Apply to our M.A.program online at Cal State Apply

We are excited that our entire M.A. Program application now happens through SF State's new system:  Cal State Apply.

Please complete all four quadrants of the application (Quadrants I – III cover general academic history and information. Quadrant IV, "Program Materials," covers our Philosophy-specific questions).

In submitting the Department of Philosophy's portion of your application, you will be required to provide the following materials:

  • A brief description of your teaching experience (if you have any). (Note that teaching experience does not have any impact on admission into the M.A. program).
  • Unofficial transcripts, which you will upload.
  • A short statement answering at least one of the following questions:
    1. Briefly describe the areas of philosophy, philosophical problems and/or philosophers you wish to study.
    2. Briefly discuss your interest in one area of philosophy, philosophical problem or philosopher you have enjoyed studying.
  • Attach a 7-10 page writing sample representative of your academic work, preferably in philosophy, though it can be from any discipline.
  • Prerequisite grid.

It is also recommended, but not required, that you submit two letters of recommendation. It is preferable that at least one letter should come from a college instructor familiar with your academic abilities and your potential for success in graduate study. Letters should be uploaded using the online system provided by Cal State Apply. If there are any issues, the letters can be e-mailed directly to:

Professor Sowaal shares a brief video on applying to the program

Financing and Scholarships

In considering our program, please also be sure to review our "Financing Your Degree" webpage for funding ideas.

We offer two types of department scholarships annually:  our Philosophy Graduate Student Tuition Scholarships and the Zarri Scholarship.

For out-of-state students, SF State also offers the competitive Provost Scholarship, which awards in-state tuition to a number of non-resident students annually. Decisions are made by the university early each Spring, so it is important to apply to our M.A. program early if you hope to be competitive for this scholarship. 

Additionally, we are proud to offer a large Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) program, in which qualified graduate students are paid a salary to teach Critical Thinking (Phil 110) courses to university freshmen. While teaching, GTAs also register for a three-unit mentoring and support class.

Finally, SF State Graduate Studies offers further resources and ideas for financing your education.

Note: the GRE is not required for admission to our program. 


The application deadline for Fall 2021 is June 1, 2021. (revised 6/7/2021). The application window for Spring 2022 will start August 1 and will remain open until at least December 10, 2021.