Prospective Student Information

Application Materials and Deadlines

Application materials and detailed instructions are available online through the UC Santa Cruz Grad Division website via SLATE application portal. Applications are open starting October 1, and close at end of day on January 4. Applicants may check the status of their application online or by emailing the Graduate Program Coordinator at 

The department takes a very holistic approach when looking at graduate student applications. A research background in philosophy is very helpful, we look for strong letters of recommendation and read your "Statement of Purpose" and "Personal History Statement" carefully. Our goal is to identify enthusiastic students who are well-prepared to thrive in an exciting research environment, and who will make the best use of the particular strengths and opportunities in our department.

Overview and Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the Graduate School Division's FAQ page for a comprehensive overview of UCSC graduate school admissions.

Required materials include:

General GRE Test Score 

The Philosophy Department no longer accepts GRE scores for graduate program applications starting Fall 2020.

Statement of Purpose and Writing Sample

In 500-1000 words you should describe your plans for graduate study or research (including who and what) and your future goals (occupation or profession). 

Writing sample of 4,000 - 6,000 words that demonstrates analytic ability and/or the ability to identify and analyze a philosophical topic or problem.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Letters should be from professors, professional contacts, or others who can best speak to your abilities and academic potential in the field of Philosophy.

Letters are to be submitted electronically through SLATE.

You will register your recommenders and their email addresses as part of the online application in SLATE.


Official transcripts are not required at the time of application.

Instead, you should upload a copy of your unofficial transcripts to your online application. This can either be a scanned version of your official transcript, or, if available, a downloaded PDF from your institution's online portal. See the Document Scanning Guidelines (very bottom) for information about scanning and uploading your unofficial transcripts.

If admitted, prior to enrollment at UC Santa Cruz you will need to request an official transcript to be sent to:

UC Santa Cruz

Graduate Application Processing

1156 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee must accompany the submission of your application materials.

The amount is $135 for domestic applicants, $155 for international applicants.

Fee waivers for cases of hardship may be available to US citizens and permanent residents through the Graduate Division. The department will provide up to three fee waivers to PhD applicants who meet the following criteria, on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of citizenship status:
  • Applicant does not qualify for the fee waiver or exemption offered by the UCSC Division of Graduate Studies
  • Has not yet paid the application fee
  • Has completed and uploaded the following documents to their application: statement of purpose, personal history statement, CV, and writing sample 
  • Is the first person in their family to attend college
To apply for a departmental fee waiver, please complete this form

Site Visits

Students accepted into the program are invited to a departmental visit in winter quarter. During the visit, prospective students meet with faculty, staff, and current graduate students, learn about the program and research being done, and explore the campus. We encourage students to combine visits (and travel reimbursements) with other West Coast schools as UCSC travel reimbursements will be capped. Detailed information will be available after visit invitation is issued. Nothing replaces a visit, but many beautiful photos of the campus are available here in this virtual campus tour.


Further Inquiries:

Janette Dinishak, Graduate Program Director

James Funk, Graduate Program Advisor and Coordinator


All correspondence will be through the email address you provide on the application. 

Please do not send any application materials to the department office. 

See Also