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Application Checklist

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instructions
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Applications for admission to the PhD programs in Comparative Literature (CL) and in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society (CSDS) are processed through the University of Minnesota's ApplyYourself online application system. Admission is granted by the programs in either CL or CSDS.

Application Materials and Process

The materials you submit when you apply to graduate school begin a conversation between you and the faculty and community you wish to join. In that conversation, you show us how you work with ideas, frame them, and relate them to recognizable strains of thought in various disciplines.

You should show us why the particular sites, texts, data, archives, and so on you intend to engage in your graduate work interest you. You should explain why the University of Minnesota's program is a good choice for you. You should offer us samples of your writing and solicit support from people with whom you've worked and who know you well. You must also reveal some of your personal story, showing us what led you to the concerns and interests you bring to your work. Every case is different. But in general, you're demonstrating the significance of the work you do and propose, and a good fit between you, your work, the intellectual and practical life you've led, and the sort of work we do here.

The application deadline for entrance in fall 2017 is December 9, 2016.

What to Submit

Application for Admission

You will complete your application online via the ApplyYourself system. Please enter your self-reported Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and, where applicable, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) scores. Please also submit official scores as described below:

  • GRE scores (general tests only)
    We require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores for all applicants, including international applicants. Official GRE scores, no more than 5 years old, must be submitted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) directly to ApplyYourself. Please enter the University of Minnesota institutional code, 6874, in ApplyYourself; doing so will ensure that official scores are routed to us with your application. Leave the department code blank. Please do not send paper copies (official score reports or photocopies) directly to the department.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB scores
    For applicants whose native language is not English, we require official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). Scores must be submitted directly to ApplyYourself by TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB. The University of Minnesota's institutional code for reporting TOEFL scores is 6874. No institutional code is required for IELTS or MELAB. For detailed instructions on submission of official scores and on requests for exemption (where applicable) from the English-language testing requirement, please see the University of Minnesota Graduate Admissions.

Documents to Upload

  • A Statement of Background and Purpose
    About 1-4 pages (single-spaced) addressing both your scholarly and personal experience and proposed course of study.
  • A Statement of Language Skills and Experience
    While not every applicant enters graduate work with significant language skills, most do. Language ability is more critical, of course, for Comparative Literature study, but significant in general. Outline your language and cultural experience in a statement of one page.
  • A Writing Sample
    One or more papers that best represent your interests or work, totaling no more than 20 to 30 pages. If you submit a longer sample, please identify the specific 20 to 30 pages you wish the Graduate Admissions Committee to read and provide a brief introductory paragraph explaining what each part represents. Applicants who wish to submit a writing sample in a language other than English should contact csclgrad@umn.edu for information on accepted languages (usually those that at least one member of our faculty can read fluently in the original).
  • Transcripts from all previous colleges attended
    Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded to ApplyYourself under "Educational Background". Should you be offered admission, Graduate Admissions will then solicit official transcripts.

Letters of Recommendation

Three, from people who know your work and can write in detail about you, what you've done, and what you propose to study. Letters should be submitted directly online, via ApplyYourself; list your references in the application and provide an e-mail address where each can be contacted. The ApplyYourself online system will contact them and instruct them on how to submit their letters.

Please contact us at csclgrad@umn.edu with questions. Additional application instructions are available through the Graduate School.