Graduate Program

Letter to Prospective Applicants

Thank you for your interest in our program. This letter contains general guidelines and information.

The application process is administered by the Yale Graduate School.  Their admissions webpage has useful information about the application process and access to the online application system.

As you probably know, the number of applications we receive here at Yale far exceeds the number of slots we have available.  In 2013-2014 we had over 300 applications for 5 slots.

The most important factors in our decision-making are the candidate’s writing sample, and the associated letters of recommendation.  Your writing sample (which should be 15-25 pages) should be an example of your very best work.  Your letters should be from people who know you well, and can speak specifically about your abilities in philosophy.

Next in importance is the transcript, and what it reveals about the range of courses taken, and the candidate’s success in them. 

For the personal statement, we assume that if you are applying to graduate school at Yale, then you are interested in what we do here.  That said, if you can tell us a bit more about your background and interests, this information might be helpful.

The GRE is required.  Applicants should take the GRE no later than November.   

The test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English.  This requirement is waived only for applicants who will have received a degree, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction. 

Prospective students are welcome to visit Connecticut Hall, talk with our current students, and, when possible, sit in on classes. (See the Yale Academic Calendar for when we are in session.) However, to promote fairness and objectivity in admissions decisions, the Department Chair and the Director of Graduate Studies will not schedule meetings with prospective graduate students before admissions decisions have been made.

We wish you the best of luck.