Graduate Admissions

Apply to the Program

The Department of Rhetoric encourages applications from students who want to pursue interdisciplinary research in the humanities and the social sciences. The application deadline for admission in Fall 2025 is December 3, 2024, 8:59 p.m. PST. Start the online application at: Applying for Graduate Admission(link is external)

Application Requirements

  • Submission of the online application including a Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, Writing Sample, a List of Faculty whose research is of particular interest to the applicant, and a list of native and foreign language proficiencies (this is part of the online application).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Transcripts from previous institutions.
  • A $135 application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents; $155 fee for all others.
There is no need to mail any hard copies of documents (including transcripts) to the department or Graduate Division.
All application materials should be submitted online.


Applications are evaluated by a departmental committee that evaluates the overall portrait of the applicant based on the statement of purpose, the personal statement, writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and previous grades. Differently from some other programs, applicants apply to the Rhetoric Department as a whole, not to individual advisors. For this reason, they are asked to name up to three faculty members whose interests match their own. The admissions process is highly competitive and acceptance rates are usually below 10%. Admission decisions are made in mid-March, and notifications are sent by email.

Financial Support for Admitted Students

Each admitted student is provided with a package of support which usually consists of a combination of graduate teaching appointments and/or fellowship support. Graduate teaching appointments in the undergraduate curriculum are a significant part of students graduate training and support. Fellowships, tuition support, and nominated fellowship opportunities are available throughout the students graduate career, dependent on merit and excellence in academic progress. 

The Department recognizes that for the graduate student, the educational and financial benefits of teaching eventually are offset by its time demands. Students therefore are encouraged to actively  seek out and apply for university and outside sources of financial aid, especially for the semesters immediately following the qualifying exam.