Graduate Admissions

The annual application deadline for the Department Near Eastern Studies Graduate Program is December 15th. The Department of Near Eastern Studies does not offer rolling admissions and considers applicants for Fall enrollment only. For most efficient application handling, all materials should be submitted by December 1. Complete applications are reviewed once annually. Late applications will not be considered once the file review begins.

Application Procedures

A complete admissions application to the Department of Near Eastern Studies for either the MA or the PhD program must include the following materials:

Academic Statement of Purpose. The Statement of Purpose is the single most important item in the application. The purpose of this essay is to give the faculty a clear idea of a) why the applicant wants to pursue a career in Near Eastern Studies; b) what Near Eastern questions or problems interest the applicant; c) how the applicant wants to address these questions; d) why the applicant wants to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. The applicant's statement should be approximately 2 pages in length.

Academic Record. Unofficial transcripts submitted as an electronic upload (note: must be a pdf file) with the Rackham online application are acceptable for the purpose of the Departmental file review. If admitted to the graduate program, students must have an official set of final transcripts sent to the Department. An applicant for admission to the Department of Near Eastern Studies is expected to have at least a grade average of B+ in his/her undergraduate course work and some preparation in Near Eastern Studies. Although it is important, the academic record is not the exclusive criterion for admission and other factors in the applicant's academic record are taken into consideration, e.g., a trend towards better grades or outstanding work or experience in the applicant's area of academic interest.

Official Transcripts. Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions must also be submitted directly to the Rackham Graduate School at the following address. Transcripts should be mailed directly from the issuing institution

Rackham Graduate School
Attn: Transcripts/U-M ID# (if known) or Date of Birth
915 E Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Transcripts from Non-U.S. Institutions. A student must provide official documentation of all courses taken and grades received (transcripts/records) from each undergraduate or postgraduate institution attended. A student must also provide official certification of degrees and dates awarded, issued in English and the original language.

Test Scores. Test scores can only be judged in conjunction with the student's statement of purpose, academic record, experience and background.

English Proficiency
Applicants whose native language is not English must submit one of the following test scores:

  • Michigan English Proficiency Test (MELAB) 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Examination for the Certification of Proficiency in English (ECPE). Certificate of Proficiency required.

For information on minimum score requirements, please visit Rackham Graduate School. Scores that are older than two years will not be considered valid.

Writing Sample. Students should submit a writing sample that represents their best academic work. Typically, applicants choose a sample that shows their analytical and research skills in the subject in which they are applying to do graduate work. Samples should be edited to be about
10-15 pages long

Letters of Recommendation. Three letters of recommendation are required for a complete application. While the Department prefers letters from faculty or advisors who are familiar with the applicant's potential for graduate study, letters from employers are acceptable. Recommenders are encouraged to submit their recommendation electronically through the Rackham online application. Paper copies are also acceptable, and can be mailed directly to the Department in a sealed envelope with the signature of the referee across the seal.

All Applicants must also submit the following forms:
Rackham Online Application & Fee. Available online through the CollegeNet web site.

Curriculum Vitae/Resume (4 page limit). A recent CV/Resume should be uploaded with the Rackham online application. The CV/Resume should describe the applicants education, work experience, research and teaching experience, professional affiliations, volunteer activity and community engagement, honors and awards.

Personal Statement (1 page limit). This statement should be uploaded with the Rackham online application and should address the following: how have background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated the applicant to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan?


Please visit Rackham Graduate School for more information on graduate admissions.

Admissions Decisions
A short list of potential candidates for admission will be
invited to visit Ann Arbor March 9th-12th, 2016; admissions decisions will be communicated shortly afterward. Applicants will receive electronic notification via email. Office staff are not authorized to inform applicants of admission decisions over the phone. Applicants extended an offer of admission must communicate their decision to the Department and Rackham Graduate School by April 15th.