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Graduate Studies

Syracuse University offers programs leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy. Studies in the Ph.D. Program are designed to prepare students to make original contributions in philosophy and to teach at the college or university level. Studies in the M.A. program are designed to enhance a student's understanding and expertise in some aspects of philosophy.

Please note that we are currently not able to offer funding for MA students. All students admitted to the PhD program are ordinarily funded either via a TA-ship or a Fellowship (for more details on funding, see below).

Graduate study in philosophy includes both the study of the history of philosophy and the examination of current philosophical issues.

The curriculum of the department provides opportunities for concentrations in metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, ethics, political philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Considerable curricular resources, both within the philosophy department and in related departments, also provide for concentrations in which religion, psychology, law, continental philosophy and language and linguistics are the focus of philosophical interest. The degree programs reflect the view that proper graduate education in philosophy includes both the study of the history of philosophy and the examination of current philosophical issues.

How to Apply

For more information about Graduate Admissions, go to:

For information about applying to graduate school at Syracuse:

To go directly to the application:

Application deadline January 1 to be considered for funding; late applications considered until March 1.
Do not send application materials to the department, send all materials to the Graduate School (Admissions) directly.

The application fee is $75.

The advance tuition deposit is $500.

In addition to completing the application, the following are also required:

  • Transcripts from previous institutions
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • TOEFL scores (for applicants whose first language is not English)
  • Writing Sample (Please see instructions below)

    ***Note on GRE scores: We will no longer accept GRE scores as part of the application, and will not consider them even if you submit them.


Writing samples must be prepared in a way that facilitates our evaluating them via anonymous review. Please ensure that your writing sample satisfies the following criteria:

  1. The first page of the writing sample should include the title of the paper, the name of the author of the paper, and the institutional affiliation of the author.
  2. The second page of the writing sample should include only the title of the paper.
  3. No other page in the writing sample should include the name of the author, the institution of the author, or any acknowledgements or thanks to named individuals. (If the author of the paper feels it is important to include acknowledgements, these can be included on the first page of the paper.)

Graduate Financial Assistance

Tuition is currently $1,500/credit hour. However, TAs and University Fellows receive grants for their full tuition. In most cases we do not recommend that students enroll in our PhD program without a teaching assistantship or fellowship.

TA-ships and Fellowships come with eligibility to participate in the University’s health plan. All graduate students also receive some basic health services from the Syracuse University Health Center. Please see the Human Resources website for further information on Employee Benefits.

The Department strongly encourages graduate student participation in professional conferences, and some travel funds are provided to graduate students to make such activity possible. (Here is a list of Recurring Philosophy Conferences.) The Department is usually able to provide small summer research grants to a few graduate students. Special funds normally make it possible to offer a colloquium featuring a speaker selected by the graduate students.

Graduate Student Handbook and Forms

Download the Philosophy Department's Grad Handbook.

The following forms are available through the Graduate School Website:

  • Full-Time Certification
  • Program of Study
  • Request for Examination
  • Petition to Faculty

The following forms are available through Answers (login with your netid may be required)::

  • Independent Study Proposal

The following forms are available here for download:

Graduate Student Travel Request Form

Grad Checklist