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The Department seeks to enroll about five first-year doctoral students per year. Since this usually represents about 2% of applicants, the admissions process is exceedingly selective. Successful applicants have typically majored in philosophy as undergraduates or have gone on to do MA degrees in philosophy. However, to apply to our PhD program, applicant transcripts must show at least 5 previous philosophy courses.

There is no minimum overall undergraduate GPA. However, successful applicants nearly always have an average GPA higher than 3.8 in their philosophy courses. (They also tend to have exceptional overall GPAs, but we pay most attention to grades in philosophy courses.)  In considering your GPA, we will certainly take into account the varying difficulty of courses, the varying degrees of grade inflation among institutions, and any relevant circumstances you discuss in your personal statement.

The deadline for receipt of applications for both admission and financial aid is December 15, 2023 for all applicants. (The Department only admits new Ph.D. students for entrance in September.) All decisions are made by March 15 and will be immediately available online. Admitted and wait-listed students will also be contacted directly.

We welcome applications from international students and they are also eligibile for full financial support. Rackham Admissions has information to support international students specifically.

The University of Michigan has a long tradition of welcoming international scholars and students, and is committed to supporting them and protecting their interests.

Questions or issues? Please reach out to our Graduate Student Coordinator at