Application Materials

The Admissions Application is comprised of these components:

  • The Admissions Application
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcripts 
  • GRE Scores
  • TOEFL Scores (from International Students)
  • Writing Sample
  • Fellowship Application 
  • Application Fee 

Below, we have listed and described the components of the application for admissions. In addition, we have also provided suggestions to guide you in preparing the best possible application.

1. Admissions Application
The Admissions Application must be submitted online via the following website:

The deadline for submitting an application is December 1.

-  Complete all lines of the application.
-  Do not leave blank lines on the application.

2. Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement
The Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement are detailed essays that introduces you to the admissions committee.  This will be the only and best opportunity to do so prior to the admissions committee meeting to review the applications.

Statement of Purpose. (Graduate Studies at the University of California at Davis requires a 4000 character “Statement of Purpose)
Please describe your motivation, academic preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UC Davis. You should describe your academic plans and research interests, your specialization within your academic field, your research experiences and your career goals.  In addition, what is your academic background, including majors and minor fields, as well as identifying related Native American Studies courses you have completed. If you are considering the M.A. Program and you are considering writing a thesis, state your proposed topic. If you are applying to the Ph.D. Program, discuss your proposed research areas and previous research experience. How will your completed studies contribute to the present scholarship in Native American studies? If you are already working on some aspects of your research areas, such as publishing an article or presenting at a professional conference, please tell us about it. Explain to the admissions committee why you have selected Native American Studies at UC Davis to complete your graduate studies. Which faculty members are you interested in studying with, and why? Finally, state what you intend to do when you receive your M.A. or Ph.D. degree in Native American Studies. In other words, what are your future goals after completing your graduate studies?

Personal History Statement(Graduate Studies at the University of California at Davis requires a 4000 character “Personal History Statement.”)
In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree.  Please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and how/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree. The Office of Graduate Studies requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for enrollment to graduate studies. If at the time of applying you have a GPA below 3.0, please explain.

-  As much as possible, avoid generalizations. Detail is key.
-  Take the time to revise your Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement. If possible, have a mentor review and critique your Statements. Once you have submitted your Statements to us, we will not accept revised versions.

3. Writing Sample
Applicants are required to upload the Writing Sample via the online application web site. Hard copies of Writing Samples received by the Department will not be accepted.  There are no exceptions to this requirement.

The Writing Sample is a 10-20 page scholarly paper that demonstrates originality of ideas, research and writing abilities, and your analytical skills. If at all possible, your Writing Sample should reflect some aspects of your research interests as indicated in your Statement of Purpose. If your proposed study is in visual or performing arts, you are welcome to submit a video or DVD or portfolio, in addition to a writing sample. Ideally, your writing sample should provide explanation and discussion of your media submission. Send videos, DVDs or portfolios directly to Native American Studies.

-  As with the Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement, take the time to revise your Writing Sample, as well as having a mentor review and critique it. After you have submitted your Writing Sample, we will not accept a revised copy.

4. Letters of Recommendation
Letters of Recommendation must be submitted via the online application web site. Letters of Recommendation in hard copy form received by the Department will not be accepted. In such circumstances, the applicant will be notified and informed to contact the Recommender to re-submit the Letter of Recommendation online. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

Applicants are required to submit three Letters of Recommendation, preferably from professors in your field(s).  However, if this is not possible, it is permissible for employers, supervisors, co-workers and co-associates to write these letters. What is crucial is that you select individuals who can best discuss your academic strengths, as well as speak to your potential of successfully completing a graduate program.

-  Inform your recommenders that we cannot accept hard copies of their letters. All Letters of Recommendations must be submitted electronically through the online application web site. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
-  The deadline for submission of Letters of Recommendation is December 1. Please inform your recommendaters of the deadline.

5. GRE Scores
We strongly suggest that the GRE exam be taken no later than November 1 to ensure that we receive official scores by the December 1 deadline.  Only the general GRE Examination is required. There is no subject exam in our field. We do not have an established minimum GRE score for admission to our program.

For exam purposes use Institution Code: 4834 and Department Code: 2201.

-  If you have arranged to receive a copy of your scores, please send us a copy.
-  Keep your scores current. The Office of  Graduate Studies will only accept GRE scores that are less than five years old.
-  Contact the Educational Testing Services early to secure a testing date for the GRE and/or the TOEFL exam:  Educational Testing Services (ETS), Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, (Phone) 1-866-473-4373.

In addition to the GRE, applicants whose native language or language of instruction is not English must take the TOEFL (The Test of English as a Foreign Language) Exam.
The minimum score required for admission to UC Davis is 550 for the paper test, and effective with the fall 2011 admission cycle, a score of 80 is required for the Internet-based test.  Inofrmation and an application for the TOEFL can be obtained at most U.S. Consulates or at Educational Testing Services.  TOEFL scores exprie after two years.  Scores that are two years old or more will not be accepted by Graduate Admissions.

6. Official Transcripts
UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended.  You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application. For more details visit

7. Fellowship Application
All applicants are required to submit the Internal Fellowships Application for New Students. The Fellowship Application allows Native American Studies to nominate potential graduate students for University and Department fellowships.  The Fellowship Application is available through the online application web site. NOTE: The deadline to submit the Internal Fellowship Application is December 1.

All new students and continuing students are required to file a FAFSA report for purpose of being considered for grants, fellowships and loans. The FAFSA is available online at

8. Curriculum Vitae
Applicants are required to upload the Curriculum Vitae (CV) via the online application web site.  Do not submit CVs to the Department.  They will not be accepted.  There are no exceptions to this requirement.

9. Application Fee
An application fee of $105.00 is required for the domestic students and $125.00 for the international students. Only credit card payment will be accepted, and only through the online application system.  The fee must be paid before the application will be considered as complete, and the fee must be paid for each application submitted.  Please note that the application fee is nonrefundable.

Graduate Studies offers application fee waivers only to applicants who have participated in or are affiliated with one or more of the following programs. Applicants who are affiliated with these programs are required to indicate their participation AND must provide a name and contact information for their program coordinator in the relevant section of the online application system to receive an application fee waiver.

  • AGEP (Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate)
  • BUILD (BUilding Infrastructure Leading to Diversity - NIH)
  • CAMP (California Alliance for Minority Participation)
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • GEM (National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science)
  • Guardian Scholars Program (or if you have ever been in foster care)
  • HSI Pathways to the Professoriate
  • IMSD (Initiative for Maximizing Student Development - NIH)
  • IRT (Institute for Recruitment of Teachers)
  • LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation)
  • MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers - NIH)
  • MBRS (Minority Biomedical Research Support)
  • McNair Scholars
  • MMUF (Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship)
  • NIH Bridges to the Baccalaureate
  • NIH Bridges to the Doctorate
  • PREP (Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program - NIH)
  • RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement - NIH)
  • Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar (CSU)
  • UC-HBCU Initiative Summer Research Program
  • UC LEADS (Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees)

10. Mailing Application Materials
Videos, DVDs, or portfolios can be mailed to the Department of Native  American Studies:

Department of Native American Studies
University of California, Davis
2407 Hart Hall
Davis, CA 95616

Copies of GRE scores can also be submitted to Native American Studies. All other application materials (Application for Admission, Statement of Purpose, Personal History Statement, Letters of Recommendation, Transcripts, Curriculum Vitae [CV], Internal Fellowships Application, Writing Sample, and Application Fee) are to be submitted electronically via the online application web site.

11. Interview
The faculty may or may not request a brief pre-interview (via Skype or speaker phone) with applicants during the period of application review.


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