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University of Michigan School of Information


How do I apply?

Application deadlines

The application for Fall 2024 opened in September 2023, and will close on December 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

The Fall 2024 PhD application is available HERE.

Application requirements

Application fee

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents: $75 (U.S.)
  • International applicants: $90 (U.S.)
  • You should pay this fee via credit card when you apply online. 
  • For information about fee waivers and grants, visit our fee waiver information page or contact UMSI PhD Admissions at [email protected]

Statement of Purpose Essay

Your statement of purpose should use the following format.

 At the beginning of the essay, first state:

Essay should then address the following questions in 4-6 pages (double-spaced) in any order or format:

  • Describe prior research experiences, courses, or projects that have prepared you for doctoral study.
  • Explain in some detail the research area you would like to contribute to:
    • Specify at least one area, discipline, or method that you would like to learn in depth;
    • Describe one other area, discipline, or method that would round out the breadth of your knowledge and why it would be a valuable part of your education.
  • Explain why you identified the potential advisors you did.
  • Give an example of a research project you are excited about: one you have conducted, one you would like to conduct, or one that you have read about.

Personal History Statement

The Rackham Graduate School requires a "Personal History Statement" in addition to the formal Application Essay/Statement of Purpose described above. This statement should convey how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree. For this statement, please write a brief (one-half-page to one-page), non-academic statement.


Upload a copy of your resume/CV with the online application.

Transcripts for UMSI

For your convenience, we offer the ability to upload transcripts within the online application allowing you to expedite the review of your application. This transcript will be considered unofficial. Our admissions committee is able to make a decision based upon your submission of an electronic transcript(s). When submitting transcripts online upload the front and back of the transcript.

Transcripts for Rackham

You will be required to have your official transcripts sent to the Rackham Graduate School only if you are recommended for admission.

Letters of recommendation

Submit three recommendation letters written by faculty members and/or professional colleagues who are in a position to judge your potential for success in the doctoral program, your aptitude for research, and your capacity to make a contribution to your chosen profession. If you were recently a student, faculty members are appropriate. Personal friends and family members are not appropriate recommenders.

Ask your recommenders to submit their letters online. Register your recommenders for online submission when you apply online.

Standardized test scores

***New*** The GRE is not required and will not be reviewed by the UMSI admission committee if submitted to the University of Michigan.

Test results for non-native speakers of English

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide official score reports for the following:

Applicants who have earned or will earn a Bachelor's or Master's degree are exempt from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria is met:

  • You are a native speaker of English.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English.
  • You completed all of your graduate education and earned a graduate degree at an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English.
  • You are a current U-M student.

Example of not meeting the English Proficiency Exemption criteria:

  • You completed two years of an undergraduate degree program at an overseas institution (Fudan University) where the medium of instruction is a language other than English. You then transferred to an institution (Monash University) where all classes are taught exclusively in English and earned a degree from that institution.

Being a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking an English proficiency exam; if the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exception above or submit English proficiency exam.

Please email us [email protected] if you have additional questions about our application requirements.

Don’t let the application fee keep you from applying. Contact [email protected] or click here to learn about more opportunities for fee waivers.