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MA Program

The M.A. program is designed for students currently pursuing a professional program or academic degree at the University of Michigan outside of philosophy, for whom a graduate credential in philosophy would be advantageous. Only in exceptional cases, as determined by the admissions committee after the application deadline, are other students accepted into the M.A. program.

If a student in the M.A. program decides they want to earn a Ph.D., they must apply for admission to the Ph.D. program in the normal manner, in competition with other applicants. M.A. students at Michigan will not be given special consideration for admission to the Ph.D. program. If an M.A. student is accepted into the Ph.D. program, course work done as an M.A. candidate will not automatically be credited toward the Ph.D. requirements. Whether some or all of it is so credited is to be decided by petition.

Applications for the master's program are accepted for entry in the fall term. The application deadline is the same as the current PhD program application deadline. No financial aid is available for M.A. students.


M.A. Admission and Application for external and non-Rackham applicants

The deadline for receipt of applications for both admission and financial aid is December 13, 2018 for all applicants. The Department admits new Masters students for entrance only in September. All decisions are made by March 15 and posted online.

Below is a list of items needed to apply to the Masters program.

  • Complete Rackham Graduate School online application.
  • Three letters of recommendation.  Make sure that you register your recommenders when you fill out the online application.  (If you wish to submit any additional letters of recommendation, use this Letter of Recommendation form, which should accompany all letters.  Any additional letters are to be sent to the Philosophy Department and can be sent by regular mail or as a PDF attachment to an e-mail message.)
  • Academic Statement (500 word limit). Please explain briefly the nature of your student in philosophy or related fields thus far, your current primary areas of interest (if known), what studies you would like to pursue in graduate school, and whether there are any Michigan faculty with whom you would especially like to work.  Upload this at the Academic Statement page.
  • Personal Statement (500 word limit).  Please use this statement to help us understand how you have come to be interested in philosophy, what special challenges you might have faced, what relevant experiences you might have had, and what aspirations you have for the future.  Upload this at the Personal Statement page.
  • A sample of philosophical writing (word limit: 8,000, inclusive of notes). Upload at the Writing Sample page.
  • One copy of official or unofficial transcript from undergraduate institution. Upload the scanned copy at the Transcript page.  Note: Official transcripts need to be sent to the Rackham Graduate school only if you are provisionally accepted by the Philosophy Department (usually in March).  Directions to submit your transcript to the Rackham Graduate School can be found here.  
  • Resume or CV. Upload at the Resume or CV page.

International Students, click here for additional application requirements.

You are fully responsible for the submission of a complete application. Failure to submit all the information and materials requested will result in your application not being considered for that year's admission class.

Once Rackham has received your application and application fee, you will receive an e-mail directing you to the Web Application Status page. This page records materials received and posts admissions decisions.

M.A. Admission and Application for current Rackham students

Current Rackham students should follow the procedure to Add a Degree Program.