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Applying to Philosophy Graduate Programs

A guide for undergraduate students seeking to apply to graduate schools.

Introduction


Graduate school is a big step.

Whether you are considering MA or PhD programs (or both), the environment and expectations for graduate students differ from that of undergraduates in a number of important ways.

For example:

  1. You are on your way to becoming a "professional philosopher," or at least an expert in the field. This means you will be expected to be familiar with a range of topics, including the contemporary status of scholarship in your area of specialization (AOS) as well as general information about the history of philosophy.
  2. If you are planning to enter academia, i.e. pursue a tenure-track position, you will also (generally) be expected to publish regularly, including conference presentations, journal articles, and books.
  3. Although your studies may allow you to continue exploring the history of philosophy by reading a variety of thinkers, you will need to focus on an area or figure in philosophy, becoming extremely familiar with the relevant body of work in that area (i.e. developing an AOS).

Guides

There are a few guides to help you through the graduate school application process, including some offering advice on whether graduate school might be a good idea for you.

Emory also has a number of resources you may wish to consult. A sampling is given below: