Admissions FAQs

International applicants must submit their applications by December 1. U.S. applicants have until January 15.

All applications must be submitted according to the established deadlines. In special circumstances it may be possible to defer admission if you have been accepted, but normally admission is granted only for entrance at the beginning of the Fall semester.

Applications should be submitted online. A complete application requires original copies of your college transcripts, three letters of reference, GRE scores, your statement of purpose, and a writing sample.

If you are applying at the same time to another department or program at Indiana University, you will need to pay two application fees. If your second application is to a department within the College of Arts and Sciences, your second application fee will be refunded. If your second department is not within the College of Arts and Sciences, you will not receive a refund.

Learn about how to apply

Non-U.S. students should visit International Admissions for specific information about international applications. International students whose native language is not English are required to submit evidence of English proficiency to the department by January 15 at the latest.

We recognize TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. Other means of demonstrating English proficiency may be acceptable, but must be arranged with the director of graduate studies well in advance of the deadline. International students must send all supporting documentation to International Admissions by December 1 at this address:

Office of International ServicesIndiana University
Ferguson International Center
330 North Eagleson AvenueBloomington, IN 47405


A complete application requires original copies of your college transcripts, three letters of reference, GRE and TOEFL scores, statement of purpose and a writing sample.

Applicants to this department have a wide variety of academic backgrounds. A major in the field is neither required nor expected. We welcome inquiries and applications from all people with at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) who are interested in pursuing graduate studies in history and philosophy of science.

In judging applications for admission and financial aid, we are primarily concerned with general intellectual ability, together with interest and commitment to history and philosophy of science as a field of study. Admission to the department’s programs (M.A. and Ph.D.) is based in part on the applicant’s past academic achievements. Equally important from our point of view is an applicant’s ability to master the basic principles of the discipline and their sincere interest in entering into the fellowship of scholarly endeavor.

Although GRE scores are taken into account when determining admissions, they are not the only factor, or even the most important one. While we can’t reveal particular scores, students with combined verbal and quantitative scores of 1350 and above have generally been competitive.

When registering to take the GRE you should use 1324 as the Institution code and 2703 as the department code.

A B (3.0) average in the undergraduate major is required for admission to the University Graduate School. The College of Arts and Science requires a minimum of 3.0 in undergraduate studies, and 3.2 in previous graduate studies.

At the departmental level, it is difficult to give meaningful information about averages because many students finish their undergraduate studies much more strongly than they start. Therefore, we tend to look closely at performance in upper level courses that are relevant to the History of Science and Medicine. The interpretation of these requirements for foreign students is handled by the University Graduate School, which determines the equivalency of foreign degrees to U.S. degrees. This is one reason why it is necessary for international students to have an earlier application deadline.

The purpose of the writing sample is to convince us of your general intellectual ability, your interest and commitment to the history and philosophy of science as a field of study, and your ability to master the basic principles of the discipline. This can be accomplished in many ways, so there are no general requirements as to form, topic, or discipline. Because we are a small department admitting only a few students each year, we tend to look favorably on applicants who have done their homework concerning IU and can show or explain why IU is the right program for their particular interests.