Information for Applicants

Application Instructions and Information
The application deadline for priority consideration is January 31st. We will make decisions on a rolling basis thereafter. We generally offer 6-8 Graduate Assistantships for PhD candidates. These competitive awards provide a stipend and subsidized health insurance. Applicants who receive this funding serve twenty hours per week as a graduate assistant, generally with one member of our faculty. PhD applicants seeking an assistantship should apply by January 31st. All admitted candidates are expected to begin their plan of study in the fall semester.

An application must have each of the following in order to be considered:

  • A cover letter: please introduce yourself. This is a good place to let us know what your intended field/s of study is/are, whether there is a faculty person in our program with whom you are interested in working (this is not required), and introduce the documents in your application. Is your writing sample from a specific course or research project? What should we know about your course work to date, if anything? Have you included additional documents? If so, what are they? (This again is not required. But if you choose to submit extra documents, you should let us know what they are and why they are important to our evaluation of your application). What makes you an excellent candidate for our graduate program?
  • A Statement of Purpose: Please submit a 2-3 page summary of your academic interests and professional goals. We understand and expect that these will evolve over time; but we are interested in learning why you are pursuing graduate school, what you hope to achieve as a member of our program, and what you intend to do with your degree.
  • Official academic transcripts: You must include transcripts from all schools attended for 8 semester hours or more. Applicants should have a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale. We do not require a specific undergraduate major for application.
  • GRE scores: In order to be considered for admission you must take the GRE. Applicants should have a combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of above 300. GRE scores may be submitted after the application deadline, however the application will not be considered until complete.
  • A writing sample:  Your writing sample should exemplify your ability to research and write, and your potential to do so at the graduate level. 
  • Three letters of recommendation: It is best if your letter writers can speak directly to your academic and scholarly abilities and potential.
  • For international applicants: Proof of English proficiency is required. The minimum recommended TOEFL score is 79 on the internet exam, or 550 on the paper exam. There are exceptions to the exam requirement, which are listed at Office of Global Education's website.

Application materials can be submitted in one of three ways:

  1. emailed to,
  2. submitted electronically through the KSU Graduate Studies web site, OR
  3. mailed directly to our Graduate Studies office:
P.O. BOX 5190
KENT, OHIO 44242-0001


To begin the process of applying to the MA or PhD programs, domestic students should visit the Graduate Studies application page. International students should begin the process on the International Graduate Application page.