Philosophy Graduate Program

Admission to the Ph.D. in Philosophy

Apply to the graduate program via the Office of Graduate Studies online application system.


In addition to the general admission requirements from the Office of Graduate Studies, applicants are expected to have taken the following six courses or their equivalents as preparation for graduate work:

  1. symbolic logic
  2. history of ancient philosophy
  3. history of modern philosophy
  4. history of 19th/20th-century Continental philosophy
  5. value theory
  6. metaphysics/epistemology (broadly construed to include philosophy of language and philosophy of mind).

Students may be admitted without some of these courses, but they are expected to make up the deficiencies early in their graduate careers and outside of the minimum hours required for degree.


Students may begin the graduate program in either the fall or spring semester.  However, applicants who wish to be considered for financial support through fellowships and GTA appointments should anticipate beginning graduate studies in the Fall semester and must submit application materials by the following deadlines. 

Priority deadline for fellowship and GTA appointment consideration is January 5.

The final deadline for Fall matriculation is May 1.

 The final deadline for Spring matriculation is December 1.

Application Materials:

In addition to the application form, application fee, letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc., the Philosophy Department Committee on Recruitment, Admission and Awards requires the following supplemental materials: 


A Brief Personal Statement of Academic Goals

A Writing Sample  preferably a sample of philosophical prose approximately 10-15 pages in length

Applicants who indicate English is not their native language: Proof of English proficiency, as required by the Office of Graduate Studies. To be eligible for GTA support, TOEFL or IELTS scores must meet the benchmark of Regular Admission and the Speaking portion of the exam must meet the Employment benchmark in the English Proficiency policy.  KU TOEFL Code: 6871

Graduate Record Examination Scores (verbal, quantitative, analytical) are no longer required, though the department will consider GRE scores if submitted with application materials; KU GRE Code: 6871

More information regarding transcript and letter of recommendation requirements is available on the Graduate Studies Application Process page.

The Department of Philosophy Committee on Recruitment, Admission, and Awards requires applications include all supplemental materials prior to review.

Apply Now

Please contact the Graduate Academic Advisor, Aley Pennington, with questions about the application process.

Aley Pennington
Graduate Academic Advisor

Join the Philosophy Graduate Program
Graduate Professional Development

Explore Resources

Follow us online:
Philosophy on Facebook
Philosophy on Twitter