Information for Prospective Applicants

Thank you for your interest in the Philosophy PhD program. This page 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.

The number of applications received each year exceeds the number of slots available.   Approximately  500 applications are received for 5-6 slots every year.

The most important factors in 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 not required.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a Yale Graduate School required for all applicants whose native language is not English.  This requirement is waived only for applicants who will have received a bachelor’s 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 the department, talk with our current students, and, when possible, sit in on classes. 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.

Most questions about the application process should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions office.