Admission Requirements

The Department's general admission requirements are outlined in the University Calendar. General information about admission to the University of Alberta can be found at Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

Formal Application

DEADLINE for complete applications is January 15 (for starting the program in September).

In addition to our PhD program, we focus on our course-based MA program with a research component (description of program details and benefits). While we admit students to our traditional thesis-based MA program in exceptional circumstances only, applicants need to apply only once and will also be considered for our course-based program.

ALL application documents are to be uploaded to the FGSR online application system (that includes reference letters) no hard copies are required at the time of application. Please note that a formal application comes with an online fee of CAD$135.

The required application documents are (please also read "Application Requirements for Academic Documents":

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Official copies of your transcripts from all previous post-secondary schooling showing marks obtained (submitted in the original language, accompanied by a certified English translation)
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Statement of interest -the statement of interest can take many forms, but usually describes the research questions and issues that particularly interest the applicant (and why), and perhaps explains why the applicant would like to pursue a philosophy degree at the University of Alberta. Applicants do not need to have identified either a thesis project or a supervisor before admission.
  • Writing sample - should be a piece of academic work, preferably in philosophy, and should not be more than 30 pages.
  • Applicants with degrees/qualifications in a language other than English need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) by completing an approved English language exam.

You will be able to check the progress of your application by returning to the online system, which will provide a list of outstanding documents and those received.

A supervisor is not required at the time of application.

All applicants who are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents are urged to apply for SSHRC scholarships. Applicants for the MA SSHRC scholarships must apply directly to SSHRC by December 1. Please specify that the University of Alberta is one of your proposed host institutions during the application process. Submit your online graduate application by January 1 and please notify the department that you have applied to SSHRC.

If you have any questions or concerns about applying please email

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