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Admissions Process

The purpose of the admissions process is to determine if applicants have a clear understanding of the program for which they are applying, a serious commitment to the work of that program, and sufficient ability and preparation to undertake that work. Applicants are not judged against one another; they are considered entirely on their own merits. Here are several factors to consider as you apply.

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The Graduate Institute welcomes applications for admission from qualified individuals with a bachelor’s degree; no particular field or major is required. There is no application fee.


In judging applications, greatest weight is given to the essays, in which applicants discuss their previous education, their reasons for interest in the Graduate Institute, and their reflections on a book of particular importance to them. The essay is usually six to nine pages and demonstrates the applicant’s ability to express him or herself in a thoughtful and articulate manner.

Letters of Reference

The two letters of reference are also carefully weighed. They should be from academic sources, and, when possible, written specifically for the Graduate Institute. Transcripts are required from every institution where applicants have earned college credit. These should be mailed directly from the registrar’s office in a sealed envelope.

Download a PDF of the Reference Letter form

GRE Not Required

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required.

Rolling Admissions

Applications are accepted and decisions are made at any time, on a rolling basis. Applicants are notified of a decision within four weeks of completing their applications.

International Applicants

The Graduate Institute welcomes students from around the world. For more information about applying as an international student, view our International Applicants page.

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