The University of Iowa Department of Philosophy invites applications to the PhD program and the joint MA/JD program administered with the UI College of Law. We do not consider applications for the MA unless they are part of the MA-JD program. Applicants do not need a BA in philosophy to be admitted to the PhD program or the MA/JD program, but they should have a background of coursework in philosophy. A number of our students developed their interest in philosophy late in their undergraduate careers, and not in time to complete the requirements for a major or minor.

The department considers the totality of a student’s application, including their grade-point average (GPA), letters of recommendation, and writing sample. We do not have a minimum GPA cutoff, though admitted students usually have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. We take very seriously the applicant’s writing sample, and indeed a strong writing sample can often outweigh a lower score in some other part of the application.

How to apply

The graduate application process has two steps: 1) Submit an online application to the Graduate College and 2) Upload required supplemental documents through a secure portal. After you submit your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password in order to access your admissions profile on MyUI, our online portal for students.

Required supplemental documents to upload to your profile:

  1. Contact information, including email addresses, for at least three recommenders (recommenders will be emailed instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter)
  2. Unofficial copies of all academic transcripts
  3. A statement of purpose no more than two pages in length
  4. A sample of your philosophical writing–usually 15 to 20 pages
Questions about supplemental documents should be directed to Abby Rush at

Request information

To receive information on the Graduate College and the Philosophy Department via U.S. Mail, fill out the graduate information request form.

Correspondence should be addressed to:

Katarina Perovic
Director of Graduate Studies 
Department of Philosophy 
University of Iowa 
270 English-Philosophy Building 
Iowa City, IA 52242-1408 (U.S.A.)

Phone: 319-335-0021

Important deadlines

Application deadline: Jan. 1 (for all programs)

The application deadline for both admission and financial awards: Feb. 1

UI Graduate College requirements for admission

Applicants for fall semester whose application materials are received by Jan. 1 have the best chance to be admitted and receive financial aid. All applicants must submit:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation from three persons familiar with their past academic work
  • A statement of purpose
  • One or more samples of original writing (one of which should be in philosophy) that show their ability to pursue graduate work in philosophy (an honors thesis, term paper, seminar paper, or other course papers)
  • International students must also submit TOEFL, or IELTS or Duolingo, scores according to the English proficiency requirements of the Graduate College

UI Graduate College statement for philosophy