The Philosophy department at UCLA admits graduate students for the PhD program only, entering in Fall Quarter. The Department restricts admission to students whose records and credentials give evidence of capacity and resolve to do superior work in philosophy at the graduate level. A substantial background in philosophy is desirable, though we recognize that many students acquire their interest in graduate study in philosophy without having completed the equivalent of an undergraduate major in the field; exceptionally promising students with such a background may be admitted, subject to the condition of strengthening their preparation in the deficient area as soon as possible. Applications from women and members of minority groups are strongly encouraged.
The application process consists of three steps.
Step 1: Submit online application, fees, and other forms to the Graduate Division. (For further information, see the Graduate Division's admissions website here.)
Step 2: Upload online or mail the following supplemental materials:
- Three letters of recommendation.
- A brief statement of purpose. (1-2 pages)
- A sample of your written work. (You should submit no more than two short papers. No paper should be longer than 20 pages. Please do not submit samples not in English).
- Official scores from the aptitude portion of the GRE.
(The advanced test in philosophy is not required . We will not accept GRE scores older than 5 years).
- Applicants who are not native speakers of English should submit official TOEFL scores. (We require a minimum score of 560 on the paper and pencil test, 220 on the computer-based test, or 87 on the internet-based test (TOEFL), or Overall Band Score of 7.0 (IELTS)).
- Admitted applicants who have not met UCLA's English language requirement must, upon arrival at UCLA, take the UCLA English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE), an English diagnostic test, before being permitted to register. Depending on the results of the ESLPE, you may be required to complete English as a Second Language courses beginning in your first term at UCLA. If English courses are required, you should anticipate spending a longer period of time at the University. Admission is canceled for those who do not pass the ESLPE. Please note that you must sit for the ESLPE regardless of your score obtained on the TOEFL, IELTS or any other English proficiency test.
- To be eligible for a teaching assistantship upon being admitted to UCLA, applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP) and pass it with a score of 7.1. TOP is UCLA's own examination designed specifically for screening the spoken English skills of international students before their appointment as teaching assistants. Additional information for foreign applicants can be found here.
Step 3: Mail official transcripts from each institution attended to the following address:
The Graduate Counselor - Admissions
UCLA Department of Philosophy
Box 951451, Dodd 321
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1451
(You can, if you like, opt to only upload a scanned copy of your transcript. However, the department may later request official copies to be sent upon review of your application.)
The deadline for receipt of the application and all supporting materials is JANUARY 10, 2016. Applications not complete by the deadline cannot be guaranteed full consideration.
Applicants can view the status of their materials online at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/applicat.htm by clicking "Application Status." Due to the high volume of materials received, your application may not be updated immediately.
(Please note: The University will be closed approximately from December 24, 2015 and will reopen Monday, January 4, 2016. The department will process mail received during the holiday closure the first weeks of January.)
The GRE should be taken no later than the December test date. Transcripts from domestic institutions should be requested at least one month in advance; those who have studied at foreign universities should consult the "Application for Graduate Admission" for specific information required on their transcripts from those schools.
Specific program requirements can be found here. The UCLA GENERAL CATALOG is available online here.
We also strongly encourage you to apply for extramural funding. The following websites feature links to fellowship databases and other useful information:
Funding for Entering Graduate Students
Funding for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars
For questions not addressed on our FAQ page, please email us at