About the Graduate Program
Application to the Ph.D. Program
To apply to the Ph.D. program, you will need to complete the official UCR Graduate School Application. This is the application that serves as the official application to the Philosophy Department’s graduate program. Applications completed by December 17 (applications for which all supplemental materials have been received by Monday, December 17, 2012), will receive first consideration. We will continue to accept application after December 17, 2012.
If you have questions concerning application to our Ph.D. program, please contact Mark Wrathall, the chair of the admissions committee. For additional information, see the following: FAQs, Warning for Foreign Applicants, and Graduate Student Placement Record. Please also feel free to consult the UCR General Catalog.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Application Process
- What is the application deadline? Although there is no official deadline, applications completed by December 17 (applications for which all supplemental materials have been received by Monday, December 17, 2012), will receive first consideration. Applications must be received by January 5th in order to be considered for financial support from the Graduate Division. The admissions committee will make its decisions about whom to accept in January. If the application comes in too late for that process, or is not complete by that time, chances of getting accepted and of being offered financial support are significantly smaller.
- What supplemental materials are required?
- GRE scores (especially the verbal and quantitative scores)
- Transcripts from colleges or universities attended
- A writing sample (10–15 pages long)
- A statement of purpose (1–2 pages long)
- Three letters of recommendation
- The application fee ($80 for domestic applicants, $100 for international applicants)
- Where should the application materials be sent? The electronic forms need to be submitted online. The supplemental material should all be sent to the same location, namely
Department of Philosophy
Attn.: Graduate Affairs Secretary
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521
- Is it possible to apply to the M.A. program only?
While the department does have an M.A. program, we have not accepted anyone to the M.A. program alone for a number of years. Thus the application should be for admission to the Ph.D. program (which includes the M.A. program).
- Are GRE scores really necessary? The GRE requirement (which is a university requirement, in addition to being a department requirement) cannot be waived. Thus the GRE scores are a necessary part of the application. There is one exception, namely if the applicant is a foreign student who can’t take the GRE in his or her current country of residence. (Also see #8 below.)
- How important are the GRE scores? The GRE scores are one of several main factors in the department’s decision about whom to accept. (Also important are: the letters of recommendation, the writing sample, the statement of purpose, and grades at previous institutions, in particular grades in philosophy classes). In addition, the GRE scores are a crucial factor in the university administration’s decision for who gets what kind of financial support, or who gets any financial support at all.
- What would be considered an average GRE score? During the last few years, average GRE scores (verbal and quantitative combined) for students we accepted have been in the range of 310 to 330 (1250-1500 by the old scale). (If a student’s combined scores are below 300 (1100), their chances of being admitted are minimal unless there is a special explanation, e.g., that the student is not a native speaker of English). Typically a score below 310 (or 1250) is a strike against an applicant, whereas a score above 325 (or 1450) is a bonus.
- Is there anything in addition to, or instead of, GRE scores that is required for foreign applicants? Yes, foreign students need to take the TOEFL and submit their scores.
Warning for Foreign Applicants
Last year Graduate Division allowed the Philosophy Department to make offers of admission to only two international students, and we were not able to make them attractive financial aid packages. Neither accepted our offers because they were sufficiently strong applicants to get better offers elsewhere. The main problem is that we cannot cover non-resident tuition for the period after the second year and before the student is advanced to candidacy. That amounts to at least $15,000 per year during the third and most likely the fourth year. You have to provide evidence that you can come up with that money in order to be admitted.
Applications are very expensive—so think carefully about whether it is worth your effort and expense to apply to UCR.
Graduate Student Placement Record
Placement information can be found here.