Important Admissions Update (October 8th, 2020): Given the Covid-19 pandemic, the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn has made the difficult decision that it will not offer funding to any incoming graduate students in AY 20-21 (choosing instead to focus on supporting current students). As a result, the philosophy department will not be considering applications to the PhD program for candidates seeking Penn funding (which is the vast majority of applicants).
We will be considering applications from two groups of students.
First, we will consider applications for the JD/PhD program. Admitted students to this program would need to do their first year of law school in AY 21-22.
Second, we will consider applications from students that have external funding that covers the whole five years of the program.
Applicants need specify which type of student they are in their personal statement. Students seeking admission with external funding need to explain their external funding in the personal statement.
Thinking about applying to Penn Philosophy? We think the Penn program is a great place to do graduate work, but whether it will suit you depends on your interests and desires. Our program is especially strong in history of philosophy (ancient, medieval, early modern, Kant, 19th century), philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and also moral, political, and legal philosophy. We can also offer comprehensive training in other fields, including aesthetics, logic, and cognitive science, and several joint degree programs (M.D./Ph.D., J.D./Ph.D., and J.D./M.A.). You can get a sense of what the faculty works on by looking at the areas of interest by consulting the research pages of our faculty members, as well the descriptions of the department's research interests. From another perspective, you can see the range of research topics students pursue here by looking at the dissertation topics of our current doctoral students and recent graduates.
You can receive more detailed information about the department by writing to our Graduate Coordinator, Kate Stoler (firstname.lastname@example.org) : Applications must be made online to the Graduate Division of Penn's School of Arts and Sciences. This website will allow you to upload your writing sample and transcript as well as requesting letters of recommendation from your recommenders. GRE scores are not required and will not be considered even if they are sent.
The deadline for application is December 15, and we encourage you to submit your application a few weeks earlier if possible. We do not consider applications outside the December 15 cycle.
Our total enrollment is around 30 students, about 20% international, 40% women, 5% minority.
If your application for doctoral work is successful, you will receive an offer of financial aid. Our five-year aid package offers two and one-half years of fellowship support without teaching or other duties (though first-year students help monitor the library), and two and one-half years of service as a teaching fellow or assistant. (The aid package is adjusted for joint-degree programs.) Doctoral study is full-time.
If you receive an offer of admission and aid, it will come in March, and you will need to decide by April 15. The period after you receive the offer is the time to visit the campus to meet the faculty and current students. The Department will notify you of travel funds that may be available to cover at least part of the expense of a visit.
If you have further questions that are not answered in the graduate brochure, please e-mail email@example.com, or write Kate Stoler at the above address. International students should consult the Office of International Programs (OIP)