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How to Apply

Graduate Application Procedures


Thank you for your interest in the Ph.D Program in Slavic Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. Applicants are expected to meet two sets of requirements for admission: those of the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures and of the Rackham Graduate School. Applications are due by January 7th for the subsequent fall term.

Rackham Requirements:

  • All applicants must have a U.S. bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. Applicants are required to provide an official score report from either the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS), or the Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE).

Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures Requirements:

  • We encourage applicants who are native speakers of English to take GRE; however, this is not a requirement. 
  • The TOEFL is required for non-native English speakers. International students who have obtained a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English are exempt from the TOEFL.
  • Three letters of recommendation which evaluate the applicant’s past academic performance and potential for graduate study.
  • A statement of purpose (written in English) - this is the 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 career in Slavic Studies;

b) what questions or problems interest you;

c) how you want to address these questions;

d) your interdisciplinary interest(s), if applicable; and

e) why you want to pursue your graduate degree at the University of Michigan.

This statement should be about two pages long (this statement is separate from the Rackham "Personal Statement" requirement).

  • A writing sample (10-20 pages, double spaced), ideally an interpretive/analytical essay in English or a Slavic language which can provide evidence of creative and critical thinking, quality of writing, and research potential. 
  • PLEASE NOTE: A scanned/electronic copy of your official transcript will be used for initial review by our admissions committee. You will be required to have your official transcript sent to the Rackham Graduate School only if you are recommended for admission. You should report your Grade Point Average (GPA) on page 5 of the online application. The GPA should be reported using a standard U.S. four point scale.  Those who attended an institution outside the United States should follow the instructions to convert your international average grade point to a U.S. four point GPA (see "How to Convert Grades to a U.S. GPA").


To apply to our program you will need to submit your application to the Rackham Graduate School. For your convenience, the Rackham Application Checklist will assist you in completing the steps in the application process. In addition to following the steps identified in the checklist, follow the instructions that appear throughout the application. Please note that there are differences in requirements for domestic and international applicants. Following the instructions will allow the processing of your application to be handled with minimal delays.

As well as applying through Rackham Graduate School, all U.S. citizens are required to apply for Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS) to be considered for admission. Application materials are available through the International Institute at

Application Fee Waivers

If you believe you qualify for an application fee waiver, send an email to providing proof and an explanation of your eligibility based on the following:

  1. You have a record of superior academic achievement;
  2. You are U.S. citizens or permanent residents; AND must meet one or more of the following:
    • Come from an educational, cultural or geographic background that is underrepresented in graduate study in your discipline in the United States or at the University of Michigan;
    • Have demonstrated a commitment to diversity in the academic, professional, or civic realm through their work experience, volunteer engagement, or leadership of student or community organizations. By diversity, we mean efforts to reduce social, educational or economic disparities based on race, ethnicity or gender, or to improve race relations in the U.S.;
    • Have experienced financial hardship as a result of family economic circumstances;
    • Are a first generation U.S. citizens or first generation in your family to graduate from a four‐ year college.

Please keep in mind that race, ethnicity, gender, or national origin may not be used as a criteria for requesting an application fee waiver.