American Studies
American Studies

Graduate Admissions

Applications are open for Fall 2022. 

Applying to the Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. Program in American Studies admits students for the fall semester only.

The Fall 2022 application deadline is 11:59 pm (Central Standard Time) on December 1, 2021.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. There are no exceptions.

All applications require the following:

  1. Writing sample
  2. Personal Statement/Statement of purpose
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. General GRE
  5. Transcripts

Applicants must meet all minimum requirements of the UT Austin Graduate School including:

  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
  • A 3.0 or higher GPA in upper-division coursework
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score(s), if applicable.

It is essential that applicants read and follow the application directions given by the Graduate School.

How to submit an application:

  • Complete the ApplyTexas application. We recommend you submit the ApplyTexas application at least 2 weeks before the deadline.
  • Pay the application fee.

After completing your application and paying the application fee, you will receive an email with an EID and a temporary password. This EID and temporary password will allow you to:   

Please note: your application is not complete until you have uploaded your supporting materials.

As many as two days can pass between your submission of the ApplyTexas application and your receipt of the email with your EID and password to log into the Application Status Check. Please be patient and plan accordingly. If you do not receive the email with your EID and temporary password after two business days, please feel free to contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center.

Upload Deadline:

All application materials under the applicant's control (i.e. personal statement and writing sample) must be uploaded by 11:59 PM CST on December 1, 2021, for the application to be considered for Fall 2022 admission.

Please contact the graduate coordinator if you are concerned with materials and need to confirm the receipt of individual items. Applicants are normally notified of the Program's decision by the end of February.

Required Application Materials

Writing Sample

It is largely on the basis of the writing sample that we judge your readiness and aptitude for graduate study, in particular your ability to recognize and to effectively state research-worthy problems. Since scholars typically situate their interpretive work in the context of an existing professional conversation, compelling writing samples typically—although not always—establish their projects in reference to an important scholarly work or modest body of scholarship. Other considerations include the clarity and economy of your prose. Writing samples should be a maximum of 20 pages (excerpts of larger material are welcome).

Personal Statement

Compelling personal statements invariably reveal the “intellect” beneath the writing sample as a recognizable person, someone whose combination of professional energy and personality suggests the potential for collegiality, collaboration, and inspired teaching. Applicants are strongly encouraged to formulate a research agenda in this document. We realize, and indeed almost expect, that your views of topic and method will change during your career with us.  However, we want to see your current understanding of those matters in your application. Statements of purpose should be 1 to 2 pages single-spaced.

Letters of Recommendation

The Department of American Studies requires three letters of recommendation. All letters of recommendation should informatively address the applicant’s academic achievement and potential for graduate study.  Please note: Upon submission of the completed ApplyTexas application, the University automatically contacts your recommenders via email with directions for submitting their letters. The department will not accept letters from Interfolio. Recommenders must upload their letters to the applicant's online application.

GRE Scores

The Department of American Studies understands that applicants are experiencing hardships due to the pandemic and that these challenges may affect your ability to take the required GRE test. Thus, we are providing applicants who are directly impacted by COVID-19 with the opportunity to petition for a GRE test waiver.  Applicants can request more information from the department’s graduate coordinator Violet Cantu.


An applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States institution or proof of equivalent training at an institution outside the United States.

College seniors should upload their current transcript.

Transcripts must have been produced within the last calendar year.

Uploaded transcripts must be official copies. We recommend requesting an official transcript be mailed to you from your university, scanning, and then uploading a PDF of that document. Grade reports will not be accepted.

Do not send transcripts directly to the department via mail or e-mail. They must be uploaded electronically.


Please visit our FAQ page for answers to the most common questions. If the FAQ page has not answered your question, do not hesitate to contact the admissions coordinator, Violet Rose Cantu

Graduate Coordinator

Violet Rose Cantú
Room: BUR 436C
Phone: 512-232-2332
Email me


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Cary Cordova
Room: BUR 418
Email me