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The Masters in International and Regional Studies program admits students once per year for the fall term. Applications are submitted online through the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. You may review the application process in detail on the Rackham website.

Application Deadline: December 15

The online application portal will open during the first week of September. To be considered for admission, all application materials should be submitted no later than December 15.

Completed applications will be sent directly to the Rackham Graduate School and the International Institute for review. Applicants may expect notification of their admission status in mid-February.

If you are applying for a dual degree program, you must also complete an application for the other program. Please note in both applications that you are applying for a dual degree program.

Application Materials

The MIRS Admissions Committee relies on all application materials to assess each applicant for admission. The committee does not focus on one criterion to the exclusion of others, nor do we have minimum requirements for any criterion (including GPA). In addition to Rackham’s minimum requirements to apply, a completed application will include all of the following items:

  • Online Application Form: This is the formal application and is to be completed online through the Rackham application portal.
  • Academic Statement of Purpose: This essay should discuss your academic background, career goals, and how the MIRS program will help you meet these goals and objectives. Specific instructions will be provided within the application. This document will be uploaded directly into the application form.
  • Personal Statement: This statement should discuss 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 at the University of Michigan. This essay is different from your academic statement of purpose and is intended to be a discussion of your personal journey. Specific instructions will be provided within the application. This document will be uploaded directly into the application form.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from your previous degree-granting institutions may be scanned and uploaded directly to the application. Specific instructions and requirements for scanned transcripts can be found on the Rackham website.
    • Supplementary Transcripts: In addition to those official transcripts, the II encourages you to scan and upload transcripts from other postsecondary institutions at which you have completed relevant language and area studies courses, such as study abroad programs, community colleges, and summer sessions. These additional transcripts are considered unofficial, but the II uses them to evaluate your academic background for admission, and the availability of these transcripts will expedite the admissions process. Additional transcripts may be submitted electronically to Please note that advisors cannot see the status of your transcript or test scores until after an application is submitted.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required and may be submitted electronically by your recommenders. You will receive instructions for submitting letters of recommendation on the Rackham website and as you complete your application form.
    • Language Recommendation: If you have studied a foreign language related to your specialization, either formally or informally, we strongly encourage you to obtain a recommendation from a language instructor or someone familiar with your language proficiency. This letter may be included as one of the three required letters of recommendation. If you do not have a language evaluator, you are welcome to submit an additional academic recommendation for a total of four letters of recommendation.
  • Academic Writing Sample: A sample of written work in English (8-20 pages) that forecasts your capacity to: construct critical arguments and present them in a comprehensive manner; clearly articulate your thesis; support your claims by the effective use of evidence and coherent analysis of the material in question; present your material in an organized, clear, and creative way; offer logically derived conclusion(s); and correctly document primary and secondary sources.
  • TOEFL Exam: Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit an official TOEFL score. Applicants who have earned a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English only are exempt from submitting a TOEFL score. TOEFL scores are sent electronically from ETS directly to the University of Michigan. For more information on the English proficiency requirement, exemptions, and accepted tests, please see Rackham's website.
  • Application Fee: Each applicant must submit a required application fee at the time they submit their application. The application fee is $75 for US citizens and permanent residents, and $90 for non-US citizens. Fee waivers may be available for qualified applicants. Applicants seeking a fee waiver should consult the eligibility requirements on the Rackham website.
  • GRE scores are NOT required for admission.

Application Material Status Check

Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the MIRS Admissions Committee. The International Institute will notify you if materials are missing after the application deadline.

Once an admission decision has been made, you will be notified directly by the International Institute. Please do not contact the Rackham Graduate School or the International Institute with inquiries on the status of your application, as they do not know the answer to that question. 

To verify receipt of official application materials including test scores and transcripts, please check your Application status in Wolverine Access. Click on “New & Prospective Student Business” to login. If you are new to the university, you will first need to request a friend account. Do not create your friend account until you submit your application and are notified through email confirming your submission and U-M ID number. If you have submitted your transcripts and/or test scores but the system does not indicate they have arrived, please do not worry. There can be a processing delay of up to two weeks from the time it arrives at the university.

You may check the status of your letters of recommendation (and change recommenders if needed) on your ApplyWeb Activity Page. If you or your recommender need technical assistance regarding the application or recommendation systems please email ApplyWeb at Include the following information: user name, full name, email address, and phone number. Please allow 24 hours for a response.


For questions or concerns regarding admissions requirements, please contact our office directly at: