Ph.D. Application

Apply now for Fall 2022!

Ph.D. program applications are now closed. Applications to join the program in fall 2023 will open during the summer. All materials must be received by January 15, 2023.

Application to the Duquesne philosophy Ph.D. program is competitive. We receive 100-200 applications each year and generally admit 4 doctoral students.

Applicants intending to pursue a doctorate at Duquesne should apply for the Ph.D. program regardless of whether they already hold a philosophy M.A. We admit Ph.D. students both with and without M.A degrees. If not admitted to the Ph.D., applicants will be offered the opportunity to apply to our M.A.

Ph.D. applicants are expected to hold or be in the final stages of completing a B.A., M.A. or equivalent degree in Philosophy or a related discipline. It is helpful, but not required, for applicants to have a background in one or more languages other than English that will be relevant to their research.

A complete Ph.D. program application consists both of the general University application and all the supporting materials, letters of recommendation, and, when required, language proficiency test scores (international students only). The entire application dossier must be submitted through the online application portal and any required language test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to Duquesne. Reapplications require a new application and resubmission of supporting materials and letters of recommendation.

There is no application fee.


Elements of a Complete Application

  • University application
  • Supporting application materials
    • Statement of intent
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Writing sample
    • Transcripts
      Note: If your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees are from an institution located outside of the United States, you must use a transcript credential evaluation service to obtain a course-by-course report. The official reports must be sent directly to Duquesne University from the organization you order through and will qualify as official transcripts. Please review our Transcript Credential Evaluation Directions.
  • Letters of recommendation (3)
  • Test scores:
    • For the 2021-22 application year (applying for admission in the fall semester of 2022), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores will NOT be required for graduate applications to our program. GRE scores may be submitted as supplemental information if desired.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores - required for all international applicants (applicants who do not hold U.S. citizenship, permanent resident status, or refugee/asylum status) for whom English is not the first language; see below for exceptions

Application Checklist materials

Submit the university application through the graduate application portal. Once submitted, the system will generate an application checklist page and allowing applicants to upload all supplementary documents.

Statement of intent
Submit a statement of intent characterizing your philosophical interests and identifying areas of proposed research, describing your philosophical background and any relevant biography, and explaining specific interest in the Duquesne program. Use this document to give us a sense of who you are and where your intellectual passions lie.

Curriculum vitae
Submit a one or two page CV clearly indicating the following: name and contact information; academic degrees (with degree, institution, major or discipline, and dates conferred or expected); any academic fellowships, awards, scholarships, or honors; any academic publications; any formal academic presentations (at conferences, colloquia, etc.); any language proficiencies other than English (for each language, indicate proficiency in reading, speaking, and writing as fluent, advanced, intermediate, or basic); any additional academically-relevant information; and contact information for each person who will submit a letter of recommendation (include the name, position, institutional affiliation, and email address). NOTE: On the application checklist page of the graduate application portal, this item will be listed as 'Curriculum Vitae or Resume'; please do NOT submit a resume.

Writing sample
Submit a sample of philosophical writing, maximum 7500 words.

Submit a transcript from each college or university you have attended. For purposes of the application process, students who have attended institutions in the U.S. can submit legible scans of transcripts. If accepted, those applicants must submit official transcripts before matriculating. Students who have attended international institutions must submit their official transcripts for evaluation. Please see the note above, under "Elements of a Complete Evaluation" for more information.

Supplemental information
Though not required, the Supplemental information category header available on the application checklist page may be used to submit additional items (including GRE scores for the 2020-21 application period) that do not fit under the other categories.

Letters of Recommendation

At least three confidential letters of recommendation must be submitted by those in a position to assess the applicant’s past performance and future academic potential. Please use the graduate application portal to generate online requests for confidential letters of recommendation. Recommenders will receive instructions by email for uploading their letters directly to the Duquesne system.

Language Test Scores (international applicants only)

Valid TOEFL or IELTS language test scores are required for applicants who do not hold U.S. citizenship, permanent resident status, or refugee/asylum status. This requirement is waived for international applicants with Australian, Canadian, Irish, New Zealander or the U.K. citizenship. Waivers may also be requested may be requested by international applicants whose native or primary language is English or who have completed four years of undergraduate-level coursework or two years of graduate-level coursework at an accredited US institution or an accredited institution outside the US where English is the language of instruction. The language exam waiver submission prompt is built into the online application system. Only requests for waivers submitted through the system will be reviewed - please do not contact the Philosophy Department directly to request a waiver.

Although the graduate application portal allows self-reporting of language test scores, applications cannot be reviewed (and application checklist page test score items will remain marked as ‘Awaiting') until official language score reports are received directly from testing agencies.

Application Questions

More information regarding the Philosophy Ph.D. program course of study, funding for Ph.D. students, placement record, course offerings, and our current graduate students can be found via the links on the left side of this page.  For program issues that are not treated sufficiently there or questions concerning the content of supporting application materials, please contact Dr. Lanei Rodemeyer, Director of Graduate Studies in Philosophy,

For questions specific to the international applications submission process and the TOEFL/IELTS submission requirement or waiver, please contact the Center for Global Engagement,, 1-412-396-6113.

For all questions or difficulties regarding the submission of materials through the Duquesne online graduate application portal (including the University application, supporting materials, and letters of recommendation) or for questions regarding submission of GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS test scores, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions,, 412-396-6219.