The University of Massachusetts Amherst


All materials, including the writing sample, should be submitted to the Graduate School (see specific instructions below). For information on submitting your application, admissions requirements, and additional information for international students, visit the UMass Amherst Graduate School admissions page.

In order to be considered for admission for the 2021–2022 academic year, your application must be submitted by January 2, 2021. We will consider late applications, but it is less likely that financial aid will be awarded to applicants whose applications arrive late.

The Department no longer requires and will not take account of GRE scores. We request that applicants not submit their scores, or mention their scores, should they take the exam.

A complete application must contain the following items.

1. Application Form

All applicants should use the secure online application, which can be accessed from the Admissions link above. Before you can begin the application, you must register by choosing a username and password.

2. Letters of Recommendation (at least 3)

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

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.

3. Transcripts

You must submit an official or unofficial transcript from any post-secondary school (undergraduate or graduate) at which you enrolled for 9 or more credit hours. (While unofficial transcripts are acceptable during the period in which your application is being considered, official transcripts will be required before an admitted student may matriculate. 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 official transcripts directly to the Graduate School at this address.

Graduate Student Service Center
534 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.

4. Writing Sample

You should submit your writing sample as a PDF file. It may be uploaded through the application system, or submitted by email to the Graduate Admissions Office at Please do not send a hard copy. 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.

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