Frequently Asked Questions-Department of Philosophy - Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions

For specific admissions-related questions not answered here, please contact Kevin Zollman, Director of Graduate Studies.

My undergraduate degree is in mathematics (or physics, etc.); do I have the enough philosophical background? Alternatively: My undergraduate degree is in philosophy; do I have enough mathematical/scientific background?

What kind of research is supported in your department?

What financial support is available to students?

How competitive is admission to the Ph.D. program?

Are there minimum admissions requirements (e.g., minimum GRE or GPA threshold)?

Are international applicants treated differently than U.S. applicants?

Who makes the admissions decisions? Should I contact individual faculty with whom I might want to study?

I am applying to the Ph.D. program, but am also interested in the M.S. (or M.A.) program. If I say that I am interested in being considered for the M.S/M.A. program, does that affect my chances of being admitted to the Ph.D. program?

When are admissions decisions usually made? When do admitted students have to decide?

What constraints are there on my writing sample? Are there particular things I should avoid or make sure to do?

What kind of information should I include in the Personal research statement?

How does the online recommendation system work?

One of my recommenders wants to submit a paper recommendation. What should I do?

Can you accept a paper application?

I am from a non-English-speaking country, but I studied in an English-speaking country. Do I still have to take the TOEFL exam?

I am applying from a country in which it is very difficult to take the GREs. Can I have that requirement waived?