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Tips for Applying to Graduate School in Philosophy

Philosophy majors make many different career choices. Students interested in graduate study of philosophy should develop an individualized plan with a member of the philosophy department as soon as possible. .

  1. Assemble a list of ten graduate programs to which you wish to apply by your Junior year. These should include roughly five terminal Ph.D. programs and five terminal MA programs. (In general, students should anticipate completing a terminal MA degree at one university, then applying for a Ph.D. granting program at another university.) Note any unusual program requirements.
  2. Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) by the summer before your senior year.  
  3. Students should do a research project. A project proposal should be completed by the start of the spring semester of the students' junior year. Plan on completing a research project before the beginning of the fall semester of your senior year. This paper will constitute the writing sample in your graduate school application, so it is imperative that it be done at this time and that it be of the highest quality. Usually, this project will qualify the student for honors.
  4. Graduate school applications will be submitted beginning in early December for admission in the following year, so allot time before this to prepare your applications. If you need additional financial support for graduate school applications, please contact the chair of the philosophy department.
  5. Students should secure letters from three professors who know their academic work. These letters should be solicited no later than October of the student's senior year. Professors should be provided with copies of the writing sample, CV (resume), the list of programs to which you'll apply (include addresses), a list of classes taken with the professor along with grades earned in those courses, and any other relevant material.
  6. Students should take Phil 210: Symbolic Logic. 
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