The Philosophy Department invites applications to the PhD Program and the joint MA/JD program administered with the Law School. We do not consider applications for the MA unless they are part of the MA-JD program. Applicants do not need a BA in philosophy to be admitted to the PhD program or the MA/JD program, but they should have a background of coursework in philosophy. A number of our students developed their interest in philosophy late in their undergraduate careers, and not in time to complete the requirements for a major or minor.

The department considers the totality of a student’s application, including his or her GPA, letters of recommendation, and writing sample. We do not have a minimum GPA cutoff, though admitted students usually have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. We take very seriously the applicant’s writing sample, and indeed a strong writing sample can often outweigh a lower score in some other part of the application.

See also the Graduate College Statement for Philosophy

All applicants must meet the Graduate College Admission Requirements

How to Apply

The graduate application process has two steps: 1) Submit an online application to the Graduate College and 2) Upload required supplemental documents through a secure portal. After you submit your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password in order to access your Admissions Profile on ISIS (Iowa Student Information Service), our online portal for students. 

Required supplemental documents to upload to your profile:

  1. contact information for at least three recommenders 
  2. unofficial copies of all academic transcripts
  3. a statement of purpose no more than two pages in length
  4. a sample of your philosophical writing - usually 15 to 20 pages

Questions about supplemental documents should be directed to Abby Rush at

The application deadline for both admission and financial awards is February 1.

To receive information on the Graduate College and the Philosophy Department via US Mail, fill out the Graduate Information Request Form.

Correspondence should be addressed to:

Prof. Diane Jeske
Director of Graduate Studies 
Department of Philosophy 
The University of Iowa 
274 English-Philosophy Building 
Iowa City, IA 52242-1408 (U.S.A.) 

Phone: (319) 335-0026