Application form

In order to be admitted, applicants must have at least two faculty members willing to act as sponsors of their course of study. Ultimately, the student will have a thesis committee consisting of a chair, at least one other COA faculty member, and an optional outside practitioner or expert in the student’s field of inquiry.

Applicants must submit transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended as well as at least three reference letters. At least one of these references should be from someone with good knowledge of the candidate’s academic potential. GRE scores are not required, but may be submitted if they better reflect the student’s potential as a graduate student.

Applications will be reviewed once they are complete, but applications for fall term must be received no later than February 15.

At the time of application, students should list nine potential classes that they have discussed with their sponsors. Since the college has no graduate courses per se, the class list must be made up of existing classes, independent studies, or tutorials at the intermediate or advanced level. In some cases, it may be appropriate for a candidate to take additional courses at an introductory level, but these credits may not be counted toward the nine classes required for the degree unless they are taken as an independent study. With the permission of the thesis committee and the director of the graduate program, up to three of the nine courses may be transferred from another institution during graduate enrollment. Transfer credits must be approved in advance. All coursework counted toward the degree must be completed with grades of B or better.

In addition to providing a list of proposed courses, the applicant should discuss a potential thesis topic. Although the graduate committee expects (and even encourages) modifying thesis plans during the first year of study, it is important for applicants to indicate interest in a general course of study that the college can readily assist them in pursuing. A preliminary thesis topic is a good indicator of a potential match between applicant and faculty. During the admissions process, significant weight is placed on this preliminary thesis statement.

In the first year, the candidate must begin the required coursework. Particulars of an individual program of study will be worked out in discussions with the thesis committee and the graduate director, but the bulk of coursework should be completed in the first year and the thesis finished by the end of the second year. Maximum allowable time for all work is four calendar years from the date of matriculation.

For further inquiries, please contact: 
Chris Petersen, Associate Academic Dean and Director of the Graduate Program: cpetersen@coa.edu or 207-801-5705