The M.A. program requires a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent, a grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) for the last two years of undergraduate study, and at least 15 semester credits in philosophy. The course requirement may be waived in the case of students with strong backgrounds in other disciplines. Students with limited or uneven backgrounds may be admitted on a provisional basis.
The PhD program requires a B.A with a major in Philosophy or its equivalent. Credit and distribution requirements are being revised accordingly.
Students for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate English speaking and writing competence through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Students whose English is judged not to be sufficient for successful work in philosophy in English will be required to study in the University's English Language Center until they have demonstrated sufficient mastery. To qualify to hold a teaching assistantship, anyone whose native language is not English has to pass the MSU SPEAK test.
The application for admission to the graduate programs is done on line. To apply, http://admissions.msu.edu/apply.asp and fill out and submit the appropriate application form.
Supporting materials are mailed directly to the department: Department of Philosophy, Graduate Applications, 368 Farm Lane, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824. Required materials:
Official transcripts from all post-secondary education institutions you have attended are to be sent by the institution directly to the Philosophy Department,
Three confidential letters of recommendation (mailed by the recommender directly to the department)
A Statement of Purpose (aka, personal statement)
A writing sample (a philosophical essay of about 10-20 pages)
The department does not require GRE scores as part of the application, but you may have them sent to us, and if we have them, we do consider them.
Application deadlines: Admission is usually for the academic year beginning fall semester, though in very special circumstances students may be considered for admission in spring or summer. In order for an applicant to be considered for all types of available financial aid, all application materials should be received by the Department no later than December 15.
Admission decisions to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs are made by an Admissions Committee that considers all elements of the application dossier: academic record, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a sample of philosophical writing, and any other materials that document capacity for graduate study in philosophy. This process is usually complete by the end of March, with acceptance or denials mailed by mid April.
See the Financial Aid page for information on sources of funding for graduate students in Philosophy.