Graduate Admissions

The Department of Philosophy admits candidates to programs of study leading to the PhD; applications for admission to a program of study terminating in the MA are also invited.

The terminal MA may be pursued by full-time or part-time students. However, part-time applications for the PhD program are discouraged.

Candidates for either the MA or PhD shall take no fewer than two semester courses each semester until they have completed their course requirements.

Applicants should have completed the equivalent of an undergraduate major in philosophy, typically with an average of B or higher. Students with minors in philosophy are also encouraged to apply.

All applicants for admission to the MA or PhD programs in philosophy are required to submit their Graduate Record Examination scores and a 10-20 page sample of written work with their applications. Completed applications for admission should reach the Graduate School Office no later than February 1st. Completed applications consist of: GRE scores, statement of purpose, writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and complete transcripts. Financial aid is limited to PhD candidates.

The institution’s ETS Code is 3087
Minimum TOEFL Scores: Paper-based Test 550

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications by January 15th.

For further guidelines and information please visit the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences admissions page.


Undergraduate Admissions

Boston University seeks to attract academically talented students who will succeed and thrive here and also contribute to the growth of the University’s community.

Our best indicator of how you will do at Boston University is your performance in high school. When we review your high school transcript, we consider a variety of factors, including overall level of achievement, enrollment in honors and AP- or IB-level courses, and individual academic strengths.

The Board of Admissions carefully reviews every application for undergraduate admission to decide whether to grant admission to Boston University. The Board places primary emphasis on the strength of a student’s secondary school record. Students most competitive for admission will have excelled in the most challenging coursework available to them. For most programs at the University, the recommended high school/secondary school curriculum includes:

* Four years of English
* Three to four years of mathematics (pre-calculus/calculus recommended)
* Three to four years of laboratory science
* Three to four years of history and/or social science
* Three to four years of a foreign language

The scores of required tests (SAT or ACT), teacher and counselor recommendations, and other personal qualifications as demonstrated by extracurricular activities are also carefully evaluated and weighed before decisions to offer admission are made. Your application essay is also significant, because it demonstrates what you think and how clearly you express yourself.
We also want to see what kind of citizen you have been in your high school community—what activities you participate in or after-school jobs you have held. We also look for extracurricular activities in which you have participated that indicate a match between your experiences or academic interests and the opportunities available at Boston University.

To download an application and for further guidelines please visit the Boston University Office of Admissions page: