Applications to the Graduate School of the University of Southern California are coordinated through the WebAdMIT application system. The Application Deadline is January 6th.

The online graduate admission application system is available here. The system will prompt you to create a user account, and instructions will walk you through the process. It is important to note that you need not complete your application at one sitting; your application will not be complete until you hit “submit”.

If you have difficulties with the online graduate admission application system or have further questions about what is needed for a philosophy application, please contact the department at

Application Elements

To be complete, your application must contain the components listed below.

NOTE: The online graduate admission application will say that certain materials must be submitted “directly to the school, academic department or program to which you are applying.” You can and should submit all required items through the online system, however, for example under the heading “Supporting Documents.”

  • An applicant for admission normally has an undergraduate major in philosophy, but programs may be arranged for promising students who do not. You must submit transcripts for each of your previous academic institutions; these are required by the Graduate School in order to process your enrollment. Your transcript will play some role, but not the most important role, in the admissions decision. The instructions for the online graduate admission application will walk you through this process.

  • Your personal statement is the primary opportunity that you have in your application to give us a picture of who you are, what motivates you, and what philosophical questions interest you. It is not a request for you to propose a research program, but don’t be afraid of telling us what you find interesting about the philosophical questions which currently interest you most. It should be under two pages in length. Personal statements should be uploaded in connection with your online graduate admission application under the heading of “Supporting Documents.”

  • All applicants are required to submit a sample of philosophical written work, which should normally be between 12-20 pages in length. It should represent your very best work to date. This is the most important part of your application, so make sure to put your best foot forward. Writing samples should be uploaded in connection with your online graduate admission application under the heading of “Supporting Documents.”

  • The online graduate admission application contains instructions for requesting letters of recommendation (to be submitted online) from at least three, and no more than six, recommenders who can vouch for your academic and specifically philosophical promise. If for some reason your recommenders prefer to submit their letters on paper, the online graduate admission application contains instructions for how to arrange that, as well. Follow up with your recommenders to make sure that all letters have been submitted by December 31st at the latest.

  • USC Philosophy does not consider GRE scores as a part of graduate admissions, and so applicants are requested to not submit these scores. And although USC Philosophy does not require the TOEFL in order to consider non-native speakers of English for the program, USC Graduate Admissions requires the TOEFL in order to enroll in the university. USC’s code for the TOEFL is 4852.

Fee Waiver Requests

The Office of Graduate Admissions provides a Fee Waiver request process to assist those in specific categories. Please access the link here, and note that fee waiver requests must be finalized BEFORE you can submit your application. The Office of Graduate Admissions is closed for the University Holiday from December 19 – January 2. You must allow 3-4 business days for the request to be processed, so our recommendation is that you complete the process no later than December 12th to guarantee that you receive your waiver code prior to the holiday. Late fee requests will not be granted after an application has been submitted.

The Office of Graduate Admissions does not provide fee waivers for international applicants. Please note that the USC School of Philosophy also cannot cover or waive application fees for our international applicants and we can no longer review requests to do so at this time.


Mailing Address
USC School of Philosophy
Mudd Hall of Philosophy (MHP) Room 113
3709 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0451

Phone 213-740-4084


Ralph Wedgwood

Vice Chair
Alexis Wellwood

Director of Graduate Studies
Jeff Russell

Graduate Admissions
Ralph Wedgwood

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Shieva Kleinschmidt


Academic Program Administrator
Angie Guerrero

Program Specialist
Donna Lugo

Administrative Assistant
Brian Eckert