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Ph.D. Application

To apply to the Ph.D. program, please fill out an online application via the Rackham Graduate School website. If, for any reason, you are unable to use the online resources, please contact us by e-mail. There are fee waivers and need-based fee grants available to those who qualify. 

The following are needed for consideration to the Ph.D. program in Philosophy. It is strongly encouraged that you submit all materials by uploading into your online application.

  • Completed Rackham Graduate School online application.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Make sure that you register your recommenders when you fill out the online application. Letters should be uploaded by recommenders into the online application system. 
  • Academic Statement (500 word limit). Please explain briefly the nature of your study in philosophy or related fields thus far, your current primary areas of interest (if known), what studies you would like to pursue in graduate school, and whether there are any Michigan faculty with whom you would especially like to work. Upload this at the Academic Statement page.
  • Personal Statement (500 word limit). Please use this statement to help us understand how  you have come to be interested in philosophy, what special challenges you might have faced, what relevant experiences you might have had, and what aspirations you have for the future. You may wish to mention facts that may be relevant to your being considered for a Rackham Merit Fellowship, which helps sustain academic excellence and inclusiveness by offering additional financial assistance to students with diverse experiences, goals, and familial backgrounds (see here). Upload this at the Personal Statement page.
  • A sample of philosophical writing (word limit: 8,000 words, inclusive of notes). Upload at the Writing Sample page.
  • One copy of unofficial transcript from degree-granting institutions. Upload the scanned copy at the Transcript page.  Official transcripts should be submitted to Rackham Graduate School; directions to do so can be found here
  • Resume or CV. Upload at the Resume or CV page.

You may also (optionally) supply your scores on the aptitude portions of the Graduate Record Examination. (Not the 'philosophy achievement' test, however.) To have your scores reported directly to the University of Michigan, please use code number 1839.

You are fully responsible for the submission of a complete application. You will be able to keep track of which materials for your application have arrived and which ones are still outstanding by consulting your Web Application Status page, to which you will have access once Rackham has received your application and application fee. If you see a status of "Application Incomplete," and you believe you have submitted all of your materials, it is most likely because your official transcript has not yet been received and processed.

We would be happy to answer any further questions you might have. Please contact our admissions staff by e-mail.