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If the submission from an undergraduate is on the same level of other submissions from graduate students, then I don't see a reason for excluding such submissions. If the worry is that it is going to take space from a graduate student, then I think the quality of the submissions matter more than the student's level of education.

some kid

This is a bit like asking whether graduate students should be allow to submit papers to the "real" journals and conferences ... or whether they should be able to sit at the adults' table

Overseas Tenured

I agree with the previous comments. I personally participated in a few selective graduate conferences when I was an undergrad, and it never even occurred to me that I shouldn't apply. I figured that if they think my work isn't good enough, they don't have to accept it. I still think that.


Just to add to the previous comments, you presumably don't know what the student's background is. They could be a mature student who’s been studying philosophy outside of a university setting for a long time, or they could already have a postgraduate qualifications in another area and might be perusing philosophy as a second degree. In either case their contributions could easily be as strong or stronger than any of the other submissions.

UK Grad

Although I agree with previous commenters that in principle undergraduate students should be able to present at graduate students, I think it depends on your official policy. W

hen I organised a graduate conference, the policy - stated in the CFP - was that only students who at the time of the submission deadline were registered as graduate students would be considered. In hindsight, that was a little too selective, but once that policy was set it would have been wrong to then depart from it on a case-by-case basis.

We actually had the opposite 'problem': one submission from a graduate student in philosophy who had already completed a PhD in another field, with a publication record to match. Although we felt that this person didn't fit the type of not-yet-experienced grad student we intended to offer a platform to, at this stage it was impossible to exclude them.

Previous undergrad

When I was an undergrad, I did submit to grad conferences and normal conferences. I got accepted into both types. The conferences helped me make my papers better, and the papers were subsequently published (in normal peer-reviewed journals). Also, the conferences helped me to get connected to people and gain experiences which helped me to make better decisions related to grad school and pusuring academia.

That said, three considerations that may count against accepting an undergrad.
1. Your conference policy (as UK grad notes in the above comment).
2. It depends on what is submitted for the conference. If the conference only requires a short abstract, then I wouldn't even consider the undergrad because it isn't clear how good the undergrad would be. If a long abstract, or paper is required for submission, then I would consider the undergrad since there is enough info to assess the undergrad well.
3. In the case of a tie or close call, I would privillege the grad student. The grad student would probably benefit more (and benefit others more) from the conference.

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