Georgetown’s Department of Philosophy graduate program has strengths in bioethics, ethical theory, history of philosophy, the Catholic philosophical tradition and contemporary philosophy of language and analytic metaphysics. Both Anglo-American and continental approaches are well represented.

The graduate program is a cooperative effort between the Philosophy Department and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. It also benefits from the contributions of philosophers in the Center for Clinical Bioethics, the School of Business and the Law Center.

Concentration in Cognitive Science
Ph.D. in Philosophy applicants can choose to apply for a concentration in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind and deals with the nature of perception, motor organization, memory, language, thinking, consciousness, and learning and development.  It investigates these topics from a number of methodological perspectives, including behavioral evidence for how these systems operate and formal, symbolic, and biological evidence on the computational and neural machinery that underlies them. Research on these topics comes centrally from several traditionally distinct fields: psychology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and neuroscience. Other relevant disciplines – biology, anthropology, economics, and decision sciences – are also part of this burgeoning field. Philosophy students in the Cognitive Science concentration at Georgetown will obtain their Ph.D. in Philosophy and will also develop an individualized interdisciplinary program of study, with a supervisory committee of faculty who come from their fields of interest.

For more information, please see the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Concentration in Cognitive Science (ICCS) page at:

Degrees Offered

  • Ph.D.
  • Ph.D./J.D.
  • Ph.D./M.D.
  • M.A./J.D.
  • M.A./M.D.

Application Deadlines

M.A. DUAL Program

Fall 2020

January 1, 2020

Ph.D. Program

Fall 2021

December 15, 2020

Application Requirements

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions How to Apply page.


Please be sure to review the Philosophy program’s website for additional information on program application requirements.

Application Materials required:

  • Application Form
  • Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Writing Sample (about 6,000 words; also include an abstract of the sample)
  • CV/Resume (include GPA, GRE scores, educational background, honors, etc.)
  • Transcripts – Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply (new window) page for additional details and FAQs.
  • Official Recommendations (3)
  • GRE General Test
  • TOEFL/IELTS  (please see below)

Admission requirements include three letters of recommendation, an academic statement of purpose, writing sample, standardized tests (see below) and an application fee.


Results of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are REQUIRED for all applicants to this program.


All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (please note that applicants receiving degrees at universities in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS unless the primary language of instruction at the institution is English). All other applicants must achieve at least a minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test. Test scores must be received by the application deadline date. Applicants should allow six to eight weeks from the test date for the reporting of scores to the institution. Applications will not be considered without GRE or TOEFL/IELTS scores.

TOEFL: A minimum score of 100 (iBT test)  on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  TOEFL information:

IELTS: A minimum score of 7.5 from the International English Language Testing System. IELTS Information:

Degree Requirements

The M.A. degree requires 30 credit hours without a thesis or 24 with a thesis.

Requirements for the Ph.D. include:

  • Forty-five credit hours
  • A proficiency examination in logic or successful completion of a course in symbolic logic with a grade of B or higher
  • Passing comprehensive exams taken during pro-seminars in ethics, epistemology and metaphysics
  • Acquiring any special skills (such as language proficiency) required for the dissertation and successfully completing and defending a dissertation