Application to Ph.D.

The Department seeks to enroll eight first-year doctoral students per year, representing about 4% of applicants. Although there is no required undergraduate GPA, the range for accepted students is 3.6 to 4.0. Scores for the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE test range from 650 to 800; scores for the analytical section of the GRE range from 5.5 to 6.0. Letters of recommendation and the writing sample are especially important factors in the selection process.

The deadline for receipt of applications for both admission and financial aid is Tuesday, January 7, 2014 for all applicants. The Department admits new Ph.D. students for entrance only in September. All decisions are made by March 15 and will be immediately available online. Admitted and wait-listed students will also be contacted directly.

To apply to the Ph.D. program, please fill out an online application via the Rackham Graduate School website. If, for any reason, you are unable to use the online resources, please contact us by e-mail

The following are needed for consideration to the Ph.D. program in Philosophy. It is strongly encouraged that you submit all materials by uploading into your online application.

  • Completed Rackham Graduate School online application.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Make sure that you register your recommenders when you fill out the online application, indicating clearly on the registration form the academic position of the recommender or, if the recommender is not an academic, indicating the individual's current position and relation to you or your work. Letters should be uploaded by recommenders into the on-line application system.  If you wish to submit an additional letter of recommendation (not required), click on this Letters of Recommendation form, which should accompany all letters. Letters are to be sent to the Philosophy Department and can be sent by regular mail or as a PDF attachment to an e-mail message.
  • Academic Statement (500 word limit). Please explain briefly the nature of your study in philosophy or related fields thus far, your current primary areas of interest (if known), what studies you would like to pursue in graduate school, and whether there are any Michigan faculty with whom you would especially like to work. Upload at the Academic Statement page.
  • Personal Statement (500 word limit). Please use this statement to help us understand how you have come to be interested in philosophy, what special challenges you might have faced, what relevant experiences you might have had, and what aspirations you have for the future. Upload at the Personal Statement page.
  • Resume or CV. Upload at the Resume or CV page.
  • A sample of philosophical writing (normally 15-25 pages in length). Upload at the Writing Sample page.
  • One copy of official or unofficial transcript from undergraduate institution. Upload the scanned copy at the Transcript page.
  • Scores on the aptitude portions of the Graduate Record Examination, (not the philosophy achievement test, however). To have your scores reported directly to the University of Michigan, please use code number 1839.

You are fully responsible for the submission of a complete application. You will be able to keep track of which materials for your application have arrived and which ones are still outstanding by consulting your Web Application Status page, to which you will have access once Rackham has received your application and application fee.

We would be happy to answer any further questions you might have. Please contact our admissions staff by e-mail.