How to Apply
Kansas State University is committed to upholding rigorous admissions standards for the Security Studies graduate degree programs. All applications are subject to approval by a joint History-Political Science admissions committee. Admission to the Security Studies program is highly competitive. Applicants with a GPA under 3.00 on a four-point scale will need very strong qualities in other areas (such as research or professional experience) to gain admission; a GPA of 3.00 or above is no guarantee of admission.
At the Ph.D level, admission is even more competitive. In addition to academic qualifications, no Ph.D applicant is admitted without some member of the Security Studies faculty with expertise in the applicant's area of interest agreeing to take on that applicant as an advisee. An otherwise very strong applicant might not win admission because of lack of available expertise to oversee a proposed dissertation project.
The admissions committee is seeking to admit applicants already possessing or with the demonstrated potential to develop certain core competencies, including analytical reasoning, verbal and other language abilities, familiarity with social science and humanities methodologies and literature, advanced communication skills, and foreign language ability. All application materials should speak to one or more of those core competencies. The admissions committee will assess each set of application materials as a whole, attempting to balance any particular aspect with all other aspects of the application file.
1. For M.A. Applicants:
Deadlines for domestic applications are:
For summer term: February 1
For fall semester: February 1 / August 10 (see below for details)
For spring semester: October 15
Admissions decisions for fall term entry are made in two rounds. The initial round will close on February 1, and the admissions committee will admit a number of applications, put other applicants on a waiting list, and reject the remainder. A second round will close on August 10. Those on the waiting list from the April round will automatically be considered for the August round. Because of the tight deadlines, all candidates intending to apply for the August round should contact the Director of Security Studies as soon as possible to inform the program of their plans.
2. For Ph.D. Applicants:
Ph.D. applications are reviewed three times per year. Deadlines for domestic applications are:
For summer term: February 1
For fall semester: February 1
For spring semester: October 15
3. For International Applicants:
International applicants should submit all materials by the following deadlines (these application deadlines dates are also listed on the Graduate School website):
For summer term: December 1
For fall semester: January 1
For spring semester: August 1
We ask for the following admissions materials from all applicants to our graduate degree programs. It is possible for the Graduate Admissions Committee to make a decision based on less than complete materials, but the likelihood of admittance is much greater for those whose applications are complete.
The following application materials should be either emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to
Director of Security Studies
Institute for Military History & 20th Century Studies
Kansas State University
221 Eisenhower Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
The statement of objectives and writing sample can be sent in electronic form, and indeed can be processed more quickly that way.
1. Application and Information Form. Available online from the KSU Graduate School. The electronic version of the application, as opposed to paper, is much quicker for the graduate school to process.
At least two of the three letters must be from those who can speak authoritatively to your potential to succeed in graduate studies in an academic context.
4a. For applications to the M.A. program: Official reports of Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) test scores are recommended but not required for applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the institution at which they earned their bachelor's degree. Official reports of GRE test scores are required for applicants with a GPA below 3.0 at the institution at which they earned their bachelor's degree. The test scores may not be more than five years old, and they must be sent to Kansas State University directly from ETS (photocopies of scores are not acceptable).
4b. For applications to the Ph.D. program: Official reports of Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) test scores. The test scores may not be more than five years old, and they must be sent to Kansas State University directly from ETS (photocopies of scores are not acceptable).
5. A transcript from each academic institution you have attended (including Kansas State University, if applicable) since high school.
6. A writing sample. This should be between ten and thirty pages and representative of your best scholarly work. Term papers, thesis chapters, and copies of published articles are all examples of acceptable writing samples.
7. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official report of their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). These requirements may be waived for applicants who have earned a degree from a college or university in the United States not more than two years before the time of application.
8. A check or money order for payment of the application fee:
The fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. is $50.00.
The fee for international applicants (individuals who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the U.S.) is $75.00. The fees for international applicants must be paid by international cashier's check or money order, even if the applicant is residing in the U.S.
For all applicants, the check or money order must be made payable to the Kansas State University Graduate School.
Please be advised that all materials submitted become the property of the Security Studies program of Kansas State University and will not be returned or forwarded.