Application Process

Graduate School Application

Official Transcripts of all prior coursework and degrees

Master’s Degree (MA/MS) in related disciplines.  Degree may still be in progress as long as it is completed by the spring semester prior to fall admittance.

CV (preferred) or Resumé

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required but can optionally be provided, especially for those who did not receive their Masters degree from a U.S. university. UMBC’s ETS code is 5835.

TOEFL/IELTS scores of 550 (paper), 213 (computerized) or 80 (iBT) for international students’ English proficiency. See  for details and possible exceptions.

Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s academic and personal potential to contribute substantially to a field of study related to the current research of the LLC program.  Please ask your referees to discuss as specifically as possible your experience and ability to conduct scholarly research.

Statement of Goals and Research Interests explaining the research you would like to do, the relevant fields and theoretical areas, your methodological approaches, and how you understand the power of interdisciplinarity to the research you hope to conduct. This succinct statement (approximately 500 words) is a crucial component of the application. In it you should explain as explicitly as possible, the inquiry you hope to pursue, your knowledge of relevant fields, including any highly relevant studies, and your previous experience in the fields of your proposed research. Explain how your research is interdisciplinary in terms of how you are posing a problem or an area of inquiry that requires the theoretical perspectives of multiple fields and multiple methodological approaches. LLC is particularly interested in proposed research that is related to research being conducted by LLC and LLC affiliate faculty members. You may also include relevant professional experience and any additional reasons you have for seeking admission in LLC. Please include the names of any faculty members with whom you might hope to work. A statement of general interest is not sufficient.

Academic writing sample (a published academic article, an article ready for submission, a recent research paper, or a research-based report) that demonstrates your ability to conduct and write about research in your chosen area. Please provide a cover note explaining what the writing sample is and its relevance to your application. This sample should be approximately 20-25 pages.

Admissions Process

The LLC admissions committee will reach out to potential faculty advisors to determine their interest and capacity to advise additional doctoral students. Our admissions offers are based on the overall quality of a student’s application, the availability of potential advisors (which changes each year), the disciplinary breadth of the applicants, and interdisciplinary intersectionality of each year’s cohort, and other related factors. The small core LLC regular faculty members make all initial admissions decisions and consult with affiliate faculty members. Because the program is “highly competitive,” further refinements of admissions offers are made after seeking input from other potential faculty advisors on campus from within our participating departments. Even qualified applicants, who might have been included on the first admissions list, may not be admitted because of a shortage of qualified advisors in the applicant’s areas of research interest. Once the Admissions Committee has reviewed applications, we will contact all potential candidates for admission to arrange an online interview. The Committee hopes to conduct interviews between February and early March in order to make admissions offers before the end of March.

Where to apply and send documents?

Detailed application information about admission to the UMBC Graduate School is on the Graduate School website:

Submit the following documents to The UMBC Graduate School

Application and payment
Statement of goals and research interests
Official transcripts
CV or resumé
English proficiency scores, as indicated
Academic writing sample
Letters of recommendation (3)

Non-degree seeking students

Non-degree students can apply to the Graduate School to take classes starting in any semester:  All LLC courses are permission only, so students should contact the LLC office to seek advising and permission. Many LLC courses are not available to non-degree seeking students because they are offered only to formally admitted LLC students: LLC 700, 701, 744, 745, 890, 891, 892, 898, and 899. Non-degree students should review each semester’s schedule for information on which courses are open to non-degree students. Successful completion of a course taken as a non-degree student does not guarantee admission to the LLC program. If a student is later admitted, the course(s) may count toward the degree based on which course(s) were completed, the relevance to a student’s research focus, and performance in the course.