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Graduate Admissions

Who May Apply

A student need not have an undergraduate major in philosophy to be admitted. As long as an applicant's background is adequate preparation for graduate-level work in philosophy, not having a philosophy major is no bar to admission. In cases where an applicant looks promising but has a limited philosophical background, the Department can admit the student as a 'special status' student. These students take a series of undergraduate courses to fill in gaps in their philosophy background, usually for one semester. If the student performs well enough in these classes, she is then admitted into the regular M.A. program.

We sometimes have applicants who have never taken philosophy classes before (or have taken just one or two classes), having majored in some other field, but who have read philosophy on their own and have an interest in pursuing graduate studies in philosophy. We do not admit students in this sort of case, even as special-status students: some prior academic background in philosophy is necessary for admission. However, these students are urged to enroll as postbaccalaureate students at Georgia State. In this program, students who already have a bachelor's degree can take undergraduate classes. Then the student will be able to a have a philosophy writing sample, letters of recommendation from philosophy faculty, and a track record in philosophy, in order to be able to make a stronger application for our M.A. program. Students who are interested in pursuing this route should contact the Director of Graduate Studies in order to arrange a suitable course of study to prepare for graduate-level work.

Our program has also had many international students. International students are eligible for the same types of stipends through the Department as are other students (see below for details on these). International students have to file some additional material in their applications (again, see below).  Students whose first language is not English may find some of the classes offered by Georgia State's Intensive English Program helpful. The program has two main courses geared especially for graduate students: "Academic Speaking and Listening" and "Academic Writing."


Except under unusual circumstances, we admit new students only in the Fall semester. Our deadline for being considered in the initial round of admission and funding decisions is February 1. All application materials must be received by that date in order to be considered for our fellowships and scholarships (in neurophilosophy, legal and political philosophy, and Kant and post-Kantian German philosophy)

However, we accept applications up until our final deadline of April 15, and applications received between February 1 and April 15 will be considered on a rolling basis. Applicants during this period are much more likely to be placed on our wait-list rather than immediately receiving an offer. However, strong applicants still have a chance of being admitted.

How to Apply

Application materials are submitted to Georgia State in two main ways: many of the basic forms and other information are handled through an on-line interface, and additional materials are all mailed by the applicant to Georgia State in a single packet. This page has links to everything you need, but if you have any questions, or if you are unable to print this material from the web, please consult the FAQ and/ or contact Ellen Logan, Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303,  elogan (at) gsu (dot) edu.

Once applications are submitted, they are processed by the College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Office and are forwarded (when complete) to the Department for review. Applicants who have questions about whether materials have arrived or if their applications are complete should direct them to the admissions specialist who handles philosophy applications, John Stewart:  jstewart20 (at) gsu (dot) edu.

Materials Handled On-line

Applicants can apply on-line here. Applicants will first set up a secure account, and then fill out a number of forms (this can be done in multiple sessions). You will be asked to submit the following on-line:

  1. College of Arts and Sciences Application for Graduate Study Form.
  2. An indication of the track(s) to which you are applying (Traditional, Neurophilosophy, or J.D./M.A).
  3. A statement in which you answer the following questions:
    --Why do you want an M.A. in philosophy?
    --Why do you want an M.A. in philosophy from Georgia State University?
  4. A $50 application fee. (You can pay with a credit card or an electronic check.)
  5. A writing sample of no more than 5000 words, which is approximately 17 double-spaced, typewritten pages. (This document is handled by the on-line interface; you will attach it to your application electronically.)
  6. Letters of recommendation (your recommenders may submit their letters on-line, which we prefer, or they can give you a hard copy to include in the materials mailed in your packet).
  7. Optional: A curriculum vitae/resume.

Materials Mailed in the Packet

In addition to the on-line materials above, please submit the following by mail: 

  1. One copy of the transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. (NB: 'All' includes institutions you attended over the summer or abroad for a semester and whose credits you transferred to your 'main' college or university.)
  2. Photocopy or printout of your scores on the general test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). This unofficial copy helps us consider applications while waiting on ETS, and it can be useful for us getting official scores from ETS when they are slow. You must also have ETS send the official copy of the scores to Georgia State University.
  3. Three letters of recommendation (can also be submitted on-line, which is preferable).

    The department does not have a special recommendation form. Those who write letters of recommendation need only send a letter on their official stationery. Please have the recommender give you the letter in an envelope with the recommender's signature across the seal.

In addition, international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received a bachelor's degree from an American institution must submit:

  1. Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Please also have the testing service send the TOEFL scores to Georgia State University. Details on these and other special requirements for international applicants can be found here.

Please remember that you should mail all of the materials listed above in a single package. You should therefore have your transcripts and letters of recommendation, if you decide not to have them submitted on-line, sent to you. Please do not have them sent directly to us. Send everything to:

    Via U.S. Mail:
    Office of Graduate Studies
    College of Arts and Sciences
    P.O. Box 3993
    Georgia State University
    University Plaza
    Atlanta, GA 30302-3993

    Via commercial carrier (UPS, FedEx, etc.):
    Office of Graduate Studies
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Georgia State University
    Haas-Howell Bldg, Suite 800
    75 Poplar St.
    Atlanta, GA 30303


An additional form that is not required at the time of application, but which you may wish to fill out now is the

  1. Immunization Form*

This form is required before registering for any classes. And so we recommend that you send it in at the same time as your application materials, to Health Services (address is on the form).