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Application Materials Checklist

Applicants must submit the following documents to be considered for admission to graduate study at the University of Michigan’s Department of History. All materials should be uploaded to the online application. *All materials (including transcripts and credentials) submitted for admission consideration become the property of the University of Michigan and will not be returned in original or copy form.*

  1. University of Michigan Web-based Graduate Application — The online application is available via the admissions section of the Rackham Graduate School website. Once you register as a prospective graduate student with Rackham, you will be directed to the U-M application on CollegeNET's website. Don't be daunted by the length of the application! You can save and re-visit your entries at any time before submittal or until the application closes on Dec.1 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. Moreover, if you apply to other programs that use CollegeNET, common data will travel automatically from form to form. Your application will be considered official once you submit it and pay the application fee. (For information about fee waivers, please consult Rackham's admissions site.)

  2. Academic Statement of Purpose — This is the single most important item in your application. The department needs a clear idea of your intellectual interests. Be as precise as possible in describing your research interests including area, period, topic or approach, as well as the intellectual issues and historical subjects to be explored at the University of Michigan. Brief background information may also be included.  There is no specific page limit, but most applicants provide a 2-3 page essay, double spaced.

  3. Academic Statement Supplemental Information — This form, which is part of the online application, outlines your specific research interests, encapsulating the information provided in more detail in your Academic Statement of Purpose, and indicates which faculty you are interested in working with. We strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the teaching and research interests of our regular faculty and list the faculty members with whom you would like to work. (Important: emeritus faculty and faculty with courtesy appointments typically do not read files nor do they recruit students.) The information you provide allows the appropriate History faculty to review your application and make admissions recommendations. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact individual faculty members directly to explore feasibility of topics of interest.

  4. Personal Statement — Tell us about yourself. How have your background and life experiences—including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges—motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For instance, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. (Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose). This section of your application has a 500 word limit.

  5. Writing Sample — Please provide a research paper that demonstrates your research interests and academic capabilities, a term paper (ideally, but not necessarily, from a history class) or an excerpt from a thesis. Writing samples should not be more than 35 double-spaced pages of text, not counting bibliography. The online application can accept a writing sample upload of up to 5 MB in size. If your document won’t fit, that is an indication that you are sending more material than the program is prepared to review. In that case, please adjust the volume accordingly.

  6. Three letters of recommendation — Your admissions file requires three letters which evaluate your past academic performance and potential for graduate study. Please register your recommenders during the online application process in order to allow them to submit their letters online. This step can be finished before the application is submitted. Online letter submissions permit you to personally monitor the receipt of the letters, making it possible to remind individuals about missing letters as the deadline approaches, or to substitute letter writers as necessary. We only accept letters submitted through the online system.

  7. Official Transcripts — Rackham requires official transcripts from all institutions from which you have earned or will earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree. Please follow Rackham’s expectations about transcripts here:

  8. Proof of English Proficiency (International students only) — Unless exempted, international students must submit proof of English language proficiency (please see additional information listed here). International students who qualify for an exemption of this requirement must instead take the GRE.

  9.  CV or Résumé — List colleges and universities you have attended plus teaching experience, research, special programs, honors and awards, publications, and any other information you feel is applicable.