Baylor University Ph.D. in Philosophy FAQ

Q. How is your job-placement record for new PhDs?

A. Fantastic! As you can see here, we rank 5th of 190 PhD-granting philosophy programs for placement. See a history of our placement here.

Q. How is life as a grad student in your program?

A. Again, fantastic! As you can see in the same report referenced above, we rank 15th of 190 PhD-granting philosophy programs for graduate satisfaction (measured by former PhD students recommending the program to prospective students). The secret is that we work hard to be a hospitable community focused on collaboration rather than on being cutthroat. See more about life as a grad student here.

Q. What is actually involved in earning the PhD?

A. See a list of degree requirements here and other related details here. In short, students with no previous graduate work earn 70 credit hours (including two history-of-philosophy comprehensive exams, a writing workshop, a teaching workshop, and logic). Students generally research or teach assist the first three years, then teach their own classes after that.

Q. Other PhD programs tend to have little to no travel funding for graduate students. Can I expect the same here?

A. No! Our program boasts a generous travel allowance. This accounts for the often relatively large Baylor contingent at the notable national conferences.

Q. In what other ways does Baylor support the professional development of its graduate students?

A. First, there are the curricular ways. The mandatory first-year writing workshop helps students learn the professional standards of writing for publication, as well as, e.g., how to write a revision report for submitted articles. The teaching workshop gives students a chance to think about the theoretical aspects behind teaching, as well as get practice giving lectures, facilitating discussions, creating syllabuses, and even structuring an entire major/BA program from scratch. And the historical comprehensive exams give our students a strong enough grasp to more or less be able to jump into teaching an undergraduate course on any era in the history of philosophy.

As for the extracurricular ways, there is the previously noted generous travel budget. Further, Baylor graduates enjoy weekly colloquia, where students gain experience giving papers and participating in Q&As as they help sharpen each other's works in progress. Professional philosophers visit regularly to give talks. The department will often even organize lunches or dinners so that graduates have time to interact with these visiting scholars. Graduates organize their own reading or writing groups, too. Add on top of this the professional-development resources the Baylor Graduate School has to offer.

Q. Do we accept spring term admission?

A. No.  Fall term is our only admission period.

Q. Does Baylor offer a terminal M.A.?

A. The Philosophy Department at Baylor no longer offers a terminal M.A. degree. All admitted students have the option to receive an M.A. in Philosophy as the requirements are met on the path to the Ph.D.

Q. Okay, I want to apply. How do I go about it?

A. Click here to apply online.

Q. What is required to apply?

A. For a description of the requirements, follow this link: https://www.baylor.edu/philosophy/index.php?id=871899

Q. When is the deadline for applying?

A. Early January each year.

Q. What are the most important criteria for the admission committee’s consideration?

A. 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. Nonetheless, fit with the program, recommendation letters, writing samples as well as GRE scores are important considerations for admittance.

Q. What is the average GRE score of those admitted?

A. Our most recent class had average GRE scores of 164 Verbal, 158 Quantitative, and 5.3 Analytical Writing.

Q. I would like to visit campus. What is the process?

A. Schedule a visit by emailing Dr Alexander Pruss, the Graduate Program Director: Alexander_Pruss@baylor.edu  

We will subsidize a visit for admission finalists in the spring, so you may find it more economical simply to apply to our program, and then visit only if you are a finalist.