Philosophy - PhD (Applied Philosophy) at Waterloo

Program information

Department/School Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts
Admit term(s)

Fall (September - December)

Application and document submission deadline(s)

February 1 (for admission in September)

Delivery mode On-campus
Program type Doctoral, Research
Length of program 48 months (full-time)
Registration option(s) Full-time, Part-time
Study option(s) Thesis
Research field(s) - Graduate research fields are used to better define a student’s research concentration

Ethics and Political Philosophy

Language, Logic and Metaphysics

Mind and Cognitive Science

Philosophy of Science and Mathematics

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What does it take to get in?

Minimum admission requirements

  • The average required for admission to the PhD in Applied Philosophy program is 80%.
  • The typical background for Applied Philosophy PhD students is a Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy.
  • Applicants with a Master’s in a related discipline are encouraged to apply. Depending on the amount of philosophy background, these applicants may be admitted to the PhD in Applied Philosophy program or may be admitted to the MA in Philosophy program. (A separate application to the MA program is not required.)


Application material

  • Supplementary information form (SIF)
    • Statements answering the questions below (at most 300 words for each answer):
      • Question 1: Please provide a brief statement of interest that outlines the areas of philosophy you hope to pursue in the program. Include an explanation of your interests in applied philosophy, and what kind of placement you hope to engage in.
      • Question 2: Please explain why the University of Waterloo's Department of Philosophy is a good place to pursue such a project, and why your background makes you well suited to pursue it successfully. Include any work or volunteer experience relevant to your interests in applied philosophy.
    • Review the writing your personal statement resources  for helpful tips and tricks on completing this form
  • Transcript(s)
    • From previous institutions.
    • At the time of applying, an unofficial transcript is fine; if and when a student is enrolled they will be asked to submit official copies.
  • Writing sample
    • A philosophy paper of around 2500 words is desirable; longer and shorter papers are acceptable too, but please don't send anything longer than 5,000 words.
  • References
    • Three academic references are required, one of which may be from a referee outside of academic philosophy
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if applicable.
    • TOEFL 100 (writing 26, speaking 26), IELTS 7.5 (writing 7.0, speaking 7.0)

How much will it cost?

What can you expect at Waterloo?

This program page is effective September 2023; it will be updated annually.  Any changes to the program page following this date will be indicated with a notation. 

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