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How to Apply

Deadline and Logistics

The deadline has passed to apply for the Fall 2020 graduate program. The Fall 2021 Online GradWeb Application Page will be available at the end of September 2020. The deadline to apply will be 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, 2 January 2021. The Philosophy Department accepts Master’s and Doctoral applications for Fall term only.

Please plan ahead; there is a two-week delay between when students test and when their test scores are available to educational institutions, and it can take up to six weeks for hard copy and electronic documents to be received and uploaded into our system. UO Admissions, Registrar’s Office, Graduate School, and Philosophy Department staff cannot accurately confirm which hard copy or electronic documents have or have not been received; applicants are advised to check the receipt of application materials and the status of their graduate program 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 late February/early March).

General Information

Students from all over the world 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 Employment to all entering doctoral students. Selected master’s students are occasionally given term-long Graduate Employment 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. Students completing the MA at the University of Oregon should not expect to have an advantage in applying to our PhD 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 to complete an 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 personal statement — see Item #1 below — by writing “ALSO CONSIDER FOR MA.” MA decisions are made after the PhD admit list and alternate list are finalized.  Please note that the Philosophy Department’s Graduate Program Admissions Committee will not be able to see your application until you complete it and pay the application fee ($70 for domestic applicants, $90 for international applicants, visit for information on fee waivers). Please note that the fee waiver questionnaire appears at the very beginning of the application, and before you pay the fee, you will be able to edit and update your application. Once you pay the fee, you will no longer be able to do that; however, you can communicate any important changes by email to our department at Please also contact the department if you are experiencing any other difficulties with the application, or have further questions.

  1. 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.
  2. Three letters of recommendation, completed by teachers (preferably philosophy teachers) familiar with the applicant’s academic background.
  3. One 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 double spaced pages is strongly recommended.
  4. College transcripts for all graduate and undergraduate course work in philosophy. Unofficial transcripts need to be uploaded into the graduate applicant file for the UO Philosophy Department. Official transcripts are not required by the UO Philosophy Department. Official transcripts showing the date the BA and/or MA degree(s) was/were awarded are required by the UO Registrar’s Office. These either need to be mailed to 5257 University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403-5257 (for official hard copy transcripts) or emailed to (for official secure transcript PDFs). To be official, transcripts must be sent directly to the UO Registrar’s Office from your educational institution, either by a physical delivery service or by email. For additional information about this process, please see the Graduate School’s instructions for submitting official transcripts:
  5. Test Scores: 
    Domestic Students: Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required. GRE scores need to be submitted separately from Educational Testing Service. Please note that there are several University of Oregon campuses; the code for the main campus in Eugene, Oregon, is 4846 and the Philosophy Department’s code is 2801.
    Both codes are required.
    Applicants who do not choose the correct codes the first time will need to request that their scores be sent to the correct codes a second time; otherwise, we will not receive your test scores.

    International Students: Although Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) will be accepted, they are not required for international applicants; however, because a satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission to the University of Oregon, international applicants must show proof of language proficiency, outlined here:

International applicants must also complete the Financial Certification & Immigration Information Form. International Student and Scholar Services oversees this requirement. Read more here (please note that the financial verification statement is not required for the Philosophy Department’s initial evaluation of applicant files). Also, for doctoral teaching positions, international students will be required to prove spoken English proficiency by way of the SPEAK or the TSE. For additional information, please visit


UO Graduate School
Educational Testing Service
Graduate School’s Language Requirement for International GEs
International Student Financial Statement (pdf)
Additional Information for Prospective International Graduate Students from the UO International Affairs Office
Additional Requirements & Information for International Applicants from the UO Graduate School

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