How to Apply

I. Admissions Standards

II. Admission Timetable and Deadlines

III. How to Apply

I. Admissions Standards

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 (Masters Degree is required).

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.

II. Admission Timetable and Deadlines

1. For M.A. Applicants:

Deadline for domestic applications:

For fall semester: January 8 / May 6 / August 15 (August round deadlines fluctuate each year)

Admissions decisions for fall term entry are made in two rounds. The initial round will close on January 8, 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 15. Those on the waiting list from the January round will automatically be considered for the May 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:

Deadline for domestic applications:

For fall semester: January 8

3. For International Applicants:

International applicants should submit all materials by the following deadline (application deadline date is also listed on the Graduate School website):

For fall semester: January 8

III. How to Apply

All of the application materials described below will be submitted in electronic form through the KSU Graduate School's online application system. Note: If you plan to attend courses either online via Zoom or from Fort Leavenworth please use the "online" option on the application form.

See the Graduate School's applications webpage

Online Application FAQ

Ft. Leavenworth Application Guide

We request the following 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. For questions about application materials, applicants should email the Security Studies program at or call Monica Macfarlane in the Political Science Department at 785-532-6842.

1. The "Statement of Objectives" form. (Word) (PDF)

2. Three letters of recommendation. At least two of the three letters should be from those who can speak authoritatively to your potential to succeed in graduate studies in an academic context.

3. GRE 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). There is no code available for Security Studies. Please use the general Kansas State University code (6334) and inform the KSU Graduate School that your scores have been sent to K-State and should be uploaded to your online application in Security Studies.

a. M.A. program: Official reports of Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) test scores are recommended but not required. For applicants with a GPA below 3.0 at the institution at which they earned their bachelor's degree, GRE scores are particularly important in meeting the requirements for admission to the KSU Graduate School (see here).

b. Ph.D. program: Official reports of Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) test scores are required.

4. An official transcript from each academic institution you have attended (including Kansas State University, if applicable) since high school.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. The fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. is $65.00.

The fee for international applicants (individuals who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the U.S.) is $75.00.

How do I pay my application fee?

On the payment page, you can pay your application fee by debit/credit card or check (note that electronic checks must be from US bank accounts only).

Note: Once payment is authorized, your application is final, and you can no longer make changes to it.

How secure is my payment transaction?

Your debit/credit card information is encrypted during transmission from your browser to our server and during payment authorization. None of your debit/credit card information is stored in our database.

Application FAQ

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.