Application Requirements and Deadlines

Applicants to both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in American Studies must be in possession of a B.A. or B.S.

To apply, please submit:

  • University or college transcripts
  • M.A. - Two letters of recommendation/Ph.D - Three letters of recommendation
  • A writing sample of up to 6,000 words
    • The sample should be academic or professional writing that best represents the applicant’s analytical, writing, and research skills. If the sample comes from a larger work such as a thesis or exhibit, please provide a short paragraph contextualizing the sample in that broader work.
  • A personal statement of no more than 1,500 words
    • The statement should focus on what the applicant wants to study, why they should do so in the American Studies Program at Rutgers-Newark, what affiliated Faculty on the Newark campus they would like to work with, and how they see their proposed graduate work connecting to their career beyond graduation.

G.R.E. scores are NOT required for application to any of our degree programs.

We encourage applicants to contact prospective faculty mentors in preparing their applications to discuss the possibility of joining the American Studies Program. Please note, though there are opportunities to work with faculty at Rutgers' other campuses, the faculty in the American Studies Graduate Program who advise and oversee graduate students are based at Rutgers-Newark. See our affiliated Faculty here

Applications for the Ph.D. Program are currently open. Applications should be received by December 15, 2023. Should you be delayed in submitting your application by that date, please contact the Program Director, Kyle Riismandel as we can often accomodate applications received through early January. 

Applications for the Master of Arts Program are open and accepted on a rolling basis until July 15, 2024.

An applicant virtual open house will be held 7-8PM on Sept. 20th, link and other details to come. The Program Director will give an overview of our graduate degree programs, the application process, and answer any questions potential applicants may have. 

Tuition and Support

For detailed info on tuition and support please go here: Tuition and Funding

In brief, the School of Arts & Sciences Newark (SASN) provides financial support through Graduate Assistantships to students in the Ph.D. program on a competitive basis. Assistantships are guaranteed for five years of funding. Contract terms are collectively bargained by the Rutgers AAUP-AFT

As a rule, the Program only admits full time PhD students with funding packages. If you applying as a part-time doctoral student, please note that in your application. 

Tuition remission for M.A. students is regularly available though not guaranteed and determined on a semesterly basis.

Requests for financial assistance should be indicated on the Rutgers University Graduate Application form.

Forms and other information about applying can be found here:

Information about the Rutgers University-Newark Graduate School is available at:

If you have any questions about what it is like being a graduate student in our program, please reach out to our current students

Admissions Process

The admissions committee of the American Studies Graduate Program is composed of the Director, Associate Director, and three affiliated faculty members.


  • Review of complete applications begins in early January
  • Top applicants are contacted to schedule a conversation with the admissions committee usually late January and early February
  • A first round of admission and TA/GA offers are made (usually 3-4 though the number varies year-to-year) usually in mid-February
  • If not all offers are accepted, the committee reviews their list of applicants and determines if further offers can be made or if any other applicants should be scheduled for a meeting usually anywhere from mid-February to late March
  • Once all TA/GA slots for the cohort are full, full-time PhD admissions are closed usually by early April
  • All dates are estimated and depend upon the timely receipt of applications, number of offers, and responsiveness of applicants among other factors. 


Please note, you will be contacted by the Program Director when:

  • Your application is complete and under review
  • We are requesting to meet with you
  • You are receving an offer of acceptance and a TA/GA appointment
  • You are not being offered acceptance


While we know it is often difficult to wait, if you have not heard from us, that means your application is still viable in our pool. If you receive an offer from another program or have accepted an offer, please let the Program Director know.

If you have any questions at all about the American Studies Program or the admissions process, we highly encourage you to contact Program Director Kyle Riismandel via email - to setup a time to chat. 

Apply Now!