Graduate Admissions FAQ

Graduate Admissions FAQs

Q: Do you admit students for a terminal M.S. degree?

A: No, we do not. We only accept students for our Ph.D. program. The only exception to this rule is if a student is fully supported through an external fellowship or grant. In those cases, and only in those cases, we will consider applications for the M.S. program.

Q: Are there any other exceptions for M.S. admissions?

A: No, there are not.

Q: Do I need to have an M.S. degree to apply to your Ph.D. program?

A: Absolutely not! Some of our students begin with M.S. degrees from other programs, but the majority of our incoming Ph.D. students only have undergraduate degrees.

Q: When can I apply for the Ph.D. program?

A: Applications for Fall semesters typically open during the second week of September – that is, approximately one year before the semester starts. The application deadline for the Fall semester of each year is February 1st for international students and June 1st for students with degrees from U.S. institutions. Please note that we will NOT be admitting any students for the Spring 2025 semester. We admit students on a rolling basis, so applications well in advance of those deadlines are strongly encouraged. For fall admissions, we typically begin reviewing applications in early December.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the application deadlines?

A: No, there are not.

Q: What is the application fee?

A: The application fee is $103. Please reach out to us if you need financial assistance, and we may be able to provide a fee waiver for applications to our Ph.D. program. We cannot provide any fee waivers for the M.S. program.

Q: Do you require the GRE?

A: No, we do not. You are of course welcome to submit GRE scores if you have them, but we do not require the exam for any applicant.

Q: Do you require an English proficiency exam for international applicants?

A: We require a TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo exam for all students from non-Anglophone countries. That means that if English is not one of the official languages of your country of citizenship, you must submit scores from one of those exams. You can find the minimum scores for these exams, which are set by the Graduate School, at this link. If you need financial assistance to pay for an exam, please let us know.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the English proficiency exam requirement? Is a certification of English as the medium of instruction for my undergraduate degree sufficient?

A: No, there are no exceptions, and certification of medium of instruction is not sufficient. The only international students who are not required to submit exam scores are those from Anglophone countries. If you need financial assistance to pay for an exam, please let us know.

Q: Do I need to have a faculty member in your department agree to be my advisor before I can apply?

A: No, not at all. In fact, students rarely settle on a research group before they arrive. You will have most of your first semester to meet with faculty and visit labs before you must join a group. However, you are welcome to reach out to faculty at any time to discuss their research.

Q: Will I be supported through an assistantship? Do I need to look for external support?

A: All our full-time graduate students are guaranteed year-round support in the form of teaching and/or research assistantships for at least five years. These assistantships pay tuition, health insurance, and a stipend or living expenses. For international students, the stipends are sufficient to obtain a visa for study in the United States. The only situation in which you would need to find external support is if you wish to pursue a terminal M.S. degree. You are of course always welcome to pursue external support if you wish.

Q: Is there a minimum undergraduate GPA for admission to your program?

A: Yes, a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 (or equivalent) is required to apply to our program. Please do not submit at application if your GPA is lower than 3.0/4.0.

Q: Are there exceptions to the minimum GPA requirement?

A: No, there are no exceptions. Please do not submit at application if your GPA is lower than 3.0/4.0.

Q: Do you require third-party credential evaluation for international transcripts (for example, through WES)?

A: No, we do not. However, if your transcripts have not been evaluated, it is helpful to us if you provide as much information as possible about your undergraduate degree program and grading system.

Q: Do I need to submit an official undergraduate transcript (or transcripts) when submitting my application?

A: No, you can upload unofficial transcripts. However, if you are admitted to our program and you decide to accept our offer, you must provide official transcripts to the Graduate School before you can matriculate.

Q: I filled out the pre-application form but haven’t received a response. What should I do?

A: We respond to all inquiries via the pre-application form within 48 hours. If you haven’t seen a response within that time, please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find a response, please directly contact the Chair of the Graduate Recruitment Committee, Prof. Dugan Hayes, at

Q: Who should I contact if I still have other questions?

A: Please contact the Chair of the Graduate Recruitment Committee, Prof. Dugan Hayes, at