The Department of Philosophy Graduate Program welcomes applications from talented domestic and international applicants of all identities and backgrounds.

Our admissions process is competitive. Please read all of the information below prior to planning your application. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Thinking of Applying?

Please start by reading about our Graduate Program, and exploring our department website. This should help you decide whether our program might be a good fit for you.

Next, read all of the information here and on the linked pages below in order to determine how much time you will need to prepare your application documents and obtain outside materials like letters of recommendation and official test scores.

Application Deadline

The deadline for applying is always the first business day following January 1. Newly admitted cohorts begin in the Autumn of the year of admission.

The next application deadline is January 2, 2025. All required materials must be submitted by this date. Please review the Application Instructions well in advance to ensure you have enough time to take any required exams and have recommenders submit letters to your online application. The application portal can be found here.

Note: If you wish to apply for an application fee waiver along with your application, you must submit your application at least 7 days prior to the application deadline.

Admissions Criteria

All applicants must meet the admissions requirements of both the Graduate School and the Department to be considered.

Graduate School Minimum Requirements

The Graduate School requires that all applicants to graduate degree programs meet minimum requirements in:

  • Degree
  • GPA

For details on these requirements see Understanding the Application Process. International applicants should also carefully review International Applicant Information.

English Language Requirement

Our program is language-heavy and includes not only reading and writing in academic English, but teaching philosophy to undergraduate students in English. In order to be considered, all applicants must meet English language requirements at the time of application.

Native English speakers automatically meet the English language requirement.

Non-native English speakers must meet requirements of both:

For the purpose of the Philosophy graduate application, this means that non-native English speakers can meet the English language requirement in either of the following ways:

Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States, or hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom, where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus. (Note: A master’s degree does not satisfy this requirement).


Submit TOEFL iBT speaking score of 26 or higher and with total score of 92 or higher.

Department of Philosophy Criteria

The Department of Philosophy considers all of the following factors holistically in the review of applications:

  • Philosophical potential displayed in the articulation and breadth of the writing sample
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Information conveyed in the applicant’s Statement of Purpose
  • Previous academic record (philosophy coursework in particular) – We do not strictly require that applicants have a previous degree in philosophy; however, applicants must have some record of academic training in philosophy in order for the application to be evaluated (many of our admitted students did have a previous B.A. and/or M.A. in philosophy)

NoteUW Philosophy no longer requires GRE scores to apply to the PhD program. Applicants who have taken the GRE may submit their scores.

Review the Philosophy Graduate Program Application Instructions for details on how to prepare and submit these application materials.

Financing Your Graduate Education

Offers of departmental funding packages are included in offers of admission.  For detailed information on department funding packages and other types of funding opportunities, please see Graduate Funding.

Application Procedure

Ready to apply? All graduate applications at the University of Washington are submitted online through the Graduate School. Please note:  The UW Graduate School online application is not associated with Interfolio.

We recommend starting your application early to familiarize yourself with the requirements and to leave plenty of time to request test scores and for letters of recommendation to come in and be attached to your account prior to the application deadline. You can log in an update different parts of your application as many times as you want prior to submitting it.

  1. Go to Application for Graduate Study at the University of Washington. Create an applicant profile and start a new application. You can save your application progress and return at any time to continue working.
  2. Prepare application materials, request letters of recommendation, and order official test scores per the Application Instructions.
  3. Submit your application and pay the application fee before the deadline.

Log back in to monitor the progress of your application.

Application Fee

The Graduate School charges a fee of $85 (USD) to apply.

Application Fee Waivers

Eligibility for application fee waivers is determined based on financial need or participation in the McNair Scholars or PPIA Fellows program. (You can find more information about eligibility on this page.) You can apply for a waiver through the UW graduate application portal.

Unfortunately, applicants studying on F or J visas are not eligible for application fee waivers.

Note: UW Philosophy does not set application fees and is not involved in granting application fee waivers.


Admissions Timeline

The admissions committee begins reviewing all applications shortly after the January deadline.

Admissions decisions are made in late February/early March.

Applicants placed on the admission wait list will be notified as their status changes, up to the April 15 acceptance deadline.