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Application Procedures

NOTE: Staff will be out of the office in celebration of Thanksgiving from Wednesday, November 22 at 2:00PM to Monday, November 27 at 8:00AM. The Graduate Services inbox ( will not be monitored during that time so make sure to submit questions regarding your application by then.

Applications to our graduate program are accepted beginning in September of the previous year for which you are applying. All materials must be submitted by November 26, including Letters of Recommendation. Applications without all components received by November 26 will be considered incomplete.

When applying to the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, the following materials will be required and must be submitted electronically to the Rackham Graduate School:


Students can apply to our graduate program online via CollegeNet. To access the CollegeNet application please go to the Rackham Graduate School website. All materials must be submitted electronically online, except for official transcripts which should be mailed to Rackham. Other mailed in materials will not be considered.

We encourage all applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to apply for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) academic year fellowship when they apply to the graduate program. FLAS fellowships extend the time for our students to complete coursework and research for the doctorate. 

Academic Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose is the single most important item in your application. The purpose of this essay is to give the faculty a clear idea of a) why you want to pursue a degree in Asian Languages and Cultures; b) what questions or problems interest you; c) how you want to address these questions; d) why you want to pursue your graduate degree at the University of Michigan. This statement should be about 800 words long and double-spaced.

Personal Statement

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 example, 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.  This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose. The personal statement should be around 800-words double-spaced.

At least one writing sample in English

This should be a good representation of your academic work, between 10-30 pages long. Most applicants submit a term paper on the subject in which they are applying to do graduate work.

Three letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for a complete application. Recommenders are required to submit their recommendations electronically through the Rackham online application. Recommenders should also complete the Rackham Letter of Recommendation Cover Sheet, and will be automatically prompted to do so when submitting a letter through the online portal. 

For non-native English speakers: Proof of English Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit proof of English proficiency that meets Rackham Graduate School's requirements for admission. For more information on Rackham Graduate School's English proficiency requirements, please visit:

Application Fee

Some applicants may qualify for an application fee waiver. For additional information about the application fee, and fee waiver eligibility, please visit Rackham Graduate School’s website. Please contact if you have questions regarding this. 


If you have questions regarding the application process or the graduate program in Asian Languages and Cultures, please email

Note: Applicants to this program are not required to submit GRE scores. GRE scores that are submitted will not be reviewed by the admissions committee.