PEA Soup

A forum for discussing Philosophy, Ethics, and Academia

A Collection of Advice to Philosophy Grad Students

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Tips for applying to graduate school (Alex Guerrero):

Should you pursue graduate study? (Rutgers Philosophy):

Advice About Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Philosophy (University of Mississippi Philosophy):

Graduate School Advice for Philosophy Majors (Humboldt Philosophy Dept):

Applying to PhD Programs in Philosophy, Part 1: Should you apply and where (Eric Schwitzgebel):

How to be an awesome first year grad student (Eric Schwitzgebel):

12 Tips for Success in Philosophy Graduate School (Liz Jackson):

Advice for the philosophy job market (Dan Korman):

A safe and supportive forum for early-career philosophers:

Maintaining Sense of Confidence and Self-Worth in the Face of Failure and Rejection (Lisa Miracchi):

Self-Compassionate Writing Exercises (Lisa Miracchi):

Advice for Succeeding in Graduate School (Stanford Philosophy):

2 Replies to “ A Collection of Advice to Philosophy Grad Students ”

Some additional resources:

Turns out that Adam Patterson has a great collection of such advice on his web page here:

Comments are closed.

Top Tier Philosophy PhD Admissions

<p>Hey there!</p>

<p>I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond majoring in Philosophy. I was wondering what I should be shooting for to have a decent shot at a top 10 philosophy PhD program.</p>

<p>I’m a hispanic male and am involved with leadership positions on campus in three different organizations. I’m also applying to the department’s honors program, and so will hopefully graduate from the department with honors and some sort of original thesis. Assume a decent writing sample and good letters of recomendation (I’m personal friends with the dean and some professors). What overall GPA, departmental GPA, and GRE score would make me competitive for top tier schools: Princeton, Pittsburgh, Harvard, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, Michigan, Cornell, MIT, Brown, etc. </p>

<p>Any help is sincerely appreciated. If any other information is needed to provide an accurate response, let me know.</p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>Any top 10 philosophy PhD program will be extremely competitive. You could have a 4.0 and a perfect GRE score and fail to be accepted to any of these schools. The students accepted to these schools probably do have, on average, something like a 3.9, but this is neither necessary nor sufficient for acceptance. You will need to have more than a “decent” writing sample: It must be great. The writing sample is, above all else, what will determine admission. Given a 3.5 and a reasonable GRE score, you’ll have a shot, but will need to have a powerful sample. As I understand it, higher “numbers” will not boost your chances very much, if at all, as long as the writing sample remains but “decent”. You only need to have, say, a 3.5 in order to make it past the initial “cut” of applications, when the school narrows the pool to a manageable size, if the school practices this. From that point, it is just because students with higher GPAs typically have better samples that the average GPA for accepted students is so high.</p>

<p>Keep in mind that those applying for PhDs in philosophy, especially to top programs, have usually worked hard and have great qualifications. Nonetheless, many of the top schools only admit fewer than 10% of the applicants. 15% would be a high acceptance rate, by my understanding.</p>

<p>I would say at least a 3.85 major gpa, with at least a 3.7 overall gpa. These are minimum scores for most top philosophy programs. Please keep in mind, though, when applying for a philosophy PhD, you need to find a good adviser match, and not necessarily a “school” match. Graduate programs are very different than undergraduate. So don’t look at just s school’s name prestige, as that will matter very little once you start applying for positions. </p>

<p>The above poster is correct; you need to have VERY good writing samples. Have you written any articles, or done any research? Evidence of original writing is very important.</p>

<p>What do philosophy grad students do during the day? What portion of the day is spent reading? Writing? Teaching? Do philosophy grad students go to conferences? Give seminars? Are there prelims and what would those consist of? Are there applications to non academic disciplines? I don’t really understand what it is all about but would be curious to find out.</p>

<p>I’ll describe it in the American field, since the European field of learning it is a little different (I am only knowledgeable of the two learning communities). Usually grad students are taking classes, unless they are done with their class portion and are writing dissertations. Some grad students are teaching assistants, which is usually part of their financial aid packet, although some schools decide those positions differently. They may go to conferences if they are relevant to their studies. They usually don’t teach seminars, but they do teach undergraduate lectures or lead discussion groups, as TAs. There are usual tests for their classes as well as their understanding of material. As for non-academic applications, I’m sure that there are some, but none that I am either interested in or aware of. I suppose, just generally, that philosophy requires a great deal of logic and critical thinking, so any field that utilizes these traits would be non-academic (or academic) disciplines.</p>

<p>To give you a heads up as you enter in your senior year. If you are ABSOLUTELY sure that you want to do grad school, drop your ECs. I mean it. Okay, just one or two that you enjoy. Why? Because grad schools don’t care about ECs or even your leadership position.</p>

<p>Instead, you should be focusing on your senior thesis, especially if you want to get a good portion done in time for grad admissions. Chances are, probably not. So you need to find another seminar paper that’s filled with original research and analysis to stand in for your writing sample.</p>

<p>DO you also have German or French? If not, get cracking on at least one of them.</p>

<p>As for LORs, choose professors who know you and your work very well. Your letter from the Dean doesn’t do anything unless he personally supervised your thesis.</p>

<p>Read this.</p>

<p>[The</a> Splintered Mind: Underblog: Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Philosophy: Full Text](<a href=“]The ”> The Splintered Mind: Underblog: Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Philosophy: Full Text )</p>

<p>Thank you everyone for all the helpful advice. Let me make sure I’ve got a solid understanding. Its not so much about the scores as meeting a minimum, so as long as I break let’s say a 3.6 GPA mark and an equivalent GRE, from there it’s more about the LOR and SOP and WS. LOR should come from proffesors, since though deans and politicians are influential, they won’t be as helpful to grad school applications. WS and SOP are the most critical. I should have lots of people read them and revise them. My hispanic heritage is not going to give me more than a slight nudge over other applicants. And I should definately pursue the honors program and produce some sort of original thesis. Is this all correct? Thank you all again for helpful answers!</p>

<p>I strongly recommend having at least a 3.8, not 3.6. Evidence of original thought and writing is paramount. You should write articles (even if they aren’t published) with original thought and new ideas and angles. If your thesis will not be done until your senior year, then that may be too late. Work with professors early and often. Other than that, you seem to be on the right track.</p>

<p>That’s a very fine link, White_Rabbit. Thank you for posting it.</p>

<p>White Rabbit’s link is an excellent read, I second the thanks. </p>

<p>I’m intrigued by what the prof says about putting off graduation for a semester and applying the next fall in order to have a stronger body of work to present in applications, and allow plenty of free time to visit several prospective schools after being accepted.</p>

<p>Anybody have thoughts on the pros and cons of it?</p>

<p>Yes, if it will allow an individual to develop their writings.</p>

<p>I imagine it really depends on the student and the institution. At my school, it seems that each year a handful of students have very strong writing samples and a clear direction of where they want to go and who they want to work with. However, we have a very strong philosophy department, and the students benefit greatly from the opportunities that it provides. But I can see how an extra period of time would be very, very helpful.</p>

<p>p.s I’m a rising sophomore who is interested in graduate level philosophy training.</p>

<p>white_rabbit… I thought you wanted to do history???</p>

<p>I’m actually a rising sophomore too White Rabbit. Trying to get an understanding early on of what’s expected so that I can prepare myself if this is the route I officially decide to take. All the responses have been really helpful so far. </p>

<p>Honestly, not that I want to only get in for being a minority, but I’m surprised it doesn’t seem to have as much as an impact as everyone else seems to depict, especially with so many Universities scouring to find minority professors. </p>

<p>I’m really interested in political/economic theory, metaphysics, ethics, and basically most major disciplines within philosophy. Of course, even though I am truly interested and enjoy discussing the subject, I’m concerned (I think, appropriately) that this is a risky career path to take. I feel like I have the patience and work ethic to finish a doctorate program, but I’m sure a lot of other students who dropped out of a PhD program also said that. Can anyone give any specific pointers on how to know if this really what I want to do with my life? I know that seems like a question without a helpful answer, but with all the warnings I’ve seen about how dangerously competitive PhD programs are, it seems to me that it would be a mistake to pursue something without thinking of the possible outcomes. Can any current PhD students speak to this? Are you finding yourselves content with your decision and involved in an interesting and enjoyable academic environment with people whose company you enjoy? Or do you feel like you’ve just signed yourself up for a really stressful few years and can’t wait for it all to be over?</p>

<p>I can tell you that unless you write your dissertation, and are interested, in a very specific type of philosophy, and that type is unique in the field (ex. Morality and Human Rights) then it will be difficult finding a university that will be interested in you, as a new graduate.</p>

<p>You know grad school is absolutely for you if you can’t shut up about your topic and couldn’t care less about the fact that people around you are staring at you and trying to comprehend what you just said.</p>

<p>No, really, everyone has their own epiphanies… usually when they realize and say, “Oh my god, I’m sitting here, reading these old documents, and enjoying this! Does anybody care??” For many serious students, it happens when they are in middle of a research project in their junior year at the earliest.</p>

<p>Also: Would taking french or german really be a significant benefit to an application? Or would taking Spanish be okay?</p>

<p>Calosea: if you really do have a passion for intensive study of philosophy and a strong work ethic, I’d say go for it.</p>

<p>I’m just getting started as an undergrad as well, and I think it’s important for us to seek out all the information we can – but between blissful ignorance and cowed surrender, there’s a fine line of well-informed self-confidence to be walked. Take the negative info to heart, and think well about whether your passion and skills measure up, but don’t undersell yourself simply because others have failed.</p>

<p>I’d been pretty confident in my abilities and advance preparation in my field, but after reading into these boards and other sources, all the talk about scratching and clawing to present an application that would even be considered in uber-competitive admissions, and doing the same again to start a career, had a part of my mind thinking like yours: “what am I getting myself into?” After reading discussions on the apparently tremendous difficulty of scoring 700+ on the verbal GRE, and seeing that ETS’s PowerPrep software was considered the best indicator of actual GRE score, I thought it’d be interesting to see how my independent studies measured up (before I ever set foot in a college classroom). I scored 800 without a problem, and no longer worry about it.</p>

<p>If you work hard enough, you can get where you want to go, and a head start on preparation can only help. Learning where others went wrong is very helpful, but don’t let the naysayers or doom-and-gloom atmosphere of some of these discussions scare you off.</p>

<p>During the graduate application process I realized I was doing an hour or so of research on the professional aspects of philosophy. This research I now post on a Blog ([Philosorapt[E]rs](<a href=“ %5DPhilosorapt%5BE%5Drs%5B/url%5D”> )</a>). Although it primarily follows my research into the profession it also keeps you updated on opportunities in philosophy, current movements, funding, publishing and much more. </p>

<p>As a recent grad applicant, I did some research on what can make an application look better. I put together much of my research into graduate applications into a blog post. Thought this might help some of the undergraduates here. I Also put together a Graduate application time line which would have been extremely helpful to me during the application process. </p>

<p>Tips for Creating A EXCEPTIONAL Graduate Application in Philosophy:</p>

<p>[Philosorapt[E]rs:</a> Tips for Creating A EXCEPTIONAL Graduate Application in Philosophy](<a href=“]Philosorapt[E]rs: ”> Philosorapt[E]rs: Tips for Creating A EXCEPTIONAL Graduate Application in Philosophy )</p>

<p>Philosophy Graduate School Timeline:</p>

<p>[Philosorapt[E]rs:</a> Graduate School Application Timeline](<a href=“]Philosorapt[E]rs: ”> Philosorapt[E]rs: Graduate School Application Timeline )</p>

<p>Good luck,</p>

<p>PhilosoraptErs <a href=“ %5B/url%5D”> </a></p>


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Doctoral Program

glass bowl in hand

Stanford's Ph.D. program is among the world's best. Our graduate students receive their training in a lively community of philosophers engaged in a wide range of philosophical projects. Our Ph.D. program trains students in traditional core areas of philosophy and provides them with opportunities to explore many subfields such as the philosophy of literature, nineteenth-century German philosophy, and medieval philosophy.

Among other areas, we are exceptionally strong in Kant studies, the philosophy of action, ancient philosophy, logic, and the philosophy of science. We attract some of the best students from around the world and we turn them into accomplished philosophers ready to compete for the best jobs in a very tight job market.

The most up-to-date requirements are listed in   t he Bulletin .  


From the 2020-2021 edition of Explore Degrees:

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy

Prospective graduate students should see the  Office of Graduate Admissions  web site for information and application materials. 

The University's basic requirements for the Ph.D. degree including candidacy, residence, dissertation, and examination are discussed in the " Graduate Degrees " section of this bulletin.

University candidacy requirements, published in the " Candidacy " section of this bulletin, apply to all Ph.D. students. Admission to a doctoral degree program is preliminary to, and distinct from, admission to candidacy. Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree is a judgment by the faculty in the department or school of the student's potential to successfully complete the requirements of the degree program. Students are expected to complete department qualifying procedures and apply for candidacy at the beginning of the seventh academic quarter, normally the Autumn Quarter of the student's third year.

Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree is granted by the major department following a student's successful completion of qualifying procedures as determined by the department. Departmental policy determines procedures for subsequent attempts to become advanced to candidacy in the event that the student does not successfully complete the procedures. Failure to advance to candidacy results in the dismissal of the student from the doctoral program; see the " Guidelines for Dismissal of Graduate Students for Academic Reasons " section of this bulletin.

The requirements detailed here are department requirements. These requirements are meant to balance structure and flexibility in allowing students, in consultation with their  advisors , to take a path through the program that gives them a rigorous and broad philosophical education, with room to focus on areas of particular interest, and with an eye to completing the degree with an excellent dissertation and a solid preparation for a career in academic philosophy.

Normally, all courses used to satisfy the distribution requirements for the Philosophy Ph.D. are Stanford courses taken as part of a student's graduate program.  In special circumstances, a student may petition to use a very small number of graduate-level courses taken at other institutions to satisfy a distribution requirement.  To be approved for this purpose, the student’s work in such a graduate-level course would need to involve an appropriate subject matter and would need to be judged by the department to be at the level of an 'A' in a corresponding graduate-level course at Stanford.  

Courses used to satisfy any course requirement in Philosophy (except Teaching Methods and the summer Dissertation Development Seminar) must be passed with a letter grade of 'B-' or better (no satisfactory/no credit), except in the case of a course/seminar used to satisfy the third-year course/seminar requirement and taken for only 2 units. Such a reduced-unit third-year course/seminar must be taken credit/no credit. 

At the end of each year, the department reviews the progress of each student to determine whether the student is making satisfactory progress, and on that basis to make decisions about probationary status and termination from the program where appropriate.

Any student in one of the Ph.D. programs may apply for the M.A. when all University and department requirements have been met.

Proficiency Requirements

  • First-year Ph.D. Proseminar : a one quarter, topically focused seminar offered in Autumn Quarter, and required of all first-year students.
  • two courses in value theory including ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, social philosophy, philosophy of law. At least one of the courses satisfying this distribution requirement must be in ethics or political philosophy.
  • Two courses in language, mind, and action. One course satisfying this requirement must be drawn from the language related courses, and one from mind and action related courses.
  • two courses in metaphysics and epistemology (including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science). At least one of the courses satisfying this requirement must be drawn from either metaphysics or epistemology.
  • Instructors indicate which courses may satisfy particular requirements. If a course potentially satisfies more than one requirement the student may use it for only one of those area requirements; no units may be double-counted. Students must develop broad competencies in all these areas. Those without strong backgrounds in these areas would normally satisfy these distribution requirements by taking more basic courses rather than highly specialized and focused courses. Students should consult with their advisor in making these course decisions, and be prepared to explain these decisions when reviewed for candidacy; see requirement 6 below.
  • Logic requirement:  PHIL 150  Mathematical Logic or equivalent.
  • History/logic requirement. One approved course each in ancient and modern philosophy, plus either another approved history of philosophy course or  PHIL 151  Metalogic.
  • Students should normally take at least 64 graduate level units at Stanford during their first six quarters (in many cases students would take more units than that) and of those total units, at least 49 units of course work are to be in the Philosophy department. These courses must be numbered above 110, but not including Teaching Methods ( PHIL 239  Teaching Methods in Philosophy) or affiliated courses. Units of Individual Directed Reading are normally not to be counted toward this 49-unit requirement unless there is special permission from the student's advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  •  Prior to candidacy, at least 3 units of work must be taken with each of four Stanford faculty members.

Writing Requirement: Second Year Paper

The second year paper should demonstrate good scholarship and argumentative rigor, and be a polished piece of writing approximately 8000 words in length. The second year paper need not bear any specific relationship to the dissertation. It may be a version of a prospective dissertation chapter, but this is not required. The final version must be turned in on the last class of the Second Year Paper Development Seminar in Summer Quarter of the second year. Extensions of this deadline require the consent of the instructor of the Second Year Paper Development Seminar and the Director of Graduate Studies and are only granted in exceptional cases (e.g., documented illness, family crisis). The final paper is read by a committee of two faculty members and it is an important consideration in the department’s decision on the student’s candidacy. 

Teaching Assistancy

A minimum of five quarters of teaching assistancy are required for the Ph.D. Normally one of these quarters is as a teaching assistant for the Philosophy Department's Writing in the Major course,  PHIL 80  Mind, Matter, and Meaning. It is expected that students not teach in their first year and that they teach no more than two quarters in their second year. Students are required to take  PHIL 239  Teaching Methods in Philosophy during Spring Quarter of their first year and during Autumn Quarter of their second year. Teaching is an important part of students’ preparation to be professional philosophers.

Review at the End of the Second Year for Advancement to Candidacy

The faculty's review of each student includes a review of the student's record, an assessment of the second year paper, and an assessment of the student's preparation for work in her/his intended area of specialization, as well as recommendations of additional preparation, if necessary.

To continue in the Ph.D. program, each student must apply for candidacy at the beginning of the sixth academic quarter, normally the Spring Quarter of the student's second year. Students may be approved for or denied candidacy by the end of that quarter by the department. In some cases, where there are only one or two outstanding deficiencies, the department may defer the candidacy decision and require the student to re-apply for candidacy in a subsequent quarter. In such cases, definite conditions for the candidacy re-application must be specified, and the student must work with the advisor and the DGS to meet those conditions in a timely fashion. A failure to maintain timely progress in satisfying the specified conditions constitutes grounds for withholding travel and discretionary funds and for a denial of advancement to candidacy.

  • Writing Seminar : In the Summer Quarter after the second year, students are required to attend the Second Year Paper Development Seminar. The seminar is intended to help students complete their second year papers. 
  • Upon completion of the summer writing seminar, students must sign up for independent study credit,  PHIL 240  Individual Work for Graduate Students, with their respective advisors each quarter. A plan at the beginning, and a report at the end, of each quarter must be signed by both student and advisor and submitted to the graduate administrator for inclusion in the student's file. This is the process every quarter until the completion of the departmental oral.
  • In Autumn and Winter quarters of the third year, students register in and satisfactorily complete  PHIL 301  Dissertation Development Proseminar. Students meet to present their work in progress and discuss their thesis project. Participation in these seminars is required.
  • During the third and fourth years in the program, a student should complete at least three graduate-level courses/seminars, at least two of them in philosophy (a course outside philosophy can be approved by the advisor), and at least two of them in the third year. The three seminars can be taken credit/no-credit for reduced (2) units. Courses required for candidacy are not counted toward satisfaction of this requirement. This light load of courses allows students to deepen their philosophical training while keeping time free for thesis research.

Dissertation Work and Defense

The third and following years are devoted to dissertation work. The few requirements in this segment of the program are milestones to encourage students and advisors to ensure that the project is on track.

  • Dissertation Proposal— By Spring Quarter of the third year, students should have selected a dissertation topic and committee. A proposal sketching the topic, status, and plan for the thesis project, as well as an annotated bibliography or literature review indicating familiarity with the relevant literature, must be received by the committee one week before the meeting on graduate student progress late in Spring Quarter. The dissertation proposal and the reading committee's report on it will constitute a substantial portion of the third year review.
  • Departmental Oral— During Autumn Quarter of the fourth year, students take an oral examination based on at least 30 pages of written work, in addition to the proposal. The aim of the exam is to help the student arrive at an acceptable plan for the dissertation and to make sure that student, thesis topic, and advisors make a reasonable fit. It is an important chance for the student to clarify their goals and intentions with the entire committee present.
  • Fourth-Year Colloquium— No later than Spring Quarter of the fourth year, students present a research paper in a 60-minute seminar open to the entire department. This paper should be on an aspect of the student's dissertation research. This is an opportunity for the student to make their work known to the wider department, and to explain their ideas to a general philosophical audience.
  • University Oral Exam— Ph.D. students must submit a completed draft of the dissertation to the reading committee at least one month before the student expects to defend the thesis in the University oral exam. If the student is given consent to go forward, the University oral can take place approximately two weeks later. A portion of the exam consists of a student presentation based on the dissertation and is open to the public. A closed question period follows. If the draft is ready by Autumn Quarter of the fourth year, the student may request that the University oral count as the department oral.

Below are yearly lists of courses which the faculty have approved to fulfill distribution requirements in these areas: value theory (including ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, social philosophy, philosophy of law); language; mind and action; metaphysics and epistemology (including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science); logic; ancient philosophy; modern philosophy.

The most up-to-date requirements are listed in  t he Bulletin .  

Ph.D. Minor in Philosophy

To obtain a Ph.D. minor in Philosophy, students must follow these procedures:

  • Consult with the Director of Graduate Study to establish eligibility, and select a suitable  advisor .
  • 30 units of courses in the Department of Philosophy with a letter grade of 'B-' or better in each course. No more than 3 units of directed reading may be counted in the 30-unit requirement.
  • Philosophy of science
  • Ethics, value theory, and moral and political philosophy
  • Metaphysics and epistemology
  • Language, mind and action
  • History of philosophy
  • Two additional courses numbered over 199 to be taken in one of those (b) six areas.
  • A faculty member from the Department of Philosophy (usually the student's advisor) serves on the student's doctoral oral examination committee and may request that up to one third of this examination be devoted to the minor subject.
  • Paperwork for the minor must be submitted to the department office before beginning the program.

Interdisciplinary Study

The department supports interdisciplinary study. Courses in Stanford's other departments and programs may be counted towards the degree, and course requirements in Philosophy are designed to allow students considerable freedom in taking such courses. Dissertation committees may include members from other departments. Where special needs arise, the department is committed to making it possible for students to obtain a philosophical education and to meet their interdisciplinary goals. Students are advised to consult their advisors and the department's student services office for assistance.

Graduate Program in Cognitive Science

Philosophy participates with the departments of Computer Science, Linguistics, and Psychology in an interdisciplinary program in Cognitive Science. It is intended to provide an interdisciplinary education, as well as a deeper concentration in philosophy, and is open to doctoral students. Students who complete the requirements within Philosophy and the Cognitive Science requirements receive a special designation in Cognitive Science along with the Ph.D. in Philosophy. To receive this field designation, students must complete 30 units of approved courses, 18 of which must be taken in two disciplines outside of philosophy. The list of approved courses can be obtained from the Cognitive Science program located in the Department of Psychology.

Special Track in Philosophy and Symbolic Systems

Students interested in interdisciplinary work relating philosophy to artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, linguistics, or logic may pursue a degree in this program.

Prerequisites—Admitted students should have covered the equivalent of the core of the undergraduate Symbolic Systems Program requirements as described in the " Symbolic Systems " section of the Stanford Bulletin, including courses in artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive science, linguistics, logic, and philosophy. The graduate program is designed with this background in mind. Students missing part of this background may need additional course work. In addition to the required course work listed in the bulletin, the Ph.D. requirements are the same as for the regular program, with the exception that one course in value theory and one course in history may be omitted.

Joint Program in Ancient Philosophy

This program is jointly administered by the Departments of Classics and Philosophy and is overseen by a joint committee composed of members of both departments:

  •         Christopher Bobonich , Philosophy (Ancient Greek Philosophy, Ethics)
  •         Alan Code , Philosophy, Philosophy (Ancient Greek Philosophy, Metaphysics)
  •         Reviel Netz , Classics (History of Greek and Pre-Modern Mathematics)
  •         Andrea Nightingale , Classics, (Greek and Roman Philosophy and Literature)
  •        Josh Ober , Classics and Political Science (Greek Political Thought, Democratic Theory)

It provides students with the training, specialist skills, and knowledge needed for research and teaching in ancient philosophy while producing scholars who are fully trained as either philosophers with a strong specialization in ancient languages and philology, or classicists with a concentration in philosophy.

Students are admitted to the program by either department. Graduate students admitted by the Philosophy department receive their Ph.D. from the Philosophy department; those admitted by the Classics department receive their Ph.D. from the Classics department. For Philosophy graduate students, this program provides training in classical languages, literature, culture, and history. For Classics graduate students, this program provides training in the history of philosophy and in contemporary philosophy.

Each student in the program is advised by a committee consisting of one professor in each department.

Requirements for Philosophy Graduate Students: These are the same as the proficiency requirements for the Ph.D. in Philosophy.

One year of Greek is a requirement for admission to the program. If students have had a year of Latin, they are required to take 3 courses in second- or third-year Greek or Latin, at least one of which must be in Latin. If they have not had a year of Latin, they are then required to complete a year of Latin, and take two courses in second- or third-year Greek or Latin.

Students are also required to take at least three courses in ancient philosophy at the 200 level or above, one of which must be in the Classics department and two of which must be in the Philosophy department.

Ph.D. Subplan in History and Philosophy of Science

Graduate students in the Philosophy Ph.D. program may pursue a Ph.D. subplan in History and Philosophy of Science. The subplan is declared in Axess and subplan designations appear on the official transcript, but are not printed on the diploma.

1.  Attendance at the HPS colloquium series. 2.  Philosophy of Science courses.  Select one of the following:

  • PHIL 263 Significant Figures in Philosophy of Science: Einstein
  • PHIL 264: Central Topics in the Philosophy of Science: Theory and Evidence
  • PHIL 264A: Central Topics in Philosophy of Science: Causation
  • PHIL 265: Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time
  • PHIL 265C: Philosophy of Physics: Probability and Relativity
  • PHIL 266: Probability: Ten Great Ideas About Chance
  • PHIL 267A:  Philosophy of Biology
  • PHIL 267B: Philosophy, Biology, and Behavior

3.  One elective seminar in the history of science. 4.  One elective seminar (in addition to the course satisfying requirement 2) in philosophy of science.

The PhD program provide 5 years of  financial support . We also try to provide support for our sixth year students and beyond though we cannot guarantee such support. In addition to covering tuition, providing a stipend, and covering Stanford's health insurance, we provide additional funds for books, computer equipment, and conference travel expenses. Some of the financial support is provided through requiring you to teach; however, our teaching requirement is quite low and we believe that this is a significant advantage of our program.

Stanford Support Programs

Additional support, such as advances, medical and emergency grants for Grad Students are available through the Financial Aid Office. The University has created the following programs specifically for graduate students dealing with challenging financial situations.

Graduate Financial Aid  homepage :

Cash Advance:

Emergency grant-in-aid :, family grants:, housing loans:, program characteristics.

Our program is well known for its small size, streamlined teaching requirements, and low average time to degree.

The program regulations are designed to efficiently provide students with a broad base in their first two years. In the third year students transition to working on their dissertations. During the summer prior to the third year, students are required to attend a dissertation development seminar. This seminar introduces students to what is involved in writing a dissertation. During the third year the course load drops to just under one course per quarter.

The rest of the time is spent working closely with a faculty member, or a couple of faculty members, on the student's area of research interest. The goal of the third year is that this process of intensive research and one-on-one interaction will generate a topic and proposal for the dissertation. During the fourth and fifth year the student is not required to take any courses and he or she focusses exclusively on research and writing on the dissertation.

aerial view of Stanford campus

Stanford University

Being a part of  Stanford University  means that students have access to one of the premier education institutions in the world. Stanford is replete with top departments in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. In addition, our professional schools, such as the  Stanford Law School , are among the best. The range of research in a variety of areas, many of which touch on or relate to philosophical issues, is simply astounding. Students have the freedom to take courses across the university. Graduate students also regularly earn joint degrees with other programs.

William H. Miller III Department of Philosophy

  • PhD Admissions

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While an undergraduate major in philosophy is good preparation for graduate study in the department, applications are welcomed from students with other majors whose interests are now turning toward philosophy.

To apply, please read the information below and on the Graduate Admissions website , and complete the application online.

If applying to more than one department, please send complete application materials for each department. All application documents must be provided in English (either the original or translations of the original documents). If you are unable to secure translations to English, we recommend that you contact World Education Services .

All application materials and supporting documents should be uploaded through the online application; these include:

  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Statement of Purpose (briefly state your area of interest at the beginning of your Statement of Purpose; upload through the online application)
  • Letters of recommendation (at least three): Letters of recommendation should be submitted and uploaded electronically following the instructions in the online application.
  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded through the online application. Applications will be ready for review with unofficial transcripts, but official transcripts will be required if an offer of admission is made
  • GRE (optional)
  • TOEFL or IELTS score (for international applicants)
  • Sample of work (the sample should reflect the applicant’s area of interest, and generally does not have to be more than 20 pages in length).

Application Deadline

The deadline for applications is 15 December. Some finalists will be contacted for short Zoom meetings prior to a decision being made. Decisions on admitted and wait-listed students will be made by the first week of February.

For questions or inquiries about the online application and supporting documents, contact the Graduate Admissions office. You may also contact Michelle Brock, the academic program coordinator for the philosophy department, at [email protected]   or 410-516-7524.

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As a PhD student in the Harvard philosophy program, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your ideas, knowledge, and abilities. You'll work with other doctoral students, our faculty, and visiting scholars, all in a stimulating and supportive environment. The program has strengths across a broad range of topics and areas, so you'll be able to pursue your interests wherever they may lead, especially in moral and political philosophy, aesthetics, epistemology, philosophy of logic, philosophy of language, the history of analytic philosophy, ancient philosophy, Immanuel Kant, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. In addition, students can pursue joint degrees with classics, Harvard Law School, and in Indian philosophy.

Incoming cohorts consist of five to eight students per year. You will have substantial access to our renowned faculty and all the resources that Harvard makes available. This relatively small size also gives students a sense of intellectual community.

The curriculum is structured to help you make your way towards a dissertation: graduate-level coursework, a second-year research paper, a prospectus to help you identify a dissertation topic, and then the dissertation itself. Past dissertations in the department have addressed a broad range of topics: Aristotle, Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau; contemporary moral and political philosophy; metaphysics; epistemology; and logic.

In addition to your research, you will also have the opportunity to develop your teaching skills in many different settings across the University.

You can find graduates of the PhD program in many universities. Some of our students have gone on to faculty positions at Yale University, Princeton University, Brown University, and Stanford University. Other graduates have gone on to diverse careers in, among others, the arts, the law, secondary education, and technology.

In addition to the standard PhD in philosophy, the department offers a PhD in classical philosophy in collaboration with the Department of the Classics and a coordinated JD/PhD program in conjunction with Harvard Law School.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Philosophy and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies .

Areas of Study

Philosophy | Classical Philosophy | Indian Philosophy 

For information please consult the Department webpage on the  graduate program overview .

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Philosophy .

Academic Background

Applicants to the program in Philosophy are required to have a solid undergraduate background in philosophy, indicating that they have a good grounding in the history of philosophy, as well as familiarity with contemporary work in ethics, epistemology and metaphysics, and logic.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Optional

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required as part of the application and should be between 12 to 30 pages long. The sample must address a substantial philosophical problem, whether it is an evaluation or presentation of an argument, or a serious attempt to interpret a difficult text. The upload of the writing sample should be formatted for 8.5-inch x 11-inch paper, 1-inch margins, with double-spaced text in a common 12-point font, such as Times New Roman.

Applicants seeking admission to the coordinated JD/PhD program must apply to and be separately admitted to Harvard Law School and the Department of Philosophy.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Philosophy

See list of Philosophy faculty


Questions about the program.

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Doctor of Philosophy Program in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy also offers a program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The degree requires 72 points. The department requires that 44 points (the "basic points") be as specified below. A minimum of 36 of the 44 basic points must be taken in the NYU Department of Philosophy. Twenty-eight of the total 72 points may be in dissertation research, although the student may include other courses toward that total as well. Transfer credit is apportioned on a case-by-case basis and is normally restricted to courses taken in philosophy Ph.D. programs. Normally, credit for a maximum of 12 basic points is allowed for work done elsewhere. Except in unusual circumstances, transfer credit may not be used to satisfy the area distribution requirements described below under "Basic course work."

Coursework: The required 44 basic points consist of the following:

  • Proseminar, PHIL-GA 1000, (8 points). It includes frequent short writing assignments, and the mode of instruction emphasizes discussion rather than lecture. The topics are determined by the instructors but include basic texts and ideas in analytic philosophy.
  • Basic course work (28 points; typically seven 4-point courses) These seven courses are drawn from advanced introduction courses, intermediate-level courses, topics or advanced seminar courses, and research seminar courses. These must include at least one course in value theory (ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of law, or political philosophy); at least one course in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, or philosophy of mind; and at least one course in the history of philosophy (ancient, medieval, modern, or 19th century). At least three of the courses must be outside value theory.
  • Two Associated Writing courses (8 points). There are two main forms that an Associated Writing course may take. In the first, most common form, the student works with a faculty member to develop and refine an already existing paper. (The paper is often, but not always, a paper written for a previous graduate seminar.) During the semester, the student submits drafts of the developing paper, discussing each draft with the instructor before moving on to the next draft. The aim is for students to receive individual mentoring in the craft of writing a professional-level philosophy paper; to have a chance to develop a paper more deeply and thoroughly than is typically possible in the more rushed context of a one-semester seminar; and to be provided with a formally structured opportunity to prepare papers for the third-year review. Although this is the paradigmatic form of an Associated Writing course, the student needn't always start with a preexisting paper. In some cases, an Associated Writing may take a form more akin to an "Independent Study," in which the student (with faculty guidance) reads up on an area of interest and writes a new paper from scratch. While this is sometimes a good option, students should be aware that to go this route is potentially to saddle themselves with extra work in a way that could slow their progress through the program. To go this route is also to forgo a formally structured opportunity to work on polishing an existing paper for the third-year review. It is expected that the student and faculty member will meet roughly every two weeks during the semester. Students needn't have prior acquaintance with a faculty member to ask him or her to supervise an Associated Writing. Under no circumstances may a student submit one and the same paper for credit in both a graduate seminar and an Associated Writing course. If an Associated Writing paper develops out of an existing seminar paper, as will often be the case, the expectation is that it will constitute a substantial development of that paper. An Associated Writing course may in some cases be used to fulfill a distribution requirement, but only if the course is done on the "Independent Study" model and permission is obtained in advance from the Director of Graduate Studies and the course instructor.

Third-Year Review: By the date one week prior to the first day of the fifth semester in the program, students must submit two papers (normally the product of courses in the first two years). To satisfy the requirement, papers should be substantial pieces of work of 15-30 pages in length and should demonstrate that the student is able to take his or her philosophical research and writing to the high level appropriate for writing a dissertation. Students should also be in good standing at the time of the review.

Thesis Prospectus: By the fifth week of their fifth term in the program, students must designate a prospectus advisor and report that designation to the Director of Graduate Studies. (The designation of a prospectus advisor takes place by this time regardless of whether the student has successfully completed the third-year review.) It is understood that the designation of "prospectus advisor" is provisional and subject to change depending on the evolving nature of the thesis project. The prospectus advisor's role is to guide the student through the prospectus-writing process; the prospectus advisor may or may not ultimately serve on the dissertation committee, though of course often he or she will.

By the tenth week of their sixth term in the program, students must submit a draft prospectus document to their prospectus advisor, copying the Director of Graduate Studies. It is hoped that this draft can serve as the final, or near-final, version of the prospectus and be defended by the end of the sixth term, but it is understood that this will not always be possible; to remain in good standing, however, the student must submit a draft, which may then serve as the basis for ongoing work and discussion. The prospectus document should be between five and a strict maximum of fifteen pages long. It should not be a philosophy paper, but rather a thesis plan that (1) clearly articulates an interesting philosophical problem in a way that (2) displays the student's knowledge of the problem's place in the space of philosophical ideas and, in particular, of the leading attempts to resolve the problem, and (3) gives as clear an indication as the student can give at this early stage of how he or she intends to organize the thesis, and of what he or she expects his or her contribution to be, that is, of what the thesis will add to the existing literature. (Students writing a thesis consisting of three linked papers should apply these guidelines to each of their topics. The prospectus document should still not exceed fifteen pages, however.)

No later than the fourteenth week of the sixth term in the program, each student must notify the Director of Graduate Studies of the composition of his or her full prospectus committee. The prospectus committee ordinarily consists of three, and no more than three, faculty members. The prospectus committee often becomes the dissertation committee, but this needn't always be the case and uncertainty about the ultimate composition of the dissertation committee should not stand in the way of the designation of the prospectus committee by the end of the sixth term. Dissertation committees also ordinarily consist of three, and no more than three, faculty members. Exceptions to this rule require special justification and must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

To remain in good standing, students must complete the prospectus and pass the prospectus defense no later than the fourteenth week of their seventh term in the program. While the prospectus defense takes the form of an oral examination, its principal purpose is to reach an agreement with prospective future members of the student's thesis committee as to the shape and substance of the project. The thesis prospectus examination should satisfy the committee that the candidate can write a passing thesis meeting the description in the candidate's submitted prospectus.

Logic Requirement: Students should satisfy the department of their competence in the following: formalization of English sentences; derivations within a system of predicate logic; formal definition of truth and validity for a first-order language; basic metalogical tools, including the use-mention distinction, the concept of rigor, and proof and definition by mathematical induction; statement and proof of basic metalogical results, including the deduction theorem, soundness and completeness for sentential and predicate logic, and completeness for predicate logic. The Director of Graduate Studies will count the student as having passed the requirement when presented with appropriate evidence (e.g., of a pass in a relevant course at NYU or elsewhere).

Thesis and Oral Examination: The dissertation can consist of a monograph or, alternatively, of three outstanding papers. The department envisions that, in most cases, the dissertation will grow out of work done for the topics or advanced seminar and Associated Writing courses and that there will be no sharp distinction between years of course work and years of dissertation writing. Students who entered in the year 2010 or later are expected to complete all degree requirements, including the dissertation, within six years (or five if the student elects not to participate in the teaching program).

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Results of 2020 PhilPapers Survey posted 2021-11-01 by David Bourget We've now released the results of the 2020 PhilPapers Survey, which surveyed 1785 professional philosophers on their views on 100 philosophical issues.  Results are available on the 2020 PhilPapers Survey  website and in draft article form in " Philosophers on Philosophy: The 2020 PhilPapers Survey " . Discussion is welcome in the PhilPapers Survey 2020 discussion group .

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Computational Design


The Computational Design (CD) program investigates creative opportunities and critical issues at the nexus of design and computation. Fundamentally interdisciplinary, it mobilizes Carnegie Mellon University’s computational strengths critically towards design, architecture, and other creative disciplines.

Daniel Cardoso Llach

Associate Professor & CD Track Chair

Daniel Cardoso Llach

With a shared emphasis on critical technical practice, faculty and students in the program draw from fields including computer science, robotics, human-machine interaction, machine learning, art, and science and technology studies to illuminate emerging potentials as well as unforeseen consequences of new technologies in design. The program examines topics including robotically-supported construction, machine learning- and AI-based approaches to design generation and analysis, tangible interaction, shape grammars, responsive environments, digital heritage, computational urban studies, as well as historical and ethnographic investigations into design technologies and technologically-mediated design practices. The program’s research and creative works are frequently discussed, published, and exhibited in leading national and international venues. Inherently interdisciplinary, the program invites students to forge unique curricular paths, closely interacting with field-defining researchers, educators, and mentors in the program and across the university. 

The program offers Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees, and is well suited to highly inquisitive applicants with technical, creative, and/or critical backgrounds who are motivated to challenge disciplinary boundaries; develop a unique research agenda; and explore the intersection computation and design with creativity, technical rigor, and critical depth.

Master of Science in Computational Design

The Masters of Science in Computational Design is a two-year, research-focused program that prepares students for leading industry positions and advanced studies in the broad field of Computational Design. 

Students in the program develop technical and conceptual skills to a) formulate and develop technologies that reimagine material, sociotechnical, and/or environmental relations in design; b) approach digital systems and human-machine encounters as sites for both creative exploration and critical inquiry; and c) produce a thesis that documents a substantial work of research and a novel contribution to knowledge in the field of Computational Design.

Responsive Robotic Assembly with Heterogeneous Raw Wood. Jiaying Wei, MSCD 2023

The program’s curriculum is structured around a lean sequence of research seminars that builds cohesive cohorts, explores the field’s technical, conceptual, and historical underpinnings, and introduces a variety of approaches to research in the field. Selective courses, special topics seminars, and faculty-led independent studies and research groups delve deeper into technical and critical issues, and help instigate the development of unique theses. With guidance from faculty advisors, students define a sequence of courses providing a solid technical understanding of computational concepts and techniques. The precise choice and sequence is based on each student’s prior skill level and their research orientation. In addition, a vast pool of eligible extra departmental courses gives students the opportunity to enrich their methodological and conceptual toolkits further. During the second year, students form advisory committees and develop their theses. Of publishable, or close to publishable, quality, theses in the program rigorously document the definition, prototyping, and critical interrogation of design-technological systems, and/or their histories and the communities they support. 

The program’s typical duration is four semesters. Students must complete a minimum of 147 units of coursework including a 36 unit thesis for graduation. Proficient candidates with prior relevant experience may be considered for advanced standing, subject to approval of the faculty committee upon admission based on a proposed plan of studies. In all cases, full-time registration must be maintained for the first three semesters.

MSCD Curriculum

Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Design

The Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Design prepares students for careers as leading educators, scholars, and researchers in academia and industry. The program offers students the opportunity to conduct research that explores Computational Design questions in greater technical and critical depth, resulting in novel and original contributions to knowledge in the field.

Students work closely with their advisors throughout all stages of the program. Advisors are responsible for supervising and offering guidance, including working with students in the formulation of an individual plan of studies that supports both technical and conceptual elements of the student’s chosen area of concentration. Advisory committees in the doctoral program in CD must be chaired by a CD Core Faculty member, and must include one external member. External advisors might be at a different Carnegie Mellon University department, at a different institution, or in industry. Faculty currently serving as PhD advisors in the program include Profs Joshua Bard, Daragh Byrne, Daniel Cardoso Llach, and Vernelle Noel. Prospective applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the work of the program and with individual advisors’ recent and ongoing research. 

Students’ doctoral path in CD is punctuated by four milestones. The first is the presentation of a game plan that specifies the student’s area of concentration within the program and a scope of work within that area comprising both a plan of studies and research activities, as well as an advisory committee. The second milestone, usually completed after fulfilling course requirements, is a written and oral examination that gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their command over technical and conceptual aspects of their area of concentration, and their ability to formulate an original research project. The third is the public presentation of their dissertation proposal, a document detailing the dissertation’s conceptual, technical, and methodological components, arguing for its relevance to the field of Computational Design, and demonstrating its viability by documenting completed and ongoing research activities. The final milestone is the public defense of their doctoral dissertation. A doctoral dissertation in CD must be a rigorous, significant, and novel contribution to knowledge in the field. It must be grounded on a deep understanding of the state of the art in the field and their specific area of concentration, as well as a critical awareness of the broader contexts of the research.

^ A Data Informed Workflow in Design for Architecture and Urbanism. Javier Argota Sánchez-Vaquerizo, MSCD 2018

PhD-CD Curriculum

About the Program

The highly selective Computational Design graduate program at the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University is a trailblazer in computational design research and pedagogy. With origins in the late 1960s, it is one of the earliest programs of its kind. Its pioneering focus on applications of computational representation and symbolic AI to design has evolved into a broader inquiry into computational modes of design interaction, materiality, and intelligence, and a sensitivity towards the cultural, material, and historical specificity of computational media in design. Today, the Computational Design program adopts a broad view of computation as a vehicle of design inquiry, as a key technical scaffolding for applied and speculative design research, and as a worthy subject of scholarly analysis and debate. 

More than mere instruments, computational methods and ideas — including those linked to recent developments in machine learning/AI, virtual and augmented reality, and robotics — configure new technical infrastructures and imaginaries. Shaping contemporary spaces, artifacts, materials, and labors, these also configure new conceptions of design and creativity. Embracing this complex context, the Computational Design program works to develop new knowledge that harnesses computational ideas and methods towards humane, ecological, and creative environments, and that reimagines the interplay of the technological, the social, and the material in design.

^ Interfacing the Multiplexer Room: Speculative Spatio-Mediated Assemblages for the Digitally Interfered Home. Policarpo Del Campo Baquera, MSCD 2021

MSCD thesis presentations and discussions at CODE Lab (photo credit: Chitika Vasudeva).

Computational Design students occupy the Computational Design Laboratory (CODe Lab) , a beautiful double-height space strategically located in the Margaret Morrison building’s fourth floor, and its two adjacent suites. Aside from workspaces and an area for presentations and collaborative work, the lab houses a fabrication space equipped with a variety of tools to support research including desktop digital and hand fabrication tools, an electronics workbench, as well as dedicated terminals for specialized data and graphics processing and virtual/augmented reality research. 

In addition, CD students have access to many other School of Architecture and Carnegie Mellon University’s world-class laboratories and facilities, including the Design Fabrication Laboratory (dFAB) and Applied Architectural Robotics Laboratory. They often participate in research and learning activities at other labs including the Frank Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry , the College of Fine Arts’ research hub, and the Manufacturing Futures Institute at Mill 19 , among others.

Extracurricular activities including yearly lecture series and workshops by leading computational design scholars and practitioners further enrich the program, fostering a vibrant atmosphere of research, learning, and creativity.

Program Faculty

Joshua Bard

Joshua Bard

Associate Professor & Associate Head for Design Research

Daragh Byrne

Daragh Byrne

Associate Teaching Professor

Dana Cupkova

Dana Cupkova

Associate Professor & MSSD Track Chair

Jeremy Ficca

Jeremy Ficca

Associate Professor, MAAD Track Chair & dFAB Lab Director

Sinan Goral

Sinan Goral

Adjunct Faculty

Matthew Huber

Matthew Huber

Special Faculty

Omar Khan

Professor & Head

Kristen Kurland

Kristen Kurland

Teaching Professor

Vernelle A. A. Noel

Vernelle A. A. Noel

Lucian and Rita Caste Assistant Professor in Architecture

Paul Pangaro

Paul Pangaro

Visiting Scholar in Computational Design

Admissions Resources

Are you a current student looking for resources? Handbooks, procedures and other information can be found on the Student Resources page .

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Our former MA student successfully defends her PhD thesis at the University of Cambridge


Olesya Bondarenko  (MA 2017) successfully defended her PhD dissertation titled "Tempering the Ambition of Social Science Genomics: Causation, Explanation, and Evidence for Policy" on 12 January 2024 at the University of Cambridge. Congratulations, Dr. Bondarenko!

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2022 Results

By StringOfSymbols January 21, 2022 in Philosophy

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Figured I'd get this yearly thread started since results are starting to trickle in.

Last year I applied to 14 schools but didn't get in anywhere.

This year I've applied to 25 schools, so we'll see how it goes. So far I got into Ohio State

  • hogsfrombeyond , FaithPalm , Mischief and 4 others


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March 12, 2022

We are about a month away from deadline day. Here are a few thoughts: 1. With a few exceptions, the top 25 (and perhaps even the top 50) programs have released their acceptances (and waitlists). 

January 21, 2022

Figured I'd get this yearly thread started since results are starting to trickle in. Last year I applied to 14 schools but didn't get in anywhere.   This year I've applied to 25 schools

February 7, 2022

I got accepted to Toronto's PhD program yesterday - very happy about it. Happy to give more details if it will help anyone. Yet to hear back anything from the other ten places I applied to. Best of lu


Congrats! No news yet from any of mine (7  ? ), but we shall see

Double Shot


applied to eighteen or so schools. No word back yet. Frankly, I'm just glad the application process is over.

  • StringOfSymbols and Mischief


25 and 18! Holy smokes.. I should of applied to more (I'm at 8 so far, but a couple of mid-February deadlines I could still throw an appy at). We'll see what happens, I know everyone in my MA program last year struck out (something that has never happened for our program which has place 90% of its students into PhDs). There was about 5 of them, and this year we have an additional 5 people applying for their PhD. It's gonna be more competitive this year by the sounds of things– I doubt programs are going to take on more candidates this year simply because they took a reduced load last year. This is my first rodeo, I'm definitely prepared for disappointment.


This is my first round too. Applied to 18 but never heard about Chicago interviews. I expect that'll be a rejection - maybe a hidden wait list if I get lucky? 


I did hear that there were a lot fewer applicants in general this year compared to last - so even if there aren't more total slots, your chances should still be higher than they would have been last year (at least if what I heard is right)

  • Rhizomatic68 , Hard times! and ararslan
On 1/25/2022 at 12:53 PM, StringOfSymbols said: Rhizomatic, I did hear that there were a lot fewer applicants in general this year compared to last - so even if there aren't more total slots, your chances should still be higher than they would have been last year (at least if what I heard is right)

Arizona State and Syracuse had far fewer applications this year.

Interesting- that's surprising to hear! I'm applying to schools with more of a continental emphasis. I wonder if the lower amount of apps is across the board. 

I heard that the number of applicants decreases this year by 15% in comparison to last year. A prof from Yale says on his twitter, Yale got 530 application last year and this year it is 450. 

I had some missing application fees. Just great. I paid, but I'm worried it could be a waste of money.

On 1/29/2022 at 7:20 AM, ararslan said: I heard that the number of applicants decreases this year by 15% in comparison to last year. A prof from Yale says on his twitter, Yale got 530 application last year and this year it is 450. 

Interesting... but I wonder, what would be the reason for this? I thought people start to apply more once the Covid situation is (relatively) better and classes are back to face to face.


  • Marcus_Aurelius
10 hours ago, pkaz said: Interesting... but I wonder, what would be the reason for this? I thought people start to apply more once the Covid situation is (relatively) better and classes are back to face to face.

Generally, the worse an economic situation is, the more people apply to grad school. The economic situation has perhaps improved from last year, but still isn't great. I'm sure some people delayed applying for COVID reasons, but delaying only makes sense when one has a good idea of how to use the intervening time... It's worth noting that, just for comparison in this one case, Yale used to get applications in low 300s before pandemic, so last year was a *massive* increase, which has dropped off a little but is still much bigger than before.

  • Olórin , pkaz and Hard times!

Just got an offer from Baylor this morning. 


  • Marcus_Aurelius , thescientificmethod and you'll_never_get_to_heaven
52 minutes ago, captleibniz said: Just got an offer from Baylor this morning.    1a/0w/0r/17p

Congrats! ?

On 2/2/2022 at 1:28 PM, captleibniz said: Just got an offer from Baylor this morning.    1a/0w/0r/17p

Congrats! I'm still in the dark, although it looks like a couple of programs I'm interested in have conducted interviews. It must feel good to get a hit on the first word!

10 hours ago, Rhizomatic68 said: Congrats! I'm still in the dark, although it looks like a couple of programs I'm interested in have conducted interviews. It must feel good to get a hit on the first word!

It really does take some of the stress off. I'll end up somewhere at least ?

  • Hard times! and Marcus_Aurelius

replying to every rejection email with “your loss” and CCing anyone who might possibly be on the admissions committee.

  • hogsfrombeyond , SkepticFutile and Rhizomatic68
8 hours ago, you'll_never_get_to_heaven said: replying to every rejection email with “your loss” and CCing anyone who might possibly be on the admissions committee.

yesssssssssssss  ? ?

  • Hard times!

I saw that Berkeley's last 7 year's release dates fall within the last week of January, the latest one being around the first week of February. Has anyone heard from Berkeley?


New to the thread here. Just got rejected by DePaul after an interview. I guess I really messed it up:) All the best to everyone!

Got accepted for PhD from Emory and DePaul on 2/4, and got rejected by Northwestern. I heard Boston College has already sent out interviews, so if we did not receive any, I am guessing that it is a rejection also.

  • Rhizomatic68 and Marcus_Aurelius

So far accepted into University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Waiting to hear from 3 others plus 2 Masters programs, but UTK is my top choice, so I’m super happy!

I got one rejection and nothing else.

1 hour ago, you'll_never_get_to_heaven said: I got one rejection and nothing else.

Still early, looking at the sheet there will be more results late Feb

8 minutes ago, StringOfSymbols said: Still early, looking at the sheet there will be more results late Feb

Oh, yeah, I know! Not my first rodeo. But it's nice to just get it all out of the way ASAP - rejections included! It's really hard to focus on anything else right now!

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philosophy phd forum


  1. Top 15 Philosophy Forums in 2023

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  1. Philosophy

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