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I've found that I'm really interested in some research in the philosophy of mathematics and physics that's currently happening at various institutions. However, I don't have much experience in philosophy. I've read some programs have integrated M.A.'s with their PhD's. One such example is UCSB, which also happens to have a faculty member publishing in an area of interest. I've also heard that some programs will allow you to take undergraduate courses if your advisor deems it helpful.

I have pretty good grades (3.7) and a very strong GRE. I have a double major in mathematics and physics, but basically no coursework in philosophy. I also have two years of research experience in quantum field theory (some of the philosophy I would like to work on). I also have coursework in logic. Do I have any chance of getting into a program anywhere? What are some things I should study to be more prepared? Do graduate programs care about "self-taught" philosophy? I can take the time between now and the next round to work on research and make a strong writing sample I suppose.

Also, I wouldn't be able to get any real recommendations from a philosophy professor, since I only took an intro philosophy class as an undergrad.

Is there any hope for me? I wouldn't really consider doing an unpaid masters program at this point, if I go to graduate school I would need a stipend.

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    Here's some excellent advice about applying to philosophy PhD by Richard Heck at Brown University: brown.edu/academics/philosophy/application-advice – Eliran Feb 13 at 2:11
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    Jumping from math/physics to philosophy is quite common, in fact, some professors will appreciate your knowledge in these fields more than a education in philosophy. The other way around is far more difficult, but everything seems to be possible, if the driving force is large enough (think about E. Witten, who somehow managed to jump from history to applied math, then physics. I also remember vaguely an anecdote of a famous philosophy professor who did not have a bachelor degree(?)). Other than that, this is pretty much off-topic here, you should ask on Academia SE. And good luck on your way! – Jishin Noben Feb 13 at 2:14
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    History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) PhD programs are often open to applicants who don't have a previous degree in philosophy. Once you've identified some potential programs, email the director of graduate studies and ask if they might consider your applicant and whether any current students also entered without a previous degree in philosophy. In the US, some notable HPS programs include Notre Dame, University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University, UC San Diego, and UC Irvine. – Dan Hicks Feb 13 at 4:06
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    @Cuhrazatee I see you didn't have much luck "over there" in Academia. And, sorry, I can't offer much help here, either. But I'm curious re your remark, "...some research in the philosophy of mathematics and physics that's currently happening at various institutions". Exactly (or just in more detail) what research are you talking about? Got some cites? Thanks. – John Forkosh Feb 13 at 9:14
  • @JohnForkosh, yeah, so I already mentioned a new professor at UCSB doing some really interesting research (thomaswilliambarrett.com/papers). There is also a (very distinguished) professor at UCSD doing some stuff that I would enjoy working on. I also thought this program at Columbia was cool, philosophy.columbia.edu/content/…. But I'm also aware of how difficult it is to get in there. – Cuhrazatee Feb 13 at 13:50

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