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Admissions to the PhD Program

For admission to doctoral program in Philosophy, the following are required in addition to a completed on-line application:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution;
  2. Some knowledge of the history of philosophy and of contemporary modes of thought is highly desirable, but not required; Deficiencies in these areas may require the student to undertake special work;
  3. Official transcripts  from the institution(s) where undergraduate and any graduate degrees were conferred; unofficial transcripts from other institutions where classes were taken but no degree was conferred;
  4. Letters of recommendation from three previous or current instructors;
  5. Statement of Purpose (no more than 2 pages single-spaced);
  6. Submission of a philosophical essay (which may be a paper written for a previous course, no more than 30 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font);
  7. A current copy of your curriculum vitae (c.v.). 
  8. TOEFL scores for applicants whose native language is not English; and,
  9. Acceptance by both the Department of Philosophy and the Graduate School.
  10. A non-refundable $100 application fee. For information on application fee exceptions and the fee waiver request process, please visit this page.

Stony Brook University’s Graduate School requires that all applications be submitted electronically. You can find the Graduate School admissions website here. Or you can click here to go directly to the online application system.

The on-line application is interactive. You can create an account, save your information, and return to your application as often as you like. Until you click the Submit button, you can correct the data you have entered. You will also be able to review the status of your application by logging into your personal on-line account once you have submitted it.

If you are an international applicant, please familiarize yourself with the information provided by Stony Brook University’s Visa and Immigration Services.

Note that only GRE and TOEFL scores (F) that were officially submitted by ETS will be accepted. Stony Brook University’s code for score reporting for both tests is 2548. The department follows the Graduate School standards setting the acceptable score on the standard TOEFL test for international students at 550 and above, or, a minimum score on the Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) of 90 with a minimum score on each subsection of 22 respectively.

Official transcripts send from your previous academic programs should be addressed to:

Graduate Coordinator
Department of Philosophy
Stony Brook University/SUNY
213 Harriman Hall
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750

Official electronic transcripts, sent by authorized delivery agents, are also accepted. Please have them emailed to the Graduate Coordinator.

Only completed applications received by the application deadline January 15th of the calendar year in which you are applying for Fall entry will be reviewed by members of the departmental admissions committee. Decision letters will be mailed out in early February. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered!

Financial Support and Benefits

Students admitted to the PhD program are typically offered a Teaching Assistantship, which includes a tuition waiver, annual stipend, and subsidized health insurance for up to five years. Stony Brook University also offers competitive Graduate Council Fellowships and Turner Fellowships and the Philosophy Department has an excellent record in securing this additional funding for its best-qualified students.

There is no funding available for students in the MA program.

For information on other Financial Aid options contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services at (631) 632 6840 or visit