All materials, INCLUDING THE WRITING SAMPLE, should be submitted to the Graduate School (see specific instructions below).

Instructions for submitting materials to the Graduate School can be found here:

A complete application must contain the following items.

Application Form

You may submit a paper application, or an on-line application.

Note that the on-line application is a bit trecherous. It starts by sending you to a log-on page for a program called Spire. You cannot log on! Rather, look on the right side of the page for a heading called Graduate School, under which is a link called Apply for Graduate Study, which will send you to a registration page. Once you register, using a user-name and password of your choice, you are sent to the on-line application.

Letters of Recommendation (at least 3)

Please have your referees submit letters of recommendation directly to the Graduate School.

If you are using the paper application, please print out the recommendation forms contained in the application, and submit them to your referees. The paper application has only two such forms; additional forms are available at the link below.

If you are using the online application, click on the "References" tab of the application form. In the boxes provided, fill in the names, email addresses and titles of your referees. The Graduate School will email forms to them as soon as your application is submitted. Do not expect to be notified when the forms have been sent; you will need to check with your referees to make sure they have received them.

Note that the electronic form provides space for three referees. The Philosophy Department requires three letters of reference, but you are welcome to provide more. For more than three, you can download additional referee forms at the link below.

Also, even if you are using the online application, you can give recommendation forms (available at link below) directly to your referees.

Referee forms and letters may be sent as PDF files by email to the Graduate School ( Please tell your referee to:

1. use the following as the subject line:
Letter of Recommendation for [Student Name];
2. repeat your name in the body of the email.

The graduate school accepts hard copy, but this may result in delays in processing your application.

GRE scores

You are asked to report your own scores as part of the application.

Note carefully that this self-report does not substitute for an official report; the self-reported scores simply allow us to begin the evaluation process before we receive the official report.

You cannot be admitted until the official report has been received.


Effective immediately, the Graduate School will be accepting the Pearson Test of English (PTE) for proof of proficiency in English (in addition to IELTS and TOEFL).


You must submit an official transcript from any post-secondary school (undergraduate or graduate) at which you enrolled for 9 or more credit hours.  (Do not send transcripts from non-credit schools or institutes, or any school at which you enrolled for 8 or fewer credit hours.)

You should send transcripts directly to the Graduate School at this address.

Graduate Admissions Office
530 Goodell Building
University of Massachusetts
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333

You may submit official transcripts yourself, in a sealed envelope, or you may have them mailed by your school(s) directly to the Graduate School.  If an official transcript and/or degree certificate is not in English, it must be accompanied by a notarized English translation in duplicate.

Writing Sample [submit to Graduate School]

You should submit your writing sample as a PDF file by email to the Graduate Admissions Office at


Use the following as the subject line:  'Writing Sample: Philosophy PhD Program', and identify yourself in the body of the email.  Make sure that your name is on the writing sample itself.

DEADLINE - January 2, 2015

We will consider late applications, but it is less likely that financial aid will be awarded to applicants whose applications arrive late.

For additional information about the application process, please refer to the Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) page.