Applications FAQ

FAQ about applications to the MA/PhD programs

  • Can I provide recommendation letters by three people?

Yes, but unless you have a very specific reason, two are absolutely sufficient.

  • Can I provide a recommendation letter by an employer?

Normally, academic references are the most useful for us, since they assess your ability as a student. Please make an effort to provide two letters by people who know you in an academic capacity. If all else fails, you can provide a letter by an employer, but its use will be limited for us.

  • Can I send a writing sample which is longer than the required length?

If your writing sample is longer than what we request, then we recommend that you rewrite it. If you send something longer, you need to indicate which portion of the text shall be taken into account. Faculty will then read only that part, in order to secure equal treatment of all applicants, i.e., that each applicant gets the same attention with respect to their writing samples. References do not count toward the word limit. 

  • Can I transfer credits from another university?

Credits which haven’t been used to earn a degree (e.g., if your studies were interrupted and you didn’t complete a program) can be submitted for transfer, subject to approval by CEU.

  •  Can I get an exemption from the 30.00 EUR application fee?


  • Do you have a sample statement of purpose? 

No. We think that a generic sample of such a statement is not helpful; after all, the statement of purpose is an opportunity for us to get to know you as an individual. We recommend that you simply tell us who you are and why you want to join us (for example, your main interests in philosophy, the topics you would particularly like to study while pursuing a degree at CEU, and your general purpose in acquiring a philosophy degree).  

FAQ about applications to the MA programs

  • Can I apply to the MA program if I don’t have a previous degree in philosophy?

Yes, our MA students had BA degrees in a whole range of other subjects – for example, business administration, engineering or law. However, we expect some background in philosophy, so you cannot start entirely from scratch. At a minimum, your writing sample should be on philosophy. Ideally, you would have also taken some courses in philosophy at a university level.

  • Can I apply to the MA program if I already have an MA / an MA in philosophy?

Yes. However, in case of a previous MA in philosophy, you need to give a good reason why you should earn another MA. E.g., if the orientation of your previous MA was very different from CEUs, or similar reason. 

  • How shall I decide whether the one-year or two-year MA program suits me best? 

Our one-year MA is intended primarily for students who have studied in a four-year BA program, and the two-year program is for students who studied in a three-year BA program. If in doubt, you can apply for both programs (and need to pay the application fee only once).

  • Can I send a writing sample that's not on philosophy?

Better not. The writing sample needs to allow us to assess whether your skills make you a good candidate for either the one-year or the two-year program in philosophy. The more it is strictly speaking philosophical (in the sense of dealing with a philosopher’s claims or having a narrowly conceived philosophical topic), the better.  

  • Is there any opportunity for the students to get part time employment at the university to be able to cover the remaining costs of their studies?

There are only limited part-time job opportunities at CEU, and these are very competitive. Usually, these are ad-hoc positions, and students should not plan to rely on these. We recommend seeking external-to-CEU scholarship opportunities that might be available in your home country. MA students can work only with the permission of the Head of the Department and only in case the workload is not in conflict with their academic requirements. The legally determined working hours for students are less than 20 hours per week.

  • How many students are admitted yearly to the MA programs?
We aim to admit a total of 20-25 students to the two MA programs (1 and 2-year)


FAQ about applications to the PhD programs

  • Is it advisable to contact faculty in advance and ask if they were willing to supervise me?

There is no need for this. Supervision is distributed among faculty members every academic year on the basis of availability and match of interest. Faculty members will normally not be able to tell whether they can supervise a student next academic year – this will all depend on the other students and the other faculty. Feel free to send an inquiry about the program to the PhD director, or indeed any faculty member, in case you have any questions! But having made a contact with a faculty member will not increase your chances of being accepted to the program. 

  • How many students are admitted yearly to the PhD program?
We normally admit 5 students every year to the PhD program.