Graduate Application Procedures (International)

We welcome international students interested in earning a doctoral degree in Philosophy.

At the University of Washington, an international applicant is defined as:

  • one who is not a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or immigrant, OR
  • one who will require any type of visa to enter the U.S.

Below you will find a list of the minimum requirements for international applicants seeking admission to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Washington. The application process for international students is not meant to discourage applicants, but instead to assist you in making an informed choice about whether or not to invest the considerable expense and time required in submitting a complete application. In addition, for detailed information about international graduate student admission processes concerning rules and regulations (VISA status, health insurance, employment, etc.) and student life at the University of Washington, please contact the UW Graduate School ( or the UW International Student Services Office ( 

Admission Deadline

Applicants must submit applications by January 2, 2018. Students are admitted to the graduate program for an autumn quarter start only.

International Admission Criteria

All applicants to graduate programs at the University of Washington must meet the admissions requirements of both the Graduate School and the Department to which they are applying. 

To get started, read Understanding the Application Process to familiarize yourself with the Graduate School's admissions requirements.

English Language Proficiency Requirements 

All applicants must meet the Graduate School's English Language Proficiency requirements. Please see Understanding the Application Process for the Graduate School's policies on language requirements. The Department of Philosophy requires that applicants meet the Graduate School's Recommended Score for English language exams.

Additionally, the Department of Philosophy requires that applicants meet the spoken language proficiency requirements detailed in the Graduate School's Memo 15: Conditions of Appointment for TAs who are not Native Speakers of English.

Degree Requirements

The equivalent of a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree. This is based on the following criteria: the country’s national system of education, type of institution attended, field of study, and level of studies completed. Policies at other institutions may differ.

Financial Responsibility

Applicants requesting an F-1 or J-1 visa must meet the UW's financial ability requirement to show that they have adequate funding to cover living costs and tuition and campus fees for the first year of study.  The UW Financial Aid office,  UW International Student Services office, and the UW Graduate School Fellowships, Assistantships, and Awards office are good resources to explore.

Additional Department of Philosophy Admission Criteria

All students must meet the following Department of Philosophy requirements as well as the minimum admission requirements for the University of Washington Graduate School.

     Written Materials   The following need to be two separate documents:

  • Statement of Purpose and Goals  articulating why the applicant wishes to pursue a degree in Philosophy, and specifically in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Washington.
  • Academic Writing Sample must in English and in philosophical writing that is 8-12 pages of written material, not including reference page(s). 

     Letters of Recommendation  

  • Three letters of recommendation are required.  Specific instructions on how to identify recommenders is listed once you begin an application.  The letters will need to be uploaded to the online application by the recommender once they receive an email link.  There is no recommendation form; however, letters should be on letterhead from the recommender’s organization.  The UW Graduate School online application is not associated with Interfolio and cannot accept recommendation letters via Interfolio and/or your recommender's Interfolio email.  

     GRE (Graduate Record Exam)

  • The GRE is required for all students.  GRE scores are valid for five years from the test date.  For students accepted into the Department of Philosophy, the average GRE scores since August 2011 with the revised GRE Exam have been: 162 Verbal Reasoning, 154 Quantitative Reasoning, and 46 Analytical Writing.  For GRE Exams taken prior to August 2011 scores have been 660 Verbal Reasoning, 710 Quantitative Reasoning, and 5.4 Analytical Writing.

The Department of Philosophy takes the following factors into account in the review of applications: the philosophical potential displayed in the articulation and breadth of the writing samples, letters of recommendation, undergraduate record, and GRE scores. 

All applications are reviewed together shortly after the deadline.  Decisions are made mid-March and notification begins late March.     

We typically receive about 90 to 125 applications, and offer admission to between 5 and 10 new students per year.

Some international students may be required to spend up to three additional quarters improving their English writing and speaking skills, in addition to developing Philosophical preparation. Students who do not have adequate preparation in Western Philosophy may be required to take Ancient Philosophy (320), Modern Philosophy (322), Contemporary Philosophy (326), and Introduction to Symbolic Logic (120). Graduate credit will not normally be given for these remedial courses.

International Application Process

Ready to apply? All applicants need to apply to the Department of Philosophy using the University of Washington's Graduate School website. 

Begin your online Application for Graduate Study at the University of Washington. Create your applicant profile and start an application. You can return at any time to continue working, and then submit before the application deadline.  Please note: The UW Graduate School online application is not associated with Interfolio. 

All application materials including letters of recommendation and transcripts are uploaded to your online application for the review process.  Test scores should be sent electronically and directly to the Graduate School using the UW institution code or online process described (for IELTS).  All applications are reviewed together after the deadline. 

More detailed information regarding graduate admissions, see the UW Graduate School's Understanding the Application Process.