The Department of Philosophy at UCLA admits graduate students for the PhD program only, entering in Fall Quarter. Students who do not have an MA in Philosophy may earn one on the way to the PhD. 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.

For applicants interested in the joint JD/PhD program, see the JD/PhD page for further instructions.

Steps for Admission

Step 1:

Submit an online application and fee to the UCLA Graduate Division by January 10, 2017. On the first page of the application select "Doctoral" as the degree type and "PHD Philosophy" as the program. Upload the following materials as you proceed through the application:

  1. A brief statement of purpose. (1-2 pages)
  2. 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 in a language other than English. DO NOT include your name on your writing sample, as we will be conducting blind readings.
  3. Name and contact information for three recommenders.
  4. Students from underrepresented cultural, racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply and submit a statement for the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship. Find further instructions here.

You will know that your application has been received by the department when you reach the final page verifying that, "Your UCLA Application for Graduate Admission has been successfully submitted." If you do not see this phrase, your application has not been received.

Step 2:

Mail official transcripts from each institution attended to the following address: 

UCLA Department of Philosophy
ATTN: Graduate Advisor
321 Dodd Hall
405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095

or email official electronic transcripts to   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

You can opt initially only to upload a scanned copy of your transcript to the online application. However, the department may later request that official copies be sent. Offers of admission cannot be finalized until official transcripts have been received. Unsealed transcripts handled by a student are no longer considered official.

For students who attended universities outside of the United States, see here for transcript requirements.

Step 3:

Send official GRE scores to UCLA. The advanced test in philosophy is not required. The GRE should be taken no later than the December test date in order to meet the application deadline. We will not accept GRE scores older than 5 years.

Step 4:

If English is not your native language, send TOEFL or IELTS scores to UCLA. (Exception: Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher with at least two years of full-time study at a university where English is the language of instruction and the primary language of daily life do not need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.) We require a minimum TOEFL score of 560 on the paper and pencil test or 87 on the internet-based test,or a minimum IELTS Overall Band Score of 7.0 .

Admitted applicants who have not met UCLA's English language requirement must, upon arrival at UCLA, take the English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE), an English diagnostic test. 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.

To be eligible for a teaching assistantship upon admission 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 an examination designed 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 5:

We strongly encourage you to apply for extramural funding. The Graduate Division has a website featuring links to fellowship databases and other useful information.

Please note: The University will be closed from December 23, 2016 until January 2, 2017. The department will process mail received during the holiday closure in the first weeks of January.