Graduate Studies at University of Waterloo

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Graduate Studies at University of Waterloo

Faculty:Faculty of Arts
Field of Study:Philosophy
Thesis Based:Yes
Cost per year:*
National: $9,000

This cost estimate represents the tuition for the first year.


Philosophy addresses some of the most fundamental and difficult questions there are, such as: What is the nature of the human mind? What makes knowledge trustworthy? What are the standards of good reasoning? What is a just society? What is the best way to live? Philosophy as an academic discipline attempts to answer these questions with a combination of creativity and analytical rigor.

Philosophers in our Department value engagement with scholars in other fields such as the natural and social sciences, history, mathematics, and engineering. We find these interactions generate novel perspectives on philosophical problems and enrich our contributions to philosophical debate.


These courses are intended as guidelines. Speak to your guidance counsellor to see what courses are offered at your school.
  • The average required for admission is 78%.
  • From normal undergraduate programs in Philosophy: the normal background for MA students is that provided by the four-year Honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) at the University of Waterloo.
  • International students with qualifications judged to be equivalent to a Canadian Honours BA in philosophy are normally admitted to full graduate student status, but may be required to take certain specific courses in order to rectify deficiencies in background, either as part of or in addition to their regular graduate program.
  • From a Canadian general BA or equivalent program: students admitted with the three-year Canadian general BA degree or its equivalent will be as qualifying students. A qualifying student is admitted to graduate status but not to a degree program. The qualifying year is a year of work approximately equivalent to the fourth year of an honours program. Students who do well during that year are eligible for admission to full degree status.
  • From undergraduate programs in fields other than Philosophy: students with some philosophy background but whose degree is in another field are encouraged to apply to the program; typically these students will be considered as "transitional students." Transitional students will normally be required to complete selected graduate or undergraduate courses, to be specified in writing at the time the student is recommended for admission, in addition to the usual requirements of the MA program. A transitional student is admitted directly into the MA program and is eligible for financial assistance.
  • From graduate programs: students who have completed a MA in Philosophy should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. Students who have completed other advanced degrees in Philosophy or who have already completed work at another PhD program may be given advanced status in the PhD program.
  • Application Notes :
  • Supplementary information form
  • Statements answering the questions below (at most 250 words for each answer):
  • Question 1: Please provide a brief statement of interest that outlines the areas of philosophy you hope to pursue in the program.
  • Question 2: Please explain why the University of Waterloo’s Department of Philosophy is a good place to pursue such a project, and why your background makes you well suited to pursue it successfully.
  • Transcript(s): At the time of applying, an unofficial transcript is fine; if and when a student is enrolled they will be asked to submit official copies.
  • Writing sample: A philosophy paper of around 2500 words is desirable; longer and shorter papers are acceptable too, but please don't send anything longer than 5,000 words.
  • 3References: academic
  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)
  • * We make every attempt to provide accurate information on prerequisites, programs, and tuition. However, this information is subject to change without notice and we highly recommend that you contact the school to confirm important information before applying.

    Modified on October 01, 2022