How to Apply

We are pleased that you are interested in our graduate program. This page contains important information that will guide you through the mechanics of applying to our program and make you a more competitive applicant. You are encouraged to carefully review all of the information and links before proceeding with the application process. Also, you are encouraged to maintain contact with our Graduate Coordinator, who is well acquainted with department and Graduate School policies, maintains all application files, and works closely with students as they progress through our graduate program.

To develop the most competitive application that you can, please consider the following:

Contact Appropriate Faculty Members

You should make contact with appropriate faculty members well in advance of submitting an application. This enables you to better understand the emphasis of our programs, expectations of particular faculty, whether a faculty member is taking on new students, and what you would be spending your time doing if admitted. This also enables you to specify your preferred faculty advisor(s) and write an appropriately targeted personal statement in your application. Applications that are not tailored in this way are generally not successful. Please click here for a listing of the graduate faculty advisors in each of our Research Training Areas.

Application Review

We begin reviewing applications in early January for fall admission. This is when the bulk of graduate admissions and funding decisions are made. Therefore, if you are applying for full-time study we strongly encourage you to have your application complete no later than January 8. With rare exception, applications for fall admission to full-time graduate study are not considered after April 30.

GPA Guidelines

We have minimum GPA guidelines for admission. Specifically, we require 3.0 for MS and 3.25 for PhD. GRE scores are also required for all applicants. While no cutoff scores have been established, students with low GRE scores are rarely competitive. Also, please understand that meeting these guidelines does not guarantee admission to our graduate program. Admission to the program is a competitive process that involves consideration of your entire application. The fit of your interests to our program and faculty expertise, and faculty members' ability to take on new graduate students are all key factors in the admission decision process.

International Applicants

For international applicants, our TOEFL score requirement is 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based), or 77 (internet based). An IELTS score of 6.5 or higher is also acceptable. TOEFL and IELTS scores must not be more than 24 months old at the time of enrollment in our graduate program. The graduate school routinely waives the TOEFL/IELTS requirement if you received a university degree within the last 24 months from an institution within a country where English is the native language and the primary language of instruction is English.

Required Supporting Documents

Your application must include copies of your academic transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation (ideally from prior faculty that can attest to your readiness/ability to successfully complete the requirements of a graduate degree), a goal statement, a completed form and a $60 application fee for domestic applicants, or a $75 fee for international applicants. Details about requesting transcripts, letters of recommendation, and information about the goal statement are available on the Graduate School application site. International applicants must submit a TOEFL score and provide transcripts in both the native language and a certified English translation. All items must be in hand for us to proceed with an admission decision. Note that while submitting copies of your transcripts is acceptable for us to review your application, official copies of your transcripts will be required if you are accepted for admission to our graduate program.


Funding is available on a competitive basis through the Graduate School at Purdue and through graduate assistantships in the HK Department. More information about funding opportunities available through the Purdue Graduate School. If you are interested in applying for funding through a Graduate Teaching Assistantship in the HK Department, a Teaching Assistant Competency Application form (doc / pdf) should be completed electronically and emailed directly to the Graduate Coordinator. For full consideration, this form should be submitted by January 31. Teaching assistantships commence in the fall semester.

Proactive communication with us and attention to detail will help you put forward the most competitive application that you can. If you have a question that is not answered on this website, please do not hesitate to contact our Graduate Coordinator, who will typically respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.


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