Prospective Graduate Students

After much consultation and reflection, Rice University’s School of Humanities has decided to pause admissions to all five of its Ph.D. programs for one year. We do so as a robust response to the challenges of COVID-19, which has interrupted Humanities research in libraries, museums, and archives and all research travel.

This step will also allow us to offer additional financial support to our continuing Ph.D. students as they contend with these same challenges. Our commitment to graduate education in the Humanities remains unwavering. This one-year pause is, in fact, an expression of that commitment. We also recognize that the study of the Humanities is now, in the face of the multiple crises our society must confront, more relevant than ever.

We will reopen our application cycle in September 2021 for the class of 2022. Please feel free to correspond with us regarding your interest in our Ph.D. programs. We very much look forward to reviewing your application materials next year.

Questions about the graduate program 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