Apply to the Ph.D. Program

Applications are due annually on December 15.
Applications for the 2019-2020 academic year are 
now closed.
Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year will open in September.

The following materials are required to apply to the Ph.D. program:

  • University of Notre Dame Graduate School application
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Statement of Intent
  • Writing sample
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of Verification of English Proficiency (for non-native speakers of English only)
  • TOEFL or IELTS (for non-native speakers of English only)
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Application fee

1) University of Notre Dame Graduate School Application

All applicants to the Ph.D. program must complete the online application. Your statement of intent, CV, and writing sample will be added in the “Uploads” section of the online application. Important: Your name should be entered as it appears on your passport. Please capitalize your Last Name.

After you submit your application, you will not be able to go back and make changes or additions to your application using the online application system. However, you will be able to view your online application to check which materials have been received.

Graduate School Admissions FAQ webpage

2) Resume or CV

Submit a document showing the chronological progression of your work and studies via the “Uploads” section of the Notre Dame Graduate School’s online application. Do not fax or e-mail your CV to the Kroc Institute.

3) Statement of Intent

The statement of intent (maximum 1,000 words) must describe your areas of interest and experience as explicitly as possible and list the faculty with whom you wish to study (you do not need advance approval from the faculty member). The statement will be considered both by the relevant departmental admissions committee (anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, or theology) and by the Kroc Institute admissions committee. Please address both your interest in peace studies and in the discipline of the relevant department.

Submit your Statement of Intent in the “Uploads” section of the Graduate School's online application. Do not fax or email your statement to the Kroc Institute.

4) Writing Sample

A writing sample, demonstrating skills in writing, analysis, and peace research, is required. If you send part of a longer work (for example, a senior or master’s thesis), include an abstract of no more than 250 words describing the whole piece and its argument.

5) Three Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations are very important. At least two of the three letters should be from professors who can describe in detail your qualifications, motivation, and ability to succeed in the program.

Your recommenders should submit their letters to the Graduate School electronically through the online application system. Please enter the full name, email address and complete contact information for each provider in the “Recommendation” section of the online application. 

  • Once the recommendation provider information is saved, an email will be sent to the online recommendation provider with instructions on how to proceed with the online recommendation.
  • When the recommendation provider submits the form to the Graduate School, it will become a part of your application.
  • You can view the status of your online recommendations each time you log into your application.

Instructions for the recommender: “Please write a separate letter evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the applicant, with particular reference to intellect, demonstrated ability to do academic work, discipline, creativity, motivation, maturity and character. Please comment on the applicant’s future promise in the field of peace studies and his or her suitability for interdisciplinary work.”

6) Transcripts

Important: Unofficial copies of all your (university level) transcripts should be uploaded to your online application in the "Academic History" section (please include a certified English translation, if necessary). If your degree is currently in progress, upload transcripts for all coursework completed. If an undergraduate transcript does not show proof of degree and date earned, a diploma showing award of B.A. or equivalent should also be uploaded. Your unofficial transcript copies will suffice for the purposes of the Admissions Committee. The university only requires official transcripts from accepted students.

7) Letter of verification of English proficiency

A letter of verification of English proficiency is recommended for all non-native speakers of English. The Verification of English Proficiency letter should be written by a person (preferably a native speaker of English) who is well acquainted with your English language ability and experience, both written and spoken. The letter should describe your experience with the language, present level of proficiency, communicative ability in English, and ability to do doctoral-level work in English (including extensive reading and writing).

The full name, email address and complete contact information of the person who will be writing your letter of Verification of English Proficiency should be entered as a fourth recommender in the “Recommendation” section of the online application.  Please instruct this recommender to write “Verification of English Proficiency” at the top of his or her letter.

8) TOEFL or IELTS score

If English is not your first language, you must take the TOEFL or the IELTS unless you have successfully studied for at least two years at a university in which English is the medium of instruction (i.e. all classes are taught in English).

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) institution code for Notre Dame is 1841. A department code is not necessary, but you can use 5101 if needed. Any score below 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) or 80 (Internet-based) is questionable. TOEFL scores are valid for up to two years after the test date. Please upload a copy of your TOEFL score to your online application. More TOEFL information »

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) does not have or use institution codes. The minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7.0. Please upload a copy of your IELTS score to your online application. More IELTS information »

Remember: If the test is taken after your application is submitted, please email your self-reported TOEFL or IELTS score to krocphd@nd.edu as soon as it is available. Your score must reach the Kroc Institute by the mid-January in order to be considered.

9) GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores

Scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are required from all Ph.D. applicants. We are not able to waive this requirement. Applications received without a GRE score will not be considered.  The Notre Dame Graduate School requires the GRE General Test, which includes verbal, analytical writing, and quantitative examination sections. When added together, an applicant's combined Verbal plus Quantitative GRE score must be over our 300 minimum in order for their application to be reviewed.

The institution code for the University of Notre Dame is 1841. A department code is not necessary. GRE scores are valid for five years. LSAT or GMAT scores cannot replace the GRE. The GRE test is offered by the Educational Testing Service at locations around the world. More GRE information»

In the 'Test Scores' section of your online application, click "Add Test", and then click "Edit" at the end of the GRE row.  This will open a screen where you can enter your self-reported GRE scores.  It is very important that you enter your self-reported GRE scores.  Please also upload your personal copy of your GRE score report to your online application in the "Test Score Upload" section.  Your unofficial copy will suffice for the purposes of the Admissions Committee. 

If you plan to take the GRE after your application is submitted, please be sure to enter the date you expect to take the GRE into your online application and then email your self-reported GRE scores to krocphd@nd.edu as soon as they are available. Your self-reported GRE scores must reach the Kroc Institute by mid-January in order for your application to be considered.

10) Application fee of $75

The application fee may be paid online by credit card after completing the online application.


Submission Procedure

Your statement of intent, CV, writing sample, unofficial copies of your transcripts, TOEFL and GRE scores must be submitted electronically by December 15 as part of the Graduate School's online application. Do not mail, fax, or email your application materials.

Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive an initial confirmation email listing the materials received. After the initial notice, log in to your online application to check the status of recommendations received, etc.

Decision letters will normally be sent by April 15. When a decision is ready, the Graduate School will send an email with instructions to log back into your online application to view the decision letter.

Please note: Only one application is required to be admitted to one of the 6 joint Ph.D. programs in peace studies. However, you MAY apply simultaneously for admission to one of the peace studies Ph.D. programs and to a separate doctoral program of one of the six departments (anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, or theology). If you choose to do this, you must submit TWO complete applications ­ — one for each program. In this case, all application materials must be submitted separately with each application; documents cannot be shared. You must submit transcripts, GRE scores, recommenders, curriculum vitae, new statement of intent and writing sample for each Ph.D. application you submit.

If you are interested in a master’s degree, apply to the Master of Global Affairs – International Peace Studies concentration, rather than the Ph.D. program.

Transfer students: If you are already enrolled in a doctoral program and seek to enter the Ph.D. program in peace studies, you still must submit a formal application, even if you are currently enrolled at the University of Notre Dame.