Students Who’ve Taken Time Off and Older Applicants to Grad Programs

A reader of Daily Nous writes in with a question about admission into graduate programs in philosophy:

I graduated a couple of years ago and the state of the profession kept me from going for a Phd. I went abroad and taught English, partly to pay off some of my student loans, but also to see how I would feel about philosophy in the mean time. Well, I still find that I am constantly thinking philosophical questions, going back to old ones, and still discovering new ones. In any case, philosophy is still my main passion, but I am unsure of how admissions will look at someone who took a break, as it were. I wonder, also, if my age will affect my chances (I’m 26). Would it be possible to get comments on this?

Readers, especially those with experience on graduate admissions committees, please let us know what you think. Is taking five or so years off between undergraduate and graduate studies a negative? And in your experience, does age affect one’s admissions chances? (The person with the question is only 26, but I would imagine that much older potential applicants are curious about this, too.)

Thank you.

Eric Roux-Fontaine, "An Ordinary Man"

Eric Roux-Fontaine, “An Ordinary Man”

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