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About the Graduate Program

Work for the PhD degree is offered in all major fields and historical periods of philosophy. The department has strengths in epistemology, ethics, feminist philosophy, metaphysics, phenomenology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and social and political philosophy. Our faculty reflects a variety of approaches and methodologies, including analytic, continental, historical, and pragmatic. Students must complete at least 47 hours of formal course work, in addition to satisfying other requirements. See our Rules and Procedures for a detailed statement of degree requirements. Those who are offered admission to our PhD program receive a full stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance for five years.

University Tuition Scholarships are service-free awards that pay all or part of tuition costs. The following graduate awards are normally supplemented by a full University Tuition Scholarship, which usually includes student health insurance coverage: University Fellowships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, Traineeships, and Teacher Training Awards.

How to Apply to the Graduate Program in Philosophy

Application to the Graduate Program in Philosophy consists of the following five components.

  1. Completion of the online application to the Vanderbilt Graduate School
  2. Submission of official GRE scores optional for 2023 applications
  3. Submission of unofficial transcripts
  4. Submission of at least three, but at most five, letters of recommendation
  5. Submission of a philosophically substantive writing sample of manageable length (ordinarily no more than 7,000 words)

The application deadline for fall admission of any given year is January 15 of that same year. Click here to apply online to the Graduate Program.