UC San Diego News Center


UC San Diego Hosts Third-Annual ‘Women in Philosophy’ Summer Program

Image: participants of 2015 summer program for women in philosophy at UC San Diego

Photo of 2015 SPWP participants. Photo: SPWP

The University of California, San Diego is taking applications for the Department of Philosophy’s third-annual 2016 Summer Program for Women in Philosophy (SPWP), June 20-July 1. In its third year, SPWP offers select applicants access to visiting scholars who teach two philosophy seminar courses and to UC San Diego female philosophy graduate students who lead workshops that range in topic from applying to graduate programs and navigating academic culture, to philosophical writing and funding and resources. This year’s guest instructors are Connie Rosati, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona, specializing in ethical theory and jurisprudence, and Sondra Bacharach, senior lecturer at Victoria University in New Zealand, specializing in aesthetics. SPWP applications are due March 1 and selected participants will be notified by April 1.

SPWP participants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens who are sophomores or juniors at an accredited four-year college or university. Women who are citizens of other countries are also eligible to apply if they are currently enrolled in an accredited four-year college or university within the U.S. Preference is given to applicants who have just finished their junior year at the time of the program, although those who have finished their sophomore year are also eligible.

While academic ability and philosophical promise are the main criteria for selection, the selection committee considers applicants from colleges or universities with smaller or more limited resources (e.g., with very small philosophy departments that are unable to offer the same range of courses as larger departments), and applicants who face financial and cultural hardships in their pursuit of higher education.

“I can’t recommend the SPWP at UC San Diego highly enough. I got the chance to learn about fields in philosophy I wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to—like metaphysics and epistemology of witchcraft. All the professors and graduate students in the program did such a wonderful job of welcoming us and making us feel at home at UC San Diego. This program has definitely made me more serious about pursuing philosophy further,” said 2015 participant Tez Clark from Harvard University.

Admitted students receive financial assistance with travel costs, housing and meals on the UC San Diego campus for the duration of the program, electronic copies of the reading materials needed for coursework and a modest allowance for incidentals during their visit.

Participants attend the two seminar courses alternately each weekday during the two weeks, with breaks for meals and time reserved for daily group workshops. Additionally, several group recreational activities are planned and may include visits to the San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo and a beach day with surf lessons or snorkeling.

SPWP is part of a long-term study designed to determine the effectiveness of such programs aimed at helping undergraduate women succeed in the pursuit of their careers in philosophy. Applicants who are selected as participants are asked to complete one or two brief anonymous surveys per year in the years following their participation at SPWP. The survey questions concern the participant’s academic career ranging from number of applications made, at which program she enrolled and the job offers she received after completing graduate school. The overall goal of the survey process is to assess SPWP’s effectiveness, statistically.

DeeAnn Spicer, former 2014 participant from the University of Maryland, said, “The two weeks I spent at the UC San Diego SPWP were two of the best weeks of my life. Being around such amazing women made me take myself seriously as a philosopher for the first time and showed me that there are many different, equally valid ways to approach and practice philosophy. I am so grateful there are programs like these for up-and-coming philosophers.”

SPWP is made possible by generous support from the UC San Diego Department of Philosophy; Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Division of Arts and Humanities, the Office of Graduate Studies, the American Society for Aesthetics and the Chris and Pat Weil Family.

For more information on selection criteria and application instructions visit the website, or email Kathryn Joyce at

The UC San Diego Department of Philosophy is ranked in the top 10 or better nationally in multiple sub-fields. With its interdisciplinary approach, the department intersects with science, technology, health and social sciences, and other arts and humanities.

Media Contact

Cynthia Dillon, 858-822-0142 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

UC San Diego’s Studio Ten 300 offers radio and television connections for media interviews with our faculty. For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).