The Catholic University of America

Requirements for Graduate Admission

Applicants for admission to the School of Philosophy must submit an application form, and all supporting material, to the University's Office of Graduate Admissions. Degree-seeking applicants are strongly urged to apply online. Nondegree and Pre-Theology applicants should consult the requirements for admission found here. Completed applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For optimal scholarship consideration, applications should be submitted before February 1

Candidates for admission to the graduate programs of the School of Philosophy must have received a bachelor's degree from a recognized college. Students will not be admitted unless they have received a cumulative average which can be evaluated as a B.

The following materials should be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Completed application form, submitted either online or in paper form
  • A $60 nonrefundable application fee, payable online or by a check made out to The Catholic University of America
  • An official transcript of every college or university previously attended
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, dated within the last five years (CUA's GRE school code is 5104)
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A short (no more than 20 pages) sample of philosophical writing (typically a term paper, or a selection from an honors or master's thesis)
  • For applicants from countries and areas where English is not the common spoken language, an official "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL) score report (CUA's TOEFL code is 5104)

Students who have not received the bachelor's degree but submit evidence of satisfactory training equivalent to that required for the bachelor's degree may be admitted, as in the case of foreign training in schools where, as certified by official documents, no degrees are regularly granted. Each case must be presented to the Committee on Admissions, which is responsible for determining the merits thereof.

An interview with the prospective student will be held whenever possible, and the right is reserved to demand entrance examinations in any individual case.

Each student must be registered for each semester in residence. No student will be permitted to register later than the last day of the registration period without special permission of the dean. Each student entering the university for the first time must be enrolled and registered on or before the first day of class.

Transfer of Credits

Graduate work done in other institutions will not be accepted towards fulfilling the requirements for the master's degree or the licentiate. Graduate work done in other institutions of approved standing, and not used to fulfill the requirements for the doctoral degree elsewhere, may be offered in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the doctoral degree in the School of Philosophy provided this work is approved by the dean.

At least four semesters of full time graduate work toward the doctoral degree must be done in residence at The Catholic University of America. One of these years must be the last year.

A candidate for the doctoral degree who applies for credit for graduate work done at other institutions may be granted such credit as, in the judgment of the dean, is deemed suitable. Judgment will be passed only after the student has studied at The Catholic University of America for a time sufficient to give adequate opportunity to evaluate the student's grasp of the subject taken elsewhere.

Pre-Theology Applicants

Applicants to the Pre-Theology Certificate program in the School of Philosophy must apply to the School online.

After creating an account, the applicant will be prompted to create a new application. IMPORTANT: Applicant must select “Certificate” as type of application, and “School of Philosophy Non-Degree” as the school in which they plan to study. The degree for which they are applying is “Pre-Theology – Cert.” Submitting an application under the incorrect application type will result in major delays in the processing of the application.

In order for their application to be considered complete, applicants must provide the following:

·         Completed Pre-Theology Certificate Application (see above for specifics)

·         Application fee

·         Official transcripts*

·         Three letters of recommendation

·         Statement of purpose


Applicants should  send all application materials directly to the University's Office of Graduate Admissions.

More detailed application instructions can be found here.

 *Applicants are strongly encouraged to upload unofficial transcripts with their application for the sake of time; official transcripts will be added to the application later, as they are received and processed. 

Nondegree Applicants

Nondegree students, both undergraduate and graduate, are admitted to such courses as they may select without the intention of going on for academic degrees. Before admission they must furnish satisfactory evidence of their ability to follow these courses profitably.

Applicants to the nondegree program in the School of Philosophy should apply to the School through the online portal. Applicants should mail official transcripts and the application fee to the University's Office of Graduate Admissions. Those seeking admission as non-degree students need not submit GRE scores.

Applicants should also refer to the General Information section of the university Announcements for more information on admission requirements.