UCR’s Philosophy Department has a reputation for offering students a cooperative and supportive environment in large part because graduate students have a broad range of opportunities to collaborate and socialize with peers and faculty. Students and faculty working on agency and free will participate in a long standing Agency Writing Workshop, in which students and faculty read and discuss papers that participants are working on. A History of Philosophy Writing Workshop has begun more recently in light of the outstanding success of the Agency Writing Workshop. Probably the longest standing tradition at UCR is a Wittgenstein reading group led by Larry Wright. Other faculty led groups notably include Eric Schwitzgebel and Peter Graham’s Philosophy of Psychology and Epistemology Workshop, which hosts guest speakers and discussions of recently published work in relevant areas of philosophy. In addition to these regularly held groups and workshops, there are dozens of informal reading groups and translation groups that spring up from quarter to quarter involving faculty and students.
In addition to the speakers brought to campus by the department’s colloquia series, the Bernd Magnus Lecture Series brings a leading Nietzsche scholar to campus annually, and graduate students vote to help choose the annual Distinguished Visiting Speaker. Recent speakers have included Martha Nussbaum, Saul Kripke and Harry Frankfurt.
UCR’s proximity to UC Los Angeles, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego allows students to take courses at those institutions as a part of their graduate studies. The Southern California university community also provides UCR students with opportunities to participate in inter-collegiate groups, like the Southern California History and Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics Group, and to attend talks and events sponsored by nearby universities.
Groups and Associations
UCR’s Graduate Student Association has been a great resource for Philosophy grad students. In addition to hosting frequent opportunities for grad students to meet and mingle, the GSA offers travel grants up to $400 per student for participating in conferences. With up to an additional $750 offered by the department for travel, UCR Philosophy grad students have the opportunity to participate in a number of conferences every year. The Philosophy department also has its own subdivision of the GSA, the Philosophy Graduate Student Association. The PGSA sponsors intra-departmental talks, sends welcome information to incoming graduate students, supports an initiative to develop grad student teaching, and represents philosophy grad student interests within the university. Finally, UCR’s graduate division offers graduate students support, including writing consultations and teaching workshops, through Grad Success.