Admissions

The Department of Philosophy at Western University has for many years been considered one of the top philosophy departments in Canada, and in certain areas it is considered to be among the top departments worldwide. It is continuously ranked among the top 50 departments in the world and is ranked on the Philosophical Gourmet Report in General Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Physics, Decision Theory, Philosophy of Math, Mathematical Logic, Early Modern (17th Century), Early Modern (18th Century), and Feminist Philosophy.

We offer three graduate programs:

  • One-year MA
  • Four-year PhD
  • Five-year Direct-Entry PhD

All in all, the department provides a friendly, stimulating, first-class environment for graduate study in philosophy.

> Applying
> Admission requirements
> Financial support

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Should I contact potential supervisors before submitting my application?
    In general, we do not require or recommend that students attempt to secure a supervisor before applying to the program. Students normally decide on a supervisor and dissertation topic after completing their coursework. As they are completing their coursework, they get a chance to get to know various potential supervisors and think about how they wish to specialize. It is helpful, however, to indicate your research interests in your Statement of Interest. If there are particular faculty members who you are particularly interested in working with, it is helpful to indicate that, too.

  2. I don't have an MA in philosophy. Can I apply to your PhD program?
    If you already have a strong background in philosophy, you might consider applying to our five-year direct-entry PhD program. If you feel that you need to strengthen your philosophical background, you might consider applying to our MA program instead. Note that if you apply for our direct-entry PhD program but are considered to lack the requisite background, you might be offered a spot in the MA program instead.

  3. When will you get back to me about your admissions decision?
    We aim to get back to applicants by the end of February.

  4. I don't have an undergraduate degree in philosophy. Am I eligible to apply for your MA program?
    Yes, you are eligible for our MA program. It would be a good idea to explain in your Statement of Interest how your particular background prepares you for graduate studies in philosophy.

  5. English is not my native language, but I am proficient in English. Can I have the language proficiency requirements waived?
    If you believe that the language proficiency requirements should be waived, please contact the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS), who will assess your eligibility for an exemption. We generally accept their decisions. You can reach the SGPS Application Support team at gradapps@uwo.ca

  6. The application deadline has passed. Can I still apply?
    No, after the deadline, we cannot consider new submissions. In order to be considered for admission, please submit your application by the deadline. Applications reopen in the fall for submissions for the subsequent academic year. 

  7. Is there funding available for graduate students?
    Yes. Funding packages depend on a number of factors, including citizenship status. Please see here for information on funding packages. 

  8. Can I submit a third letter of recommendation with my application?
    We only require two letters of recommendation. However, in special circumstances, applicants may feel that a third letter can provide useful additional information. Please have your letter writer email their letter to philgradoffice@uwo.ca from their professional email address.

  9. Can I submit a writing sample that is not in philosophy?
    Yes, you can, but this is not recommended. It is in your best interest to submit a writing sample in philosophy.

  10. Should my writing sample be in my proposed research area?
    While a writing sample in your proposed research area can help demonstrate research and writing skills relevant to your area, it is usually best to use your strongest writing sample, even if it is not in your research area. 

  11. How long should my writing sample be? 
    There is no hard minimum or maximum length, but it is preferable for your writing sample to be no longer than 5000 words (excluding notes and bibliography). 3000–4000 words is a good target. 

  12. Must letter writers be philosophy professors who have taught me?
    It is recommended, though not required, that your letter writers be philosophy professors who have taught you, since they will be best able to speak to your qualities that are relevant to your success in our program. In extraordinary circumstances, applicants may wish to request letters from other individuals who know them well. 

  13. If admitted, can I attend part-time?
    Unfortunately, our program does not offer part-time enrollment.

  14. Are you offering seminars remotely during the next academic year?
    No, we are not planning to offer the option of remote attendance in seminars next academic year. 

If you have further questions about applying to our graduate program, please email philgradoffice@uwo.ca to reach the Graduate Chair and the Graduate Program Coordinator.