Skip to main content
Degree Programs / Graduate Program / Applying to the Program

Applying to the Program

THE ONLINE APPLICATION: Applicants apply online through the Graduate School at: All application materials are to be submitted online.

The application must include:

  1. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS from all undergraduate and graduate institutions;
  4. TWO WRITING SAMPLES – a BOOK REVIEW and a LONGER PAPER, which may be submitted as one document;

Please note: The GRE requirement has been waived for admissions in 2023.  Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores.

The curriculum vitae need be no more than a page or two in length and should indicate the applicant's education, qualifications for graduate study (such as language training), and other appropriate accomplishments.

The statement of purpose should be a one- or two-page statement indicating the reasons for the applicant’s interest in graduate study at the University of Kentucky. Applicants should make intellectual and scholarly interests the focal point of these statements. The statement should explain what field(s) the applicant hopes to concentrate on as a graduate student, and, if possible, note which faculty member(s) with whom the applicant wishes to work. Applicants to the doctoral program should be aware that the department may not admit students who wish to work with a faculty member who is about to retire or who because of an administrative appointment is not accepting new students.

The department asks applicants to submit a short book review (maximum of 600 words). If possible, the review should be of a book that has influenced the applicant's interest in the field or subject that the applicant wishes to pursue in graduate school.

The department also asks applicants to submit a more substantial writing sample. Ideally this should be a research paper that demonstrates the student’s analytical abilities and skill in working with secondary and primary sources. The department encourages applicants who are engaged in writing a senior thesis or an M.A. thesis to send a portion of the thesis. Preferably, this document should not exceed 40 pages.

The book review and the writing sample should be submitted as a single PDF file when completing the online application.

Applicants should obtain three letters of recommendation. Ideally, these should come from former or current teachers who have had the applicant in class.


If you have questions, please contact Professor Hilary Jones at or Department Manager Karen Cosgrove at