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Applicant Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to: Admission & Deadlines, Application Materials, About the Programs & Department, Graduate Assistantship

Admission & Deadlines

What are the M.A. admission requirements?

We expect all applicants to our M.A. program to have the equivalent of at least an undergraduate minor in history (24 semester hours).  We require all applicants to submit a statement of purpose (goal statement), GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, complete transcripts, and a writing sample demonstrating their ability to conduct original research in history.

Can I still apply to the M.A. program if I do not have 24 undergraduate hours in history?

Applicants who do not meet the 24 hour threshold must complete coursework as a post-undergraduate student to meet that minimum before their applications can be considered.

What are the Ph.D. admission requirements?

We expect all applicants to our Ph.D. program to hold an M.A. in history (preferably with a thesis) or a closely related discipline (and to have completed substantial M.A. coursework in history).  We require all applicants to submit a statement of purpose (goal statement), GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, complete transcripts, and a writing sample demonstrating their ability to conduct original research in history (such as a thesis chapter).

What sort of foreign language requirement is there?

M.A. students must demonstrate reading competency in a foreign language if their advisor determines it is necessary for their thesis work.  All Ph.D. students regardless of field of specialization must demonstrate reading competency in one foreign language.

What is the deadline for applying for admission?

We consider applications on a rolling basis within Kent State University’s recommendation that applications be completed no later than six weeks before the start of the term in which a student wishes to enroll.

Is it possible to commence graduate study in the spring semester?

We do allow mid-year starts, but because our core graduate courses in Methodology and Historiography are offered during the fall, students starting in the spring won’t have the benefit of those courses to apply to their other course work.  Doctoral students, who have normally completed these core courses as part of their M.A. programs, may start mid-year.

Application Materials


What should my statement of purpose (goal statement) contain?

A statement of purpose should indicate an applicant’s intended field of study, potential advisor or supervisor in the Department, and likely career plans.  Applicants are advised to be as specific as they can in describing their interests, though we do understand that specificity is not always possible, especially for M.A. applicants.

Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

Applicants should secure letters of recommendation from professors in history courses if at all possible, although letters from faculty in related disciplines are also acceptable.  Letters from coworkers, family friends, clergy, fellow parishioners, etc. are not considered appropriate.

Is there a special form for letters of recommendation?

Kent State University’s standard form for letters of recommendation may be found here: http://www.kent.edu/admissions/apply/graduate/upload/Graduate-Letter-of-Recommendation-Form.pdf.  Letters may be sent in hard copy to Office of Graduate Studies, 116 Cartwright Hall,
Kent State University, PO Box 5190, Kent OH 44242-0001 for domestic applicants or Office of International Affairs (OIA), Van Campen Hall, Kent State University, PO Box 5190, Kent OH 44242-0001, or e-mailed to gradapps@kent.edu for domestic applicants and intladm@kent.edu for international students.

Where should application materials be sent?

Once you initiate the application process on-line, materials for domestic applicants may be sent to: Office of Graduate Studies, 116 Cartwright Hall, Kent State University, PO Box 5190, Kent OH 44242-0001(gradapps@kent.edu) and materials for international applicants may be sent to: Office of International Affairs (OIA), Van Campen Hall, Kent State University, PO Box 5190, Kent OH 44242-0001 (intladm@kent.edu).

What kind of writing sample should I submit?

Applicants should submit a writing sample that demonstrates their capacity for original historical research, preferably something that makes significant use of primary sources.  Synthetic papers, book reviews, and review essays are not considered appropriate.

About the Programs & Department


Why should I consider the M.A. thesis option?

All students considering doctoral work in history should select one of the thesis options within the M.A. program, as the thesis provides excellent preparation for the writing of the doctoral dissertation.

Where can I learn more about the M.A. program options and requirements?

Please see the M.A. Program Handbook for specifics about program options, requirements, etc.

Where can I learn more about the Ph.D. program options and requirements?

Please see the Ph.D. Program Handbook for specifics about program options, requirements, etc.

Graduate Assistantship

What does a graduate assistantship entail?

All M.A. students and Ph.D. students before they take their comprehensive exams assist a faculty member in one of our Kent Core history courses in U.S. history or the history of civilizations, working as graders or discussion section leaders.  Once doctoral students pass their comprehensive exams, they are assigned a section of one of the Kent Core courses of their own and assume all instructional duties.

How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?

Students wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship should complete the form found here    (http://www.kent.edu/academics/graduatestudies/upload/Application-for-Graduate-Appointment1.pdf ) and either include it with their application materials or e-mail it to the Department’s graduate secretary, Kay Dennis, at adennis@kent.edu.

What is the deadline for applying for a graduate assistantship?

Students wishing to be considered for a graduate assistantship should ensure that their application files are complete no later than 1 February.  Assistantship decisions are made in the spring for the coming Academic Year.

Where can I learn about the Department’s faculty?

Information about our faculty is available in the “Faculty & Staff” section of our website.