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Eligibility and Application Overview

The department does not regularly admit students to the M.A. program, but it will consider applications in special circumstances. Students who wish to apply for the M.A. are encouraged to be in touch with the Graduate Chair before applying to the program. If you have received permission from the graduate chair to apply for the Master's program, please complete the online application, see instructions below. 
Application Overview
All required supporting documents are to be submitted through the online application system. Hard copy materials, other than official transcripts, will not be accepted. The application deadline for the Master's of Arts in Philosophy is December 15th. No applications received after the 15th will be accepted or reviewed by the graduate committee.
If you have questions about admissions and requirements that are not answered here, we encourage you to contact our Graduate Coordinator, Kate Stoler, at
Application materials checklist
Applications must contain all of the following to be considered complete:

  • Completed online application
  • An academic curriculum vitae summarizing your academic background.
  • Nonrefundable $90 application fee  (McNair Scholars may fill out this form for a fee waiver)
  • Personal statement (details below)
  • Transcripts uploaded to the application (details below)
  • Three letters of recommendation (details below)
  • Language Test Scores (international candidates only)

After a complete application is received and reviewed, candidates under serious consideration may be invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee on campus or remotely. 
Personal statement
Please describe your interest in Penn's philosophy doctoral program. In your statement, be sure to include:

  • your interests and goals in philosophy
  • relevant training for the degree
  • how Penn fits into your stated interests and goals

The length of your personal statement should not exceed two pages.
You must submit academic transcript(s) from all previous academic work undertaken. Screenshots or PDFs of unofficial transcripts may be submitted at the application stage. Official transcripts will be requested if you are offered and accept admission to the program.
Letters of recommendation
Each applicant must submit at least three letters of recommendation but may submit up to five. Letters should come from individuals in a position to evaluate your professional and/or academic work, such as a supervisor or professor, and who know of your desire to enter the philosophy doctoral program.
Recommendations must be submitted online. Please follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application.
**Please note, the application system no longer accepts Letters of Recommendation from Interfolio. If you are using Interfolio, you may submit your Recommendations directly to the graduate coordinator (
Standardized test scores
Please note, GRE scores are not required by the philosophy department for admission in the doctoral program and will not be considered if they are sent.
Language Test Scores (international candidates only)
Applicants who are not US citizens or do not have English as the first language must submit language test scores. TOEFL & IELTS scores are accepted and these tests must be taken within two years of the application.
If you have completed a degree in higher education from an institution in which the medium language of instruction is English, we are able to waive the TOEFL/ IELTS requirement. Please contact Kate Stoler ( after your application has been compiled, including submission of your academic transcripts, to activate the English Language Test waiver
Ready to start your Penn journey? Apply HERE
If you have questions about admissions and requirements that are not answered here, we encourage you to read our FAQs page. If you have visited the FAQ page and still have questions, you may contact the Graduate Coordinator
Please note, the best way to contact the department about questions is by email. To be fair to all applicants who have submitted information requests, phone calls will not be answered or returned. Emails will be answered in the order they are received. During peak admissions season, it may take up to a week for faculty or staff to respond to email. Please be patient while we work to assist everyone with their admissions needs.