How to Apply

Prospective Graduate Students

Applications for fall 2023 are now closed. Fall 2024 applications will open in early September..

Questions about the graduate program in Philosophy may be directed to Gwen Bradford, Director of Graduate Studies, or Humanities Graduate Admissions:

Strengths of the Ph.D. Program

The graduate program educates students to pursue research and teach in the main areas of department concentration: Moral Philosophy, and Philosophy of Mind and Related Areas

Degree requirements for the Ph.D.:

  • Candidate must complete with high standing 42 hours of course work approved by the department
  • Demonstrate competence in logic
  • Pass a qualifying examination
  • Perform satisfactorily on an oral defense of their thesis proposal
  • Complete a written thesis on a subject approved by the department (at least one year of thesis research must be spent in residence)
  • Perform satisfactorily on a final oral examination

Rice University aspires to excellence in research and teaching, and to making the world a better place. To accomplish these goals, we believe that we must cultivate a diverse community of learning and discovery. The Philosophy Department strongly encourages applications from women and members of other groups underrepresented in philosophy.

For information on the Philosophy Department's workshop on diversity ("Why So Few"), visit, and for information on Rice University's diversity commitment for graduate students, visit

Application Process

Applications for fall 2023 are now open and can be accessed here: HTTP://

The deadline is 11:59pm EST on December 1, 2022.

Thank you for your interest in applying to Rice University's PhD program in Philosophy. Please read carefully the application instructions, answers to frequent inquiries, and program eligibility and application requirements below. Inquiries regarding the application process should be directed to Humanities Graduate Admissions. For academic inquiries regarding the program, please contact Professor Gwen Bradford, Director of Graduate Studies.

Application Instructions:

  • Applicants should upload unofficial transcripts and supporting documents to the online application system. Hard copies of official transcripts are not required to apply.
  • If admitted, applicants will be required to send official transcripts to complete the admissions process.
  • Once a completed application is submitted, the applicant will be able to pay the application fee and monitor the status of their application on the Application Status page.
  • Application information and supporting documents cannot be edited after final submission. However, applicants are able to upload updated version of their CV and unofficial transcripts via the Application Status page.
  • All application materials, including official test scores and three letters of recommendation, must be received by the deadline to be considered for admission.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

Frequent Inquiries:

  • Applications are for the PhD program only; the Department of Philosophy does not accept students seeking a terminal Master’s degree.
  • Applications are accepted annually for Fall matriculation only; there is no Spring matriculation.
  • The PhD program in Philosophy is a full-time, funded program and does not offer online or distance courses.
  • In general, applicants should have a 3.0 (B) grade point average, or the equivalent, in their undergraduate work.
  • There are no minimum requirements for GRE scores. Submitting a GRE score is optional for fall 2023 applicants.
  • If you have special circumstances which may merit an application fee waiver, please contact Gwen Bradford, Director of Graduate Studies, at

Application Requirements

The following materials must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered for admission:
The application can be found here.  Applications will be accepted until 11:59pm EST, December 1, 2022. There is an $85 non-refundable application fee, payable online. If you have special circumstances which may merit an application fee waiver, please contact Gwen Bradford, Director of Graduate Studies, at

Unofficial transcripts from previous colleges and universities. The department will review unofficial transcripts during the admissions process; official transcripts will be required after acceptance into the graduate program.
The GRE requirement is optional for Fall 2023 applicants. If you have a score, please submit it, but it is not required.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY (International applicants only)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores should be directly from ETS to Rice (School Code: 6609). Please see the following webpage for additional information regarding IELTS and waiver options:

A statement that concisely and accurately describes the applicant’s philosophical interests, motivations, and aspirations. The statement should briefly discuss reasons for applying to the department specifically, such as interest in a particular faculty member’s work, and describe any relevant research projects. Statements should be no longer than 500 words.

A philosophy paper, up to 5,000 words in length, double-spaced, showcasing the applicant's best work in philosophy. (Longer papers may be considered, but applicants are advised to indicate which areas readers are to focus.)
Three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's personal and scholastic qualities are required, preferably from professors in the applicant's major field. 
Recommenders named in the application form will be sent automated emails requesting that they complete an online evaluation and upload a letter of recommendation. We advise applicants to make sure recommenders know to expect this email and to give them sufficient time to complete this task ahead of the application deadline.
Inquiries regarding the application process should be directed to Humanities Graduate Admissions: or the Director of Graduate Admissions for Philosophy, Professor Gwen Bradford at