All students admitted to the program receive financial assistance. Support is guaranteed for five years, provided that a student continues to make satisfactory progress toward completion of the PhD. Department fellowships cover tuition and pay a stipend. Outstanding applicants may be nominated for a George Owen Fellowship, which also covers tuition and for which the stipend is higher. All students receive fellowship support for the first two years; no teaching is required.
Third, fourth, and fifth-year students are supported by teaching assistantships, which carry full tuition and a stipend. In practice, the department is often able to offer teaching assistantships to students beyond their fifth year, though this support is not guaranteed.
Sachs Fellowship Fund
A generous bequest by a former member of the department, David Sachs, has established the Sachs Fellowship Fund. Sachs Fellowships are dissertation-year fellowships awarded to students who are making substantial progress toward completing their dissertations. For more information, see the Philosophy Graduate Program Requirements (Attachments 4 and 5).
Graduate Student Travel Funding
The department encourages graduate students to present their work at conferences and workshops, and it is committed to helping to make this possible by providing funds for travel and/or accommodation to students whose papers are accepted for presentation. Funding for students to participate in special summer schools is also a possibility; however, in such cases the topic must be clearly related to the student’s actual or intended area of specialization.
The funds available to the department for these purposes are limited, and so some guidelines are necessary in order to ensure that the money is distributed in the most equitable and effective way possible. With this in mind, the following guidelines are in now in place:
- For any student who makes one request for funding in a given academic year, the department will do its best to provide funding. If a student requests funding for more than one event in a given academic year, the second request will have lower priority. Similarly, a student who has had numerous trips funded over several years may find further requests given lower priority.
- The amount provided may vary depending on the cost of the trip. However, more expensive trips are more likely to receive only partial funding than less expensive ones. In particular, those involving international travel may receive only partial funding.
- The significance and prestige of the conference, workshop, or summer school in which a student is to participate will be a factor in decisions as to whether, or to what extent, to provide funding.
- A student’s proximity to the job market may result in a funding request being given higher priority than it would otherwise.
- Since conferences and workshops can happen at any time of year, it is not practical to impose any specific deadlines for funding requests. The department will, however, ensure that some funds remain available throughout the year, so that students making requests late in a given year do not lose out simply because of the timing. (This means that students making requests early in the year may sometimes receive less than they have asked for.)
These guidelines may sometimes be in tension with one another. But these will be the major factors to be taken into account in making these decisions.
Students requesting funding should supply documentation concerning the event—a link to a website will often be sufficient—as well as a breakdown of the expected costs of attending. Requests should be sent to the department chair and the director of graduate study.
William Miller Essay Prize
The Miller Prize is an essay prize awarded for an essay submitted by an eligible student in the philosophy graduate program. A prize competition is held every year. It is not guaranteed that an award will be made every year; however, provided at least one essay submitted in a given year is judged to be of superior quality, the prize will go to the author of the best essay submitted in that year. Given essays of sufficiently high quality, it is also possible that more than one award could be made in the same year.
Miller Prize Submission Guidelines
Entrants must be registered graduate students in philosophy at Johns Hopkins University who are prior to the completion of their eighth semester in the program (i.e., anyone in their first four years). Submissions should be self-contained essays of no more than 10,000 words, not including footnotes. Students may submit at most one essay per year. Papers accepted for publication are not appropriate submissions.
Submissions should be anonymous; your name should not appear anywhere in the paper. The papers should be submitted to Veronica Feldkircher-Reed, either electronically (via email at email@example.com) or as a hard copy. If you do the latter, you should include a separate cover page with your name, the title of the paper, and a word count. If you submit it electronically, do not include a cover page, but include the paper title and word count in the email to which you attach the paper. The cover pages or emails will be kept separately in the office and will not be shown to the selection committee.
The submission deadline for the Miller Prize is the same day the third-year papers are due.
While an undergraduate major in philosophy is good preparation for graduate study in the department, applications are welcomed from students with other majors whose interests are now turning toward philosophy.
To apply, please read the information below and on the Graduate Admissions website, and complete the application online.
If applying to more than one department, please send complete application materials for each department. All application documents must be provided in English (either the original or translations of the original documents). If you are unable to secure translations to English, we recommend that you contact World Education Services.
All application materials and supporting documents should be uploaded through the online application; these include:
- Online application
- Application fee
- Statement of Purpose (briefly state your area of interest at the beginning of your Statement of Purpose; upload through the online application)
- Letters of recommendation (at least two): Letters of recommendation should be submitted and uploaded electronically following the instructions in the online application.
- Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded through the online application. Applications will be ready for review with unofficial transcripts, but official transcripts will be required if an offer of admission is made
- GRE scores (mandatory)
- TOEFL or IELTS score (for international applicants)
- Sample of work (the sample should reflect the applicant’s area of interest, and generally does not have to be more than 20 pages in length).
The deadline for applications is January 15 or, if January 15 falls on a weekend or a holiday, the next business day. Admissions decisions will be made by around March 15.
For questions or inquiries about the online application and supporting documents, contact the Graduate Admissions office using the online contact form. You may also contact Veronica Feldkircher-Reed, the academic program coordinator for the philosophy department, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-516-7524.