Prospective Students

The Philosophy department 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.
Find information on department financial support practices here.
For a list of frequently asked questions click here.

The Fall 2021 admissions deadline is January 4, 2021. We accept applications for the Fall term only.

Steps for Applying

Step 1: Submit an online application and fee to the Graduate Division. (Application fees may be waived in some cases. Please see https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/faqs/ or please contact the department’s admission director Sean Walsh at walsh@ucla.edu.)

Upload the following materials:

  1. A 1-2 page statement of purpose. A separate personal history statement is not required.
  2. A sample of written work, in English. Please remove your name and any other identifying information from the writing sample.
  3. Name and contact information for three recommenders.
  4. If you are applying for the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, in addition to submitting the fellowship application, please also be sure to upload a CV in the “Resume/CV” section of the application.
  5. Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work must be uploaded into the Graduate Division online application system. (To read more about the parameters that define an acceptable unofficial transcript for the purposes of application review, click here). Admitted students will be required to provide official, sealed transcripts directly to the Philosophy department (see address below) at a later date. NOTE: Transcripts from community colleges and short-term study abroad programs are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on your undergraduate transcript.

Step 2: Send official GRE scores to UCLA. The advanced test in philosophy is not required. The GRE should be taken no later than the second week in December in order to meet the application deadline. We will not accept GRE scores older than 5 years.

Students who wish to apply for admission to our graduate program for the 2021-2022 academic year are not required to take the GRE or submit a GRE score report as part of their application package. However, students may voluntarily submit GRE test scores and they will be reviewed as part of the holistic application consideration. The applications with GRE scores will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores.

Step 3: If English is not your native language, send TOEFL or IELTS scores to UCLA. Exceptions: (1) Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher at a university where English is the language of instruction and the primary language of daily life, or (2) students who have completed at least two years of full-time study at such institution, 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 4: We strongly encourage you to apply for extramural funding. The Graduate Division has a website featuring links to fellowship databases and other useful information.


The mailing address for transcripts is:

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

If your institution supports electronic transmission of transcripts, these should be sent directly to philcounselor@humnet.ucla.edu.

Offers of admission to international students cannot be finalized until official transcripts have been received. Non-international students must submit official transcripts before the start of Fall term. 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.

Please note: The University will be closed from December 21, 2020 until January 1, 2021. The department will process mail received during the holiday closure in the first weeks of January.