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Application FAQ

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What is the application fee?

The application fee for the current admissions cycle is $95.

Can I request an application fee waiver?

A limited number of application fee waivers are available through The Graduate School.  The applicant's eligibility for a fee waiver is determined during the online application process.  Fee waivers are allotted on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important that applicants wishing to request a fee waiver submit their application as early as possible, as those waiting until the application deadline are likely to have their request denied. 

Please contact for questions regarding fee waivers.

Please note that the department does not issue fee waivers - the process is handled by The Graduate School (TGS). Read more about fee-waiver eligibility on the TGS website.

NOTE: TGS is unable to offer application fee waivers to international applicants at this time.

After I've uploaded my supplemental materials online, do I need to send them in the mail as well?

No. There is no need to send a duplicate copies of your application materials.

May I be admitted to the program without receiving financial aid?

No. All admitted students receive funding in the form of two years of fellowship (usually taken in the first and fifth years of graduate study) and three years of TA support (9-month stipend plus tuition waiver, usually taken in years 2-4). This amounts to 5 years of guaranteed support, contingent on satisfactory progress in the program, with a sixth year of TA support typically available (though not guaranteed). We also offer summer grants for continuing students in years 2-4 who are in good standing, to help them continue their research or obtain language instruction.

If I'm accepted, may I wait until winter or spring to begin graduate study?

No. Entering graduate students must begin their studies in the fall quarter.

Do you have a master's degree program?

No. The department does not offer a terminal master's degree. You may, however, be awarded a master's degree en route to the Ph.D.  A master’s degree in Philosophy will be awarded to students who have: (A) completed two years of course work, (B) passed both proseminars, (C) received passing grades in courses that satisfy the Department’s distribution requirements, (D) satisfied the Department’s logic requirement, and (E) made up all incomplete grades.  A student who has satisfied all of these requirements except (B), having passed the first-year seminar but not the second, may receive a master’s degree upon successful revision of the proseminar paper or the writing of a new and superior paper (on a topic appropriate to the proseminar and acceptable to the Department).

Do you accept the submission of letters of recommendation through Interfolio?

Recommendation letters should be uploaded directly into our application system by your recommenders. A link will be provided by email for them to upload their letters.  Interfolio may have a method of managing this process, but you will need to check with them about how they handle uploading letters of recommendation to online application systems.

How can I get more information about the Department of Philosophy?

Complete information about the Department is available on this website. There is no other brochure or catalog produced by the Department at this time. If you have questions about the Department and our application process that were not addressed in this site, you may contact us as follows:

  • Mail:  Department of Philosophy, Northwestern University, 1880 Campus Drive #3-512, Evanston, Illinois 60208-2214
  • Phone:  847-491-3657
  • Email:  For general inquiries, please use For questions specific to the graduate admissions process, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at: