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How to Apply

Deadline and Logistics

The Fall 2015 online GradWeb Application Page is available at:

Please retain your login credentials (username and password) in a safe place for future reference. Instructions for uploading materials are available on appropriate application screens.  Application materials need to be completely uploaded by January 15 to be considered for the following academic year.

The uploading of application material is accomplished under an automated process, and Philosophy Department staff cannot accurately confirm receipt of materials by telephone or email.  Please allow a few business days for hard copy application materials to be handled.  Applicants are advised to check the receipt of application materials and the status of their applications by logging back into GradWeb with the same login name and password credentials that were created for the online application. Admission decisions are posted on the Application Status screen as they are made (usually in mid-to-late February).

General Information

Students are drawn to graduate study at the University of Oregon for a variety of reasons: our unique mix of strengths in Continental, American, and Feminist philosophy; our commitment to pluralism and openness to interdisciplinary perspectives; a faculty that is preoccupied equally with excellence in teaching and excellence in research, and the typically close mentoring relationships between faculty and students that result; the supportive and engaged, rather than competitive culture among graduate students; and the stunningly beautiful location of the program in Eugene, Oregon, between the Cascade mountains and the Oregon coast.

Prospective graduate students may apply either for the Master’s program or to the Doctoral program. The Department offers Graduate Teaching Fellowships to all entering doctoral students. Selected master’s students are occasionally given term-long Graduate Teaching Fellowships when there is a need for additional teaching assistants and funding is available. For more information on funding, click here.

People apply to the Master’s program for one of the following reasons: (1) they desire a master’s degree as their terminal degree in philosophy; (2) they want to use the master’s degree to strengthen their preparation in philosophy for later application to another doctoral program. We do not typically admit students from our own MA program into our doctoral program. Most of those applying to our PhD program wish to teach philosophy at the university level, and/or do research at a research institution.

Application Packet Content / GPA and Test Score Information

The following materials are required for a complete application for either the MA or the PhD programs.

For PhD applicants who wish to be considered for the MA program if they are not admitted to the PhD program, please indicate this in bold type on the top of your letter — see Item #2 below — by writing “ALSO CONSIDER FOR MA.” MA decisions are only made after the PhD admit list and alternate list are finalized.

  1. Completed standard University of Oregon graduate application form and fee (the the Graduate School will provide a waiver of the $50 application fee for McNair Scholars; click here for information on graduate application fee waivers for other qualified applicants).
  2. A brief personal statement explaining your philosophical background and specific philosophical interests. Please use this opportunity to give us some sense of how you think philosophically, who you are as a person, and why the University of Oregon is the right department for you. This helps the department’s faculty decide whether UO is the most appropriate philosophy department for the applicant’s goals.
  3. Three letters of recommendation, completed by teachers (preferably philosophy teachers) familiar with the applicant’s academic background.
  4. writing sample that reflects your highest quality work in philosophy. There is no strict policy on length for your writing sample, but no more than 10 to 15 pages is strongly recommended.
  5. Two sets of official college transcripts for all graduate and undergraduate course work; the first set goes to the UO Philosophy Department and the second set to the UO Admissions Office.
  6. Test Scores: Graduate Record Examinations (GRE): GRE scores are submitted separately from Educational Testing Service. The University of Oregon’s code is 4846, and the Philosophy Department’s code is 2801. International Students: please note that if we offer you admission, the admission is contingent on the following:
    • Examination scores from the TSE (Test of Spoken English), the iBT (Internet-based TOEFL), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) must be submitted if you do not speak English as a first language and cannot submit degree transcripts showing that you have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. institution or from an institution in the following countries: Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom.
    • International Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTFs) in teaching positions are required to prove their spoken English proficiency by way of the SPEAK or the TSE. For additional information, please visit the Graduate School’s Language Requirement for International GTFs.
    • International students must also submit a financial verification statement (pdf) to the Office of Admissions. The financial verification statement is not required for the Philosophy Department’s initial evaluation of applicant files.