Application Information

Application Materials

The deadline for all materials sent to the Philosophy Department is January 15 each year. The deadline for the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies materials is January 15 each year.

A complete application must include: James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies application for admission, a scanned transcript from all universities attended, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a short writing sample. Not only does the department not require the GRE, it does not consider GRE scores for any application.

Writing Sample

The Philosophy Department requires that applicants submit a writing sample. A term paper or selection from an honors thesis or master's thesis is appropriate. Applicants should avoid submitting short papers (four to six pages) involving responses to preassigned topics. 

We do not have a rule about the length of the writing sample, but in most cases they are around 15-20 double-spaced pages (i.e. between 4000 and 5000 words). 

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should provide a picture of you as a philosopher. It should say something about the philosophical questions and issues that attract your attention, and something about the philosophical schools, historical figures, or periods that interest you. While you should be as specific as you can, it is OK to have varied interests. We also understand that interests develop, and sometimes change completely.

The statement of purpose is also a place to mention any special facts about yourself that might be relevant to your graduate work. If appropriate, indicate any ways in which you would contribute to the diversity of the Philosophy program. If you have a language background or research experience that is not reflected in your academic record, describe it. 

GRE Scores

The department no longer considers GRE scores.


The graduate program in philosophy at Emory requires students to pass two language exams. These are translations of a 400 word philosophical passage from the original language into English. Students may take exams in any language. Students who have some background in a relevant language, or who have demonstrated facility with languages, are good candidates for admission at Emory. Be sure that your linguistic background is well documented by your application.

Financial Support

All graduate students in the Philosophy Department receive five years of funding. This includes a stipend ($31,000 for the 2019-2020 school year), full tuition support, and individual healthcare. After the fifth year, students may apply for competitive, sixth year fellowships. 

Financial support is not directly tied to teaching. Students have no teaching in their first year, and in their second year only serve as TA's for small classes without discussion sessions. In their third year, students teach one course as the instructor of record, but again teach nothing in their fourth year. In the fifth year, students teach one course per semester as the instructor of record. The department believes that this degree of teaching is necessary for students to be competitive on the job market.

Generous support is also available for student travel. Graduate students who present papers at professional conferences may be supported by funds made available through the Graduate School. There are also funds available for the summer study of languages, with opportunities to travel abroad for advanced language study.

All students who are accepted into the program receive five years of funding and are eligible for travel support. There is no separate application for financial aid.

Diversity and Inclusiveness

The Department is committed to welcoming and supporting a diverse and inclusive community of scholars. For two decades or more, we also have actively pursued and maintained gender equity in our graduate program. We encourage students from all backgrounds and walks of life to apply, particularly students from backgrounds underrepresented in the academy and philosophy in particular. Additional financial support may be available for students from underrepresented groups.