Applying to Social Thought

Since students in the Committee have unusual scope for independent study, successful work in Social Thought requires mature judgment and individual initiative.  Naturally, the Committee wishes to be reasonably confident of an entering student's ability to make the most of the opportunities the Committee offers and to complete the program of study. 

Hence, we request that the candidate statement required by the University application should take the form of a letter to the Committee which addresses the following questions:  What intellectual interests, concerns, and aspirations lead you to undertake further study and why do you want to pursue them with the Committee? What kind of work do you propose to do here?  If you can, include your intentions for the Fundamentals requirement, further language study, and dissertation research.  How has your education to date prepared you? 

In addition, you should include a writing sample of no more than 5,000 words excluding footnotes or bibliography, of your best academic work;  preferably relevant to the kind of work you propose to do at the Committee, though you may also include a short sample of fiction or poetry in addition.  Should we consider the evidence submitted to be insufficient, we may ask you to supplement. 

Detailed information regarding application requirements and procedures can be found on the Social Sciences Division website. The GRE General Test is recommended, but not required, of applicants.  

In any given year, the Committee will receive 100 to 125 applications.  Approximately five students will be offered admission with an award of full tuition plus a stipend.  Full details of all awards are provided in the Division of Social Science Announcements.

The deadline for applications is December 15.  Prospective doctoral students should apply on-line at  Questions regarding the on-line application should be directed to

For further information about the Committee contact Megan Swartz at


Prospective student visit week will be held on campus in March 2023. If you have any questions, please email Megan Swartz at

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