduced as part of the HEQF, is the principal initiative to facilitate greater relevance of higher education in the workplace....

  • Professional Doctorates in Management: Toward a Practice-Based Approach to Doctoral Education. BANERJEE, SUBHABRATA; MORLEY, CLIVE // Academy of Management Learning & Education;Jun2013, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p173 

    Professional doctorates, particularly in Australia and the UK, have been a significant growth area over the last 20 years. We discuss the emergence of professional doctorates in management education and their contribution to a more practice-based approach to doctoral education, with particular...

  • The evolution of the counselor educator. Lloyd, Arthur P.; Feit, Stephen S.; Nelson, Jennifer // Counseling Today;Nov2010, Vol. 53 Issue 5, p58 

    The article explores the issues surrounding the profession and the identity among counselor educators. It identifies an issue on the development of counselor education within colleges of education since other doctoral field such as in sociology and psychology has not required prior teaching...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics