How To Apply

Applicants should have successfully completed substantial undergraduate coursework in philosophy (normally in the form of a major, significant minor, or equivalent coursework in philosophy). The application must include three letters of recommendation from those in a position to comment on a student’s potential for graduate study in philosophy (normally former or current teachers), a philosophical essay (writing sample) representing the applicant’s best work in philosophy, a statement of purpose, transcripts, and GRE scores. Foreign students from non-English speaking countries are generally also required to submit their scores on the TOEFL (this may be waived in special cases, e.g. for students who have a prior degree from an English-speaking institution).

Advice for Applicants:

1.     The letters of recommendation: Ideally, all of your writers should be philosophy professors who know your work well, and can comment on your achievements and promise in philosophy. You should provide them with your statement of purpose, writing sample, and other samples of your written work in philosophy to help them in writing their letter. 

2.     The writing sample serves as your ‘philosophical audition’: it is our chance to evaluate your philosophical work and abilities first-hand. This should be a substantive and polished paper (ideally: 12-20 pages) on a core philosophical topic, showing your ability to master a topic and contribute to a debate. It is also somewhat helpful if it is in the area of philosophy in which you intend to work. Do not submit writing samples on non-philosophical topics; that will not help your application.

3.     The statement of purpose: Should be no more than 1-2 pages (single spaced), and should outline why you intend to pursue graduate work in philosophy (be specific here: don’t just appeal to love of philosophy, which nearly all applicants share). You should also discuss what sorts of topics and issues you hope to work on, and why you think our department would be a good fit for your interests. If there is anything you think we should know about your academic record that won’t show up in the official documents, this would also be a good place to mention it.

 GRE and transcripts: We do not make use of any ‘cut-off’ scores for either GPA or GRE scores, but rather evaluate applications holistically. With respect to GPA, we are generally more interested in your grades in philosophy courses than in other subjects, and are more interested in recent than in distant past grades. We will also be concerned to see how much academic background you have in philosophy. Students who do not have a major or nearly equivalent coursework in philosophy are generally better off applying to one of the many good free-standing MA programs in philosophy first, and thereafter applying to Ph.D. programs like ours. Official transcrips from all institutions attended are required and should be sent to the Department. A copy of the transcript may be emailed to the department and serve as a place holder only until the official transcript arrives.

The deadline for applications for 
admission and financial aid is: January 8th, 2020.

Students who have difficulty meeting the deadline or have any other questions or concerns should contact the Director of Graduate Studies

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For administrative questions regarding application materials, the status of your application, etc., please contact

For questions of an academic nature about the program, contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Simon Evnine. He can be reached via e-mail at