Reach the next level
Reach the next level

Welcome to the Department of Philosophy!

Our research and teaching interests cover all of the major areas of analytic philosophy with particular strengths in epistemology and ethics. The size of our graduate program allows for close interaction between students and faculty and among the graduate students, in academic and informal settings.

We present frequent colloquia featuring either distinguished visiting speakers or our faculty and graduate students. In particular, the weekly Graduate Student Research Colloquia provide masters and doctoral students the opportunity to present their academic research.

Requirements for both the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees include taking core courses in the main areas of philosophy (such as ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, history of philosophy, and logic) and writing research papers.

Please see Graduate Placement as well as the Graduate Student Handbook for more information.

How to Apply

The application deadline is January 15 for full consideration for funding, and July 15 for admission only, for the fall semester of the same calendar year.

Required application materials:

MA program   PhD program

  • "Graduate Admission Requirements" are those required by the university.
  • "Major Admission Requirements" are those required by the department: three recommendation letters, a list of philosophy courses taken and grades received, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample. (The GRE is no longer required.)

All application materials are weighed carefully, but usually the most important criteria are the writing sample, the depth and breadth of previous training in philosophy (including GPA in philosophy courses), and letters of recommendation.

Among admitted students in 2018-2022:

  • 70% had an M.A. in philosophy or a closely related field.
  • Their average GPA in their immediately previous degree (either B.A. or M.A.), if from a U.S. institution, was 3.73.


The department offers graduate courses at two levels.

  • 800-level courses are comprehensive core courses in logic; philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophy of science; ethics; and ancient and modern philosophy.
  • 900-level courses are advanced research seminars in a wide range of more specialized areas.

The department offers eight to ten graduate courses a year, divided evenly between core courses and research seminars. Most core courses are offered on a regular, rotating schedule. Topics for research seminars change every semester.


The department currently has 11 regular faculty members and approximately twenty graduate students in residence.

  • The research and teaching interests of the faculty span all the major subject areas of philosophy: ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, history of philosophy, and logic.
  • Many key specialties including philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of physics, philosophy of law, political philosophy, and philosophy of race and gender.


Teaching assistantships and fellowships are available on a competitive basis. For full consideration for funding, applications should be complete by January 15.

Computers and printers are available, and office space is provided for students holding teaching assistantships or fellowships. A common room houses journals, books, computers, and printers.

The department has two graduate advisors whom graduate students can consult about any aspect of their academic careers.

Graduate Student Travel Support

UNL's Department of Philosophy awards up to $500 (as of 10/2023) per year per graduate student to support travel to present at conferences.

Also available are the GSA Travel Awards Program (GTAP) and the Graduate Student Travel Award (GSTA).


  • Email the department chair with conference information to request travel support, at least a month prior to the conference date.
  • If approved, contact the PBC Finance Coordinator, Jennifer Collier as soon as possible.

Graduate Minors

A minor for the master's degree in philosophy requires at least 9 credit hours in Philosophy Courses (800 or 900 level).

A minor for the doctoral degree in philosophy requires at least 15 credit hours with 6 hours in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level).


Admissions Chair
Reina Hayaki
315G Louise Pound Hall

Graduate Chair
John Brunero
315L Louise Pound Hall

Graduate Advisor
Joe Mendola
315K Louise Pound Hall

Placement Director
Colin McLear
315P Louise Pound Hall