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Application Info and Deadlines

New students are offered admission into the graduate program beginning fall term only, and all applications must be complete by January 7, 2019

The application process for the graduate program in Comparative Literature is administered by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. You should consult Rackham’s website for Rackham-specific admissions requirements. Once your application is submitted, our department will have access to view and print your materials for review by the Admissions Committee.

The Department does not require a separate application for fellowships administered by the Department.  However, other forms of aid — other fellowships, work/study, and student loans — will require separate applications and other financial statements. Consult the web pages of the Office of Financial Aid.

You must submit the application and all other required materials (including transcripts) by January 7 to be considered for admission to the graduate program for the following academic year. Incomplete and late applications will be considered whenever possible, but in most years decisions are made shortly after the deadline. The Department admits new graduate students for entrance only in September. All decisions are made by March 15 and you will be able to see online that decisions have been made. Admitted and wait-listed students will be contacted directly via phone or email. All others will receive notification via email.

To apply to the Ph.D. program, please fill out an application online. Whatever you submit online will then be available to both the Department and the Rackham Admissions Office and so will not have to be submitted by mail (with the exception of one set of official transcripts which must be sent to Rackham, please see item #7 under Application Requirements, below).

Rackham program codes for Comparative Literature:
Ph.D. program: 00140

Application Requirements

The following materials are required for consideration to the Ph.D. program. You should submit all materials by uploading them into your online application. All materials are due on January 7.

  1. Completed Rackham application
  2. Three letters of recommendation.  Please make sure that you register three recommenders when you fill out the online application even if you don’t yet know who the third will be.  If you only enter one or two and click submit you will be unable to go in the ApplyWeb system and enter a third later.  We recommend that you enter a placeholder name which you will be able to go in and change in ApplyWeb under Review Your Activity.  
  3. Statement of Purpose - The statement should be about 500 words long and tell about the applicant's academic experience to date, his or her reasons for wanting to do graduate work in Comparative Literature at Michigan, and his or her eventual career expectations. This statement should include an indication of the fields to be studied, e.g., major field: French; minor field: Women's Studies. Upload at the Statement of Purpose page.
  4. Personal Statement - Please use this statement to help us understand how you have come to be interested in Comparative Literature, what special challenges you might have faced, what relevant experiences you might have had, and what aspirations you have for the future. Upload at the Personal Statement page.
  5. Resume or CV. Upload at the Resume or CV page.
  6. Two essays (e.g. papers written for courses), one in English and one in another language. Upload at the Writing Sample page.
  7. Transcripts – Please scan your official or unofficial transcripts and upload them with your online application.  This will be sufficient for the Department’s admissions file and is our preferred method of receiving your transcripts. Please include transcripts from institutions from which you received a degree or from which you took courses relevant to your application.
    In addition to uploading your transcript to the online application, all applicants are required to mail one set of official academic records/transcripts from the institution awarding a Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional and/or Doctoral degree to the Rackham Graduate School. If you attended a non-U.S. institution submit this form with the academic records/transcripts
  8. GRE scores (University of Michigan reporting code is 1839).  These are sent electronically to the University by ETS.  Please take your GRE exam BEFORE applying for admission. 

Please note that you are responsible for the submission of a complete application.  You will be able to keep track of which materials for your application have arrived and which ones are still outstanding by consulting your Web Application Status page, to which you will have access once Rackham has received your application and application fee.

International Students Only

If you received a degree from a non-US institution, be prepared to send:

  • Transcripts/official records from each undergraduate or postgraduate institution attended;
  • Official certification of degrees and dates awarded, issued in the original language.

If your first language is not English, please send one of these scores:


Please consult the Instructions for First Time Enrollee Applicants Whose Native Language Is Not English