Graduate (MA/PhD) Admissions

Ready to Apply?

Click the appropriate link below to find instructions for the application procedure:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I upload my supporting documents to my application?
    • Once you submit your application, you will receive an e-mail with a link to your application status page.  The status page contains the modules for uploading your supporting documents and entering the contact information for your letter writers.

  • What supporting documents should I submit with my application?
    • We ask that you submit three letters of recommendation, a resume/curriculum vitae, a statement of purpose, copies of your test scores and transcripts, and a writing sample that does not exceed 20 double-spaced, typed pages.  Applicants must submit official test scores and transcripts to the Office of Admissions.

  • Do I need to take the GRE?
    • GRE scores are now an optional component of applications to our MA and PhD programs. The department reviews each application holistically, so, for those applicants who choose to submit GRE scores, these are merely one data point among several; they are not used to filter out any applications. And their absence has no negative impact. When GRE scores are not submitted, the applicant will be assessed entirely on the basis of the required materials as far as admission to the graduate program, and departmental funding, are concerned. However, GRE scores may have an impact on funding decisions outside the department’s influence, such as university-wide fellowships.

  • Do I need to be a Philosophy major to apply to one of your graduate programs?
    • No, but you do need a background in Philosophy (or the equivalent of a minor in Philosophy, i.e., at least 12 credit hours)

  • What is the application deadline?
    • The deadline to ensure full consideration of your application for admission and funding is January 2nd. However, applications will be accepted until the final application deadline of March 31st. For Spring admission, the application deadline is October 19th.

  • What if I want to apply to both the PhD and MA programs?
    • PhD applicants who wish to be considered for the MA program if not accepted to the PhD program should indicate such interest at the end of their statement of purpose.

  • How do I apply for funding, and what is the difference between a university fellowship and a teaching assistantship?
    • All applicants are automatically considered for a teaching assistantship by the department, and any student admitted to the program (either MA or PhD) is typically offered one. A teaching assistantship is a funding award that includes a stipend, a tuition waiver, and health insurance, and requires that the student work as a teaching assistant. In addition, there are some departmental fellowships available, which are offered to exceptional PhD applicants by the department. University fellowships are special financial awards offered by the university. They are competitive, with only a few being offered each year across all disciplines within the university. For a complete list of university fellowships and their requirements, please consult the FSU graduate school fellowships and grants page.

  • What is the minimum GRE score required for admission?
    • Neither the department nor the university has a minimum score requirement, but a competitive applicant to the PhD program will usually have scores at or above the 90th percentile (162) on the verbal section and the 65th percentile (156) on the quantitative. However, the department evaluates applicants using several additional criteria that may outweigh lower GRE scores.

  • What is FSU's Institution Code?
    • Florida State University's institution code is 5219.

  • What is the minimum GPA required for admission?
    • The university requires a minimum GPA of 3.0. Successful applicants will typically have a very strong background in Philosophy, with a GPA of 3.8 or higher

  • I want to send my letters of recommendation by mail. May I send them all at once in one large envelope, or should I instruct each recommender to mail each of them separately?
    • You may send them in one large envelope as long as you have each of your letter-writers seal the envelopes and sign across the seal before you collect the letters. Otherwise, the recommenders should mail their letters separately.

  • May I submit more than three letters of recommendation?
    • We ask that you do not submit more than three. You can help us keep the application process fair and efficient by submitting the requested number of letters.

  • May I submit more than one writing sample?
    • We ask that you submit only one writing sample for the same reason we ask you to submit only three letters of recommendation: it helps preserve the fairness and efficiency of the application process.

  • May I submit other materials as part of my application?
    • Please submit only the materials requested, and only in the numbers requested. The Graduate Admissions Committee considers the materials requested to be those most relevant to making admissions decisions.

  • Do I still need to send an official copy of a transcript from an institution where I only took one course, if that course is reported on another transcript?
    • Yes. University Admissions will not consider your application to be complete until they receive official transcripts from all of your previous institutions.

  • Whom should I contact regarding information about the status of my application or the application process?
  • When I check my status online I get a message that my application is not complete, but I received an email from the Department of Philosophy that said my file was complete. Why am I receiving this message?
    • Sometimes your application is complete with the Department of Philosophy, but incomplete with University Admissions. This situation can occur because the Department of Philosophy considers your file complete once we have the information required to make an admissions decision. University Admissions, however, will consider your application incomplete until they have received and processed your application fee and official copies of your transcripts and GRE scores. We cannot officially admit you until your file is complete with University Admissions.

  • When should I expect to receive word that my application has been accepted or rejected?
    • We endeavor to make admissions decisions as early as possible in the calendar year, so we hope to inform applicants about their status by the end of February. We adhere to the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution concerning offers of funding, which sets an April 15 deadline for the acceptance of funding offers.


If you do not find your question or concern answered here, please contact Dr. James "Jack" Justus, Director of Graduate Studies, by e-mail at or by completing the inquiry form below.



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