Brown University ~ Department of Philosophy

For Graduate Students

Apply Online

The Department offers admission in the fall only for its Ph.D. program. (Please note that there is no separate M.A. program in philosophy.1) Application may be made online. Applicants must submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, official GRE scores (no advanced subject test is required), and a sample of philosophical writing. The application deadline is 2 January.

The preliminary requirements for the Ph.D. are satisfied by demonstrating competence in logic, philosophy of science, language, and mind, ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, and history of philosophy. This may be done either by passing prescribed courses with a quality grade or through satisfactory completion of an individually tailored major-minors program, planned in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and submitted to the department for approval.

Within seven semesters of full-time or equivalent residency at Brown, the student must gain admission to Ph.D. candidacy. Admission to candidacy is granted after satisfaction of the preliminary evaluation and distribution requirements and upon approval of a dissertation prospectus by a dissertation committee. An oral defense of the dissertation is required once it is completed.

Information about graduate studies in philosophy at Brown University is available in the department's Graduate Student Handbook.

Inquiries regarding graduate admissions should be directed to the Graduate School and not to the Director of Graduate Studies. The Director of Graduate Studies is responsible only for the Graduate Program, and plays no role in the admissions processs.


1This is not to say that the department does not offer a Master of Arts degree. Any student who has completed the preliminary requirements for the Ph.D. is eligible to be awarded and M.A. It is sometimes taken as a terminal degree by those who decide, for whatever reason, not to complete the Ph.D., but who have completed the preliminary requirements. And it is sometimes taken as a non-terminal degree by students who do intend to complete the Ph.D. but who would just like to receive it. The degree may also be awared to Brown undergraduates admitted to the A.B./A.M. program. The more important point at present is that the department does not consider applications from students whose intention is only to pursue an M.A. Nor, for that matter, is a prior M.A. required of applicants to the Ph.D. program.