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Frequently Asked Questions About Our Graduate Program

If the answer to your question does not appear below, please send questions to Scott L. Pratt, Director of Graduate Studies, spratt@uoregon.edu.

How many students do you accept, and what percentage of applicants do you accept?

Admission to graduate studies in philosophy at the University of Oregon is competitive for both the MA and the PhD programs.

For the 2009-2010 PhD class, the department received 131 applications for 6 positions. We initially made offers to 7 applicants, or around 5% of those who applied. Just before and after the April 15th decision deadline, we made additional offers, eventually to the top 8 applicants on our alternate list, for a total of 15 offers. Over the entire process, just over 11% of those who applied received offers before all of our available positions were filled. How far we move down our alternate list varies from year to year.

MA admission is slightly less competitive but still selective. Of 47 applicants to the MA program in 2009-2010, we offered 9 applicants admission (admission rate of 19%).

Should I apply for the MA or PhD program? Can I apply for both?

Students typically apply to the master’s program for one of two reasons: either (1) they desire a master’s degree as their terminal degree in philosophy, or (2) they want to use the master’s degree to strengthen their preparation in philosophy for later application to a doctoral program.

Please note that we do not currently admit students from our master’s program into our doctoral program.

Most applicants applying for our PhD program wish to teach philosophy at the college or university level and/or conduct original philosophical research in an academic capacity. In many cases, students who apply for our PhD program and are not admitted may wish to be considered for admission to the terminal MA program. If you select both the MA and the PhD check boxes on your application, you will be considered first for the PhD program and, if not admitted, will automatically be considered for admission to the MA program.

What is your placement record for PhD graduates?

From 1998-2008, we graduated 44 students with the doctoral degree. Of these 44 graduates, 33 (75%) now hold full-time academic positions at such institutions as Yale University, University of Rochester, Villanova University, Pacific Lutheran University, Gettysburg College, Goucher College, Marquette University, University of Montana, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, and many others.

For a full listing of our placement history over the last decade, please see our Placement page.