Graduate Program

Graduate student working at a desk.

The Iowa philosophy department has a history of research and teaching excellence in a number of core areas, including: epistemology, metaphysics, social and political philosophy, ethical theory, philosophy of mind, and history of philosophy, with a special emphasis on the history of analytic philosophy.  Our approach to the history of philosophy is broad – it includes Eastern and Western ancient philosophy, Islamic philosophy, and women philosophers of the early modern period.  We are interested in uncovering the insights and concerns that are at the root of each debate, and the historical turns that have brought us to where we are today.  Our graduate student to faculty ratio is 1.4:1, and we were recently ranked the #2 Ph.D. program in the country in terms of gender diversity of faculty.

We are a very active department.  Students work closely with faculty and with fellow students as well.  The department offers the Ph.D. degree and also administers an M.A./J.D. program with the law school.


TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS -- The TA salary for 2017-2018 is $19,185.  All TAs receive a full tuition waiver and a generous benefits package.  Accomplished new doctoral students may be nominated for the Graduate College Iowa Fellowship which provides an extra stipend supplement of $2,000 per year, and also four years of summer fellowship support.  With the Graduate College Iowa Fellowship, students receive $25,185 per year, plus tuition waiver and benefits.

SUMMER FUNDING -- On a competitive basis the Philosophy Department is able to provide all incoming students with a research fellowship in the amount of $4000 per year for the first three summer terms.  Summer funding for the fourth year is regularly available from the Graduate College. 

RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS -- A number of research fellowships are available for graduate students working on the dissertation: the Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Semester Fellowship; the Graduate College Post-Comp Research Award; and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dissertation Writing Fellowship.  The Philosophy Department also offers the Gustav Bergmann Dissertation Fellowship.

RESEARCH TRAVEL -- The Philosophy Department offers generous support for graduate student travel to philosophy conferences and workshops, in addition to supplemental support that is available through a number of UI offices.

VISITING SPEAKERS -- The Philosophy Department hosts 6-8 colloquia per year, featuring a number of internationally prominent philosophers.  Recent speakers include Timothy Williamson, Lynne Rudder Baker, Michael Huemer, Elizabeth Anderson, Dean Zimmerman, Louise Antony, Larry May, Laurie Paul, Earl Conee, Sanford Goldberg, and Barry Stroud.  The department holds pre-colloquium meetings to explore each paper topic in advance, and graduate students also have a lunch and discussion meeting with each speaker.

IOWA GRADUATE PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY  -- The UIGPS hosts a national conference every spring, and an in-house conference every fall.  Informal salons organized by our students are held throughout the year.  The graduate student community is collegial, and discussions tend to spill over and extend to other venues in downtown Iowa City.

CAMPUS COMMUNITY -- Iowa City is a vibrant college town that offers numerous venues for the arts, music, food, sports, theater, and recreation.  It features a relatively low cost-of-living, and has been rated a best place to live by Money magazine and Forbes.  Iowa City is a UNESCO international city of literature, the only one in North America.  More information is available at and

HOW TO APPLY -- Information is available at   Applications are due February 1.  Please write to with any questions.