Admissions Requirements

The department of philosophy offers graduate work leading to the Doctor of Philosophy. For admission to its graduate program, the department requires (1) a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution; (2) at least 15 hours of course work in philosophy. Please provide transcripts of any previous work; (3) a Graduate Record Examination Score; (4) a brief personal statement that explains your academic background and your reasons for wanting to pursue graduate study in our department; 5) a brief writing sample that best demonstrates your philosophical reasoning abilities;  and  (6) three letters of recommendation. The faculty of the department may modify these requirements in exceptional circumstances. Our online application is strongly preferred and is available at


GRE Score

Although many students are nervous about taking the GRE exam and wonder whether or not their scores may adversely affect their admission prospects, they may be able to allay their anxiety by taking practice tests and making use of the various help publications that have now become widely available. The department seeks a thorough understanding of the intellect and character of applicants. No one element of the materials included in a complete application is decisive. That said, our most recent class had average GRE scores of 164 Verbal, 158 Quantitative, and 5.3 Analytical Writing.


Personal Statement

Please write a short (no more than 1-2 pages) personal statement that explains your academic background, your particular interests in philosophy, any circumstances you think the admissions committee should be aware of when considering your application, and your reasons for pursuing graduate study at Baylor. This statement can be uploaded to the online application using the upload feature on page 5 (see below for important related information about writing samples).


Writing Sample

Please include a ten to fifteen page writing sample on a philosophical topic.  What we look for is evidence of seriousness of purpose and significant research effort incorporated into a well-written, well-organized essay. 

Note: If using the online application, please upload this document using the options on page 5 of the online application.


Required Course Work

Most of our new graduate students will have at least an undergraduate major in philosophy.  Some students may have less than a standard major in philosophy. Fifteen hours, however, we believe to be the minimum number of hours in philosophy required to orient students to the basics of philosophy as an academic discipline.



Please provide transcripts (unofficial ones are acceptable initially, but official ones will need to be submitted once admitted) of your previous academic work.


Letters of recommendation

You should request letters of recommendation from those who are familiar with your intellectual interests and academic work. Ideally, these letters of recommendation will be from philosophers. As part of the online application you can send your recommenders an email with instructions and a link to submit their letter online.


Where to Send Materials

Baylor currently offers an excellent electronic application process that allows you to work on your application at your own pace. This online application is the primary method for Baylor's admission process because it allows faster processing at the Graduate School. Paper applications are no longer accepted except in the rare circumstance that an applicant does not have internet access. All materials should be sent to:

Baylor University
Graduate Admissions
One Bear Place #97264
Waco, TX 76798-7264

Online Application