To enter the doctoral program, students must have done well in their previous academic work and must be formally accepted as candidates for the Ph.D. degree by the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Furthermore, an applicant must have received a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a college or university of acceptable standing.
Although there are no formal requirements for admission, successful applicants typically have an undergraduate major in philosophy, or a comparable level of preparation.
A complete application includes the MIT application form, an academic transcript from each college/university attended, and three letters of recommendation.
In addition to the application, all applicants should submit a writing sample in philosophy, ideally of 15-25 pages in length. The writing sample should allow us to assess the applicant’s understanding of a philosophical problem, and ability to evaluate philosophical arguments. This assessment is usually easier if the writing sample explicitly engages with some of the contemporary philosophical literature.
Students are only admitted into the program in the fall. The application deadline is January 2nd for the following September. Decisions are communicated to applicants by early March.
This year, because of the disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, official GRE scores are optional: they are not required for admission to the doctoral program.
GRE reporting codes are:
Institute code: 3514
Department code: 2804
MIT requires international applicants whose native language is not English to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
TOEFL: Minimum score required: 577 (PBT) 90 (IBT)
TOEFL Department codes: 20 (Philosophy)
Institute code: 3514 (MIT)
IELTS: Minimum score required: 6.5
Electronic scores send to: MIT Graduate Admissions
However, the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy does grant waivers. In general, we grant waivers to students who have received a degree from an American or English-speaking university, or who show an extensive background in English. We ask that students who request a TOEFL or IELTS waiver have their recommenders comment in depth on their English speaking, reading and writing skills as a part of the recommendation. We also strongly suggest that they submit a writing sample in English. Applicants may request a waiver in the application.
Accessing the Application Form
To apply, please visit: https://gradapply.mit.edu/phil
The statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and writing sample are submitted on-line. Scanned copies of transcripts are submitted on-line for review purposes but are considered unofficial. Applicants who are admitted will be required to send an official transcript in a university sealed envelope.
The application fee is $75.00 in US funds. Major credit cards are the accepted form of payment.
In response to the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic, MIT has adopted the following principle: MIT’s admissions committees and offices for graduate and professional schools will take the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their regular practice of performing individualized, holistic reviews of each applicant.
In particular, as we review applications now and in the future, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/No Record (or Credit/No Credit or Pass/Fail) and other grading options during the unprecedented period of COVID-19 disruptions, whether those decisions were made by institutions or by individual students. We also expect that the individual experiences of applicants will richly inform applications and, as such, they will be considered with the entirety of a student’s record.