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Graduate Admissions


Stanford’s Online Application, information about requirements and instructions for applying are available through the Grad Admissions website. The application opens each year in Fall quarter. 

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The online application is due by the following deadlines:

  • PhD: Tuesday, January 9, 2025
  • Masters: Tuesday, March 18, 2025
  • Knight Hennessy: No later than December 1, 2024 (per Knight Hennessy program
  • Coterminal Masters (internal Stanford students only): end of second week of Winter quarter,  Friday, January 17, 2025

The online application is due by the following deadlines:

  • PhD: Tuesday, January 9, 2025
  • Masters: Tuesday, March 18, 2025
  • Knight Hennessy: No later than December 1, 2024
  • Coterminal Masters (internal Stanford students only): end of second week of Winter quarter,  Friday, January 17, 2025


Supporting Materials
  • GRE scores will not be required in the 2023-24 admission round.
  • Please DO NOT mail paper transcripts at this time. E-transcripts are accepted.


  • Please wait to mail official paper transcripts until we request them.
  • Official e-transcripts can be sent directly by the school or clearinghouse to philosophy [at] (philosophy[at]stanford[dot]edu)
  • Please upload an unofficial transcript from each school you attended for a year or more with the application.
  • NOTE: An official transcript is one that is received directly from the issuing institution (or CollegeNET CertiFile Service (CHESICC/Educational Perspectives) that bears the seal/signature representing its validity. To be considered official, paper transcripts must be sealed and unopened.
  • Transcript information at

Writing Sample 

  • Should be a recent writing sample on a philosophical topic
  • We recommend you send an example of your best work
  • needs to be uploaded into the application
  • Typically samples are around 20 pages or less
  • If submitting a thesis or document longer than 20 pages, please include a note pointing to most important passages
  • Secondary samples are allowed, please mark which sample is primary if including more than one

Letters of Recommendation 

  • Please have your recommenders submit their confidential letter via the online application.
  • Letters from recommenders are due by the deadline. Please have them in as soon as possible.
  • The application requires a minimum of 3 recommendations.
  • If a recommender is unable to submit their letter via the online application, please let us know. We can accept email letters directly from professors. 
  • For emailed letters from professors, the applicant must also send us a note saying they waive the right to see the recommendation.


  • Please check the grad admissions website for the latest updates about required tests: 
  • Grad admissions requires the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) for most applicants whose first language is not English. This includes US citizens as well as international students.
  • Applicants who have received a Bachelors or higher degree from a U.S. school are usually exempted from the TOEFL.
  • For test criteria, please see the international section of the Grad Admissions webpage. TEST INFORMATION


  • GRE scores will not be required by Philosophy in the 2023-2024 admission round.
  • The GRE general test has been required in the past for Philosophy applications.  If submitting them, GRE scores must be from within the last 5 years.


Check the status of your application (e.g., letters of recommendation received, official ETS scores, etc.,) by logging into your application account Activity Log.

Knight Hennessy Scholars

Knight-Hennessy Scholars cultivates and supports a highly-engaged, multidisciplinary and multicultural community of graduate students from across Stanford University, and delivers a diverse collection of educational experiences, preparing graduates to address complex challenges facing the world. Each year, Knight-Hennessy Scholars selects up to 100 students who are newly enrolling in a graduate degree program in any of Stanford’s seven schools. Knight-Hennessy Scholars participate in an experiential leadership development program and receive funding for up to three years of graduate study at Stanford. Candidates of any country may apply. Candidates must submit two applications to be considered; one to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by early October and one to the graduate degree program by its deadline. Visit to learn more. 


  • Apply at
  • The KH application deadline is October 9, 2024, 1:00pm Pacific Time.
  • For more information on the Knight-Hennessy Scholars please see:
  • Applicants also need to apply separately to the department where they wish to study. 
  • The deadline for the application to the Philosophy department for consideration for the KH program is December 1, 2024.


  • Please do not mail paper transcripts at this time. We will request official transcripts at a later stage.

Building 90
450 Jane Stanford Way
STANFORD, CA 94305-2155 USA


  • Email: philosophy [at] (philosophy[at]stanford[dot]edu) 
  • Phone to list for mailing address if needed: (650) 723-2547 (for fastest response, please email)
  • For problems with the application website, please check the online help in the website.

For application fee waivers, apply through:

For exam waivers, or general questons, please contact the Central University Grad Admissions office:

For other questions, please contact the Philosophy Graduate Administrator 

  • Email: philosophy [at] (philosophy[at]stanford[dot]edu)
  • Phone: (650) 723-2548 (for fastest response, please email)

For a helpful guide on getting into grad school from the School of Humanities and Sciences, please check:

PhD Selection Process

The Department of Philosophy welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. Review of applications is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, and admissions essays in order to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field.

The Philosophy Department recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.