Admission to the Graduate Programs


This page provides information about admission to the MA and PhD programs in philosophy at the University of Memphis. This page is intended as a helpful supplement to the university's Graduate Catalog, which is available at this link: GRADUATE CATALOG. In any case of conflict, the Graduate Catalog takes precedence over information given on this page. Students should be familiar with the policies and regulations set forth in that document.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students are admitted in the fall semester of each academic year. Admission is very competitive. The following prerequisites must be met to be considered for admission to either the PhD program or the MA program.
(1) A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
(2) A minimum of a 2.5 GPA (4.0 scale) (Graduate School requirement).
(3) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years.
(4) At least 18 semester hours in undergraduate philosophy courses including the following courses or their equivalent: introduction to philosophy, ethics, elementary logic, history of ancient philosophy, and history of modern philosophy.

A Note on GRE Scores

Applicants to the Department of Philosophy graduate programs must take the GRE and have their official scores submitted by ETS to the University of Memphis Graduate School, along with their application to the University. Applicants must also indicate their scores on the Department of Philosophy application form. (The University of Memphis GRE code is 1459.) There is no minimum score requirement. GRE scores are used as one part of the overall assessment of a candidate's likely prospects for graduate study. Factors other than the GRE scores are particularly important for the Department's admission decisions. The writing sample, letters of recommendation, the student's GPA generally and specifically in philosophy courses, and the statement of purpose are weighted more heavily than the GRE scores since we have found that these other components of an application are more reliable indicators of a student's readiness for graduate study in philosophy.

A Note on Coursework

Students lacking any of the required undergraduate courses may be admitted to the program on the condition that the course is taken without graduate credit at the earliest opportunity.

How to Apply

To be considered for admission to the MA or PhD program, you must submit two applications: one to the Department of Philosophy, the other to the University of Memphis Graduate School. Both applications should be submitted by December 28, 2018. Your application may not be given full consideration if you fail to submit both applications by the deadline.

Department Application

All elements of the Department Application must be submitted by email to

(1) Completed department application form (please download the form, print, complete, and send a scanned copy)
(2) A writing sample (10-20 pages)
(3) Transcript (transcript provided to the Philosophy Department may be an "unofficial" copy)
(4) A statement of purpose (1-2 pages)

Items (1)-(4) should be sent by email attachment to Please indicate in email subject line "Graduate Admissions—YOUR NAME." Please format your attachments in .pdf or .doc, and label them with your 'LAST NAME—[item]', where 'item' means 'application', 'writing sample', 'transcript', 'statement'.
(5) Three confidential letters of recommendation should be emailed directly by the letter writers to There is no accompanying form for recommendation letter writers to submit. Letters should be on letterhead with an original signature.

University Application

The following materials must be submitted directly to the Graduate School (not to the Philosophy Department):

(1) Application to Graduate School
(2) Transcripts (official transcripts must be mailed directly from the issuing institution)
(3) GRE test scores (test scores must be sent directly to Graduate Admissions by the testing agency)

The issuing institutions or testing agencies should mail official transcripts and GRE scores to the following address:

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of Memphis
FedEx Institute of Technology Building, Suite 201
Memphis, TN 38152

Application Deadline

The deadline for receipt of all application materials is December 28, 2018.

Admission Questions

For further information regarding admission to one of our graduate programs, please contact the Director of Graduate Admissions, Dr. Somogy Varga.