Materials - Details

Materials - Details

All programs require the following materials:

Writing Sample

*See the Special Instructions for applicants to Germanic Studies, Music, Romance Languages & Literatures, Visual Arts, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, and Master of Arts in Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History.

The writing sample should be 15-20 pages long, double-spaced. The writing sample is intended to demonstrate your ability to engage in critical academic writing. Ideally it should involve interacting with both primary and secondary sources. It does not need to be specifically about any desired future research topic, but it should fall within your proposed program’s field of study. Most applicants use a course paper from previous study (modified as necessary to meet the length requirements), though some submit new works if they do not feel they have a suitable paper. Other applicants submit an excerpt from a longer work, such as an undergraduate or master’s thesis. If you do submit an excerpt you should include a one-page summary of the whole to provide some context.

Statement of Purpose

*Applicants to Visual Arts, see the Special Instructions.

We recommend that the statement of purpose be 1-2 pages long, single-spaced. Some departments have guidelines for statements of purpose, so be sure to check the appropriate department website.

3 Letters of Recommendation

We recommend that you give recommenders adequate time to write supporting letters in order to ensure that your application is complete by the deadline. It is recommended that your letters be written by a professor from the institution where you got your degree, who knows you well or at least has evaluated you academically in some capacity. Someone with an advanced degree who has supervised you at a job or internship in your prospective field of study could also be appropriate. It is best if all three letters are from people who fit these descriptions, but if you are unable to find three such recommenders, it is acceptable to seek letters from other people. 


A transcript should be submitted for each degree you hold showing details of all coursework and grades.  If one of your previous institutions does not use a grading system it is not necessary that your transcript or marksheet contain grades or GPA, as long as it is validated by a school administrative officer, such as the registrar, and specifically states your degree and graduation date. If your school does not provide grades or an overall GPA, you should also ask your references to comment in more detail on your academic performance in their courses and, if relevant, grades you received on papers or presentations. If you are still completing your degree, you need only submit your transcript showing your coursework to date.

For the application you are not required to submit official copies of your transcripts. Scans of official transcripts or downloaded transcripts, whether official or unofficial, should be uploaded to the online application. If you receive and accept an offer of admission you will be required to provide official, final transcripts for your previous degrees.

Credentials written in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official translation. This should be prepared or verified by someone whose position requires knowledge of both English and the other language (e.g., a professor of English at a French university). Translations must bear the signature and stamp of the translator. Please include the original transcript along with the translations.

GRE test scores

*Applicants to Visual Arts, see the Special Instructions.

GRE test scores must be from within the preceding 5 years. The ETS institution code for submitting GRE scores is 1832. We do not use department codes so you may enter any department code you wish.

TOEFL or IELTS test scores

If you are an international applicant and need to meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement, your TOEFL or IELTS scores must be from the previous two years. The ETS institution code for submitting TOEFL scores is 1832. We do not use department codes so you may enter any department code you wish.

Application fee

The application fee is $90. 

Fee waivers are available for applicants for whom paying it would present financial hardship, as well as applicants who are working for the Peace Corps or Teach for America, active duty military and veterans, and alumni of a variety of academic preparatory and service programs detailed in the fee waiver form. The form is accessed through the instructions page of the online application. Please submit the fee waiver form before your application deadline, and do not pay the fee when you submit your application if you have requested a waiver. Requesting a fee waiver will not disadvantage your application in any way.


December 15, 2019
All PhD programs, MFA in Visual Arts

January 6, 2020 (Round 1)
MA program in Middle Eastern Studies, MA program in Digital Studies, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH), MA program in Latin American Studies

April 30, 2020 (Round 2)
MA program in Middle Eastern Studies, MA program in Digital Studies, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH), MA program in Latin American Studies

The 2020 application will become available in mid-September. Return to this site at that time for a link to the online application.

Contact Us

Office of the Dean of Students