Application to the Ph.D. Program in Philosophy
To apply to the Ph.D. program, you will need to complete the official UCR Graduate School Application. This is the application that serves as the official application to the Philosophy Department’s Graduate Program.
Applications completed by January 5th will receive first consideration for admission. An application is not complete until all supplemental materials have been received. We will continue to accept applications after this deadline (see FAQs below.)
If you have questions concerning application to our Ph.D. program, please contact Michael Nelson, the chair of the admissions committee.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Application Process
- When is the application deadline? Although there is no absolute deadline, applications completed by January 5th will receive first consideration. An application is not complete until all supplemental materials have been received. Applications must also be received by January 5th in order to be guaranteed consideration for financial support from the UCR Graduate Division. The admissions committee begins its review of applications in January. If the application comes in after review has begun, or if it is incomplete, the chances of getting accepted and of being offered financial support are significantly smaller.
- What supplemental materials are required?
- GRE scores (especially the verbal and quantitative scores)
- Transcripts from colleges or universities attended
- A writing sample (10–15 pages long)
- A statement of purpose (1–2 pages long)
- Three letters of recommendation
- The application fee ($80 for domestic applicants, $100 for international applicants)
- Where should the application materials be sent? The electronic forms need to be submitted online. Whenever possible, the supplemental materials should be uploaded electronically to the online application. If they cannot be securely submitted, confidential or official documents may be sent by mail to:
Department of Philosophy
Attn.: Graduate Affairs Secretary
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521
- Is it possible to apply to the M.A. program only? We do not accept students interested in a terminal M.A. program. Thus the application should be for admission to the Ph.D. program.
- Are GRE scores really necessary? Yes. Both the University and the Department of Philosophy require applicants to submit GRE scores. There is only one exception, namely if the applicant is a foreign student who can’t take the GRE in his or her current country of residence. (Also see #8 below.)
- How important are the GRE scores? A student’s performance on the GRE is one of many factors that the admissions committee weighs in making an admissions decision. Other important factors include the letters of recommendation, the writing sample, the statement of purpose, and grades at previous institutions, in particular grades in philosophy classes. In addition, GRE scores are considered by the University administration when awarding financial aid packages.
- What would be considered an average GRE score? During the last few years, average GRE scores (verbal and quantitative combined) for students admitted to the Ph.D. program have been in the range of 310 to 330 (1250-1500 by the old scale). (If a student’s combined scores are below 300 (1100), their chances of being admitted are minimal unless there is a special explanation, for example, that the student is not a native speaker of English). Typically a score below 310 (or 1250) is a strike against an applicant, whereas a score above 325 (or 1450) is a bonus.
- Is there anything in addition to, or instead of, GRE scores that is required for foreign applicants? Yes, foreign students need to take the TOEFL and submit their scores.
Notice for International Applicants
In recent years, Graduate Division has allowed the Philosophy Department to make offers of admission to a small number of international students, but financial aid for these students has been limited. The main difficulty is that international students cannot qualify for California residency, and the department cannot cover the cost of non-resident tuition. Non-resident tuition amounts to at least $15,000 per year, and must be paid until a student advances to candidacy (which ordinarily occurs in the fourth year of the program). International students must provide evidence that they can afford to pay non-resident tuition in order to be admitted. (More information on fees can be found on the UCR Schedule of Classes website).