Who May Apply
A student need not have an undergraduate major in philosophy to be admitted to the MA Program. As long as an applicant’s philosophical background is adequate preparation for graduate-level work in philosophy, not having a philosophy major is no bar to admission. (We do not have a strict definition of what counts as ‘adequate preparation,’ but something like 4 or 5 classes in philosophy would normally be a lower bound.)
We sometimes have applicants who have never taken philosophy classes before (or have taken just one or two classes), having majored in some other field, but who have read philosophy on their own and have an interest in pursuing graduate studies in philosophy. We do not admit students in this sort of case: some prior academic background in philosophy is necessary for admission. However, these students are urged to enroll as postbaccalaureate students at Georgia State, or at another university or college if coming to GSU is inconvenient, in order to take additional undergraduate classes. (“Post-bacc” status students are students who already have a bachelor’s degree and may take additional undergraduate classes but are not enrolled in a degree program.) With those classes, the student will be able to a have a philosophy writing sample, letters of recommendation from philosophy faculty, and a track record in philosophy, in order to be able to make a stronger application for our M.A. program. Students who are interested in pursuing this route should contact the Director of Graduate Studies in order to arrange a suitable course of study to prepare for graduate-level work.
Our program has also had many international students. International students are eligible for the same types of stipends through the Department as are other students. International students who received their degree from a school where English is not the primary language of instruction must take the TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum scores are either a 100 in the TOEFL or 7 in the IELTS.
- Statement of Purpose – In approximately 100-500 words each, please answer the following two questions:
- Why do you wish to earn an MA in Philosophy?
- Why do you wish to earn an MA in Philosophy from Georgia State University?
- Writing Sample – Writing samples should be no more 6000 words or approximately 20 double-spaced typewritten pages.
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- Transcripts (one from each institution attended)
- Official TOEFL/IELTS Scores (international applicants only). Minimum of 100 (TOEFL) or 7.0 (IELTS). Institutional code 5251 should be used for reporting TOEFL scores.