Philosophy (PHD)


Philosophy, PhD

On Campus 90 cr

Our nationally-ranked program boasts an excellent placement rate and coverage across major areas of philosophy, including ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, mind, language, logic, history, and science.


The Ph.D. program offers courses across all major areas of philosophy, divided between 800-level “core” courses, which aim for comprehensive coverage of areas of philosophy (e.g., metaphysics, epistemology), and 900-level research seminars, which explore specialized topics in greater detail. After completing coursework requirements, students form a Supervisory Committee and work on their dissertations. During the final stages of the dissertation, graduate students work with our Placement Director in preparing for the job market.

The graduate community is a particularly friendly and supportive one, with a regular Graduate Colloquium series in which graduate students present works in progress on Friday afternoons. Additionally, there are various reading groups, dissertation-writing groups, and a faculty-led Teaching Colloquium, all of which meet regularly throughout the academic year. The Department has a Speaker Series which brings well-known philosophers to speak on campus, as well as an annual Evans Lecture delivered by a distinguished philosopher, and an annual Chambers Conference, which brings eight visiting speakers to campus.

Funding for graduate students is available through TA-ships (and one dissertation-year Hinman research fellowship) which includes tuition remission, plus a stipend no less than $14,250. Additional support through summer teaching opportunities may be available. The department also provides support for graduate student travel to conferences.

Academic Pathways

Dual Degree:

Psychology (MA)


  1. Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs

Applying for Admission

Standard requirements for all graduate programs

  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.

    If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.

    After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.

  • If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.

    When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.

Additional requirements specific to this program

  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL 100, IELTS 7.5.
  • Personal Statement
  • Writing Sample: Provide a sample of your philosophical writing.
  • Coursework: Philosophy Coursework Form
  • Three recommendation letters

Admission Application Deadlines

For full funding consideration apply by January 15 for Fall.  Otherwise apply by July 15 for Fall.



Graduate Chair

John Brunero

Program Contact

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UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.