Application Procedures

Listed below are the Department’s requirements for admission to our graduate programs. For more detailed information, please refer to the Graduate School website, submit this inquiry form, or contact their office. Additionally, you may send an email to or to reach the Department.

The GRE is no longer required as part of the application for the Arabic and Islamic Studies MA and/or Ph.D. program(s).


Admission Requirements

Application Deadline:
Fall Admission deadline is January 15th.

Entering students are required to have Arabic language competence equivalent at least to that attained by the end of the third year of intensive language study in the undergraduate program at Georgetown University. Applicants considered for the program will be subject to an Arabic placement exam as part of the application process. A second placement exam is administered upon admission to the program for non-native speakers. PhD Students are expected to TA in Arabic language courses. Study in the Arab world is strongly advised before completion of the Ph.D. degree; course equivalences will be evaluated for possible transfer of credit upon approval of the Graduate Committee.

In addition to advanced proficiency in Arabic, admission application requirements include:

Graduate School Application Form

Non-refundable Application Fee of $90

Academic Statement of Purpose

Transcripts of Academic Coursework and Degrees Earned

Three Official Recommendations

Graduate Record Examination

Proof of English Language Proficiency

Writing Sample

Graduate School Application Form

Submission of the electronic application form will activate your application to the Graduate School. The application form must be submitted by the 15 January deadline. The online application system allows for the electronic submission of the application form and supporting application documents, such as the personal statement, resume, and writing sample, as well as online recommendations. All hard copy documents submitted in support of the application should be submitted in a self-assembled packet according to the guidelines outlined below.

A non-refundable application fee of $90

The application form must be submitted with a non-refundable application fee. Requests for waiver of the application fee are not accepted. The Graduate School requires that an application fee accompany any application to one of our graduate programs. Applicants will not receive a Graduate School decision on their application if the application fee is not paid. Please note that cash is not accepted as a form of payment; please pay by credit card at the time of application submission or check or money order.

Checks or money orders should be made payable to “Georgetown University” in U.S. dollars. Payment in foreign currency is not accepted. Clearly write the following information on the check or money order: applicant name, program applying to, and term of application.

Fee exceptions: Students who are currently enrolled in a master’s program at Georgetown University and are requesting Ph.D. status in the same program.

Academic Statement of Purpose

A 500-word Academic Statement of Purpose should be prepared and submitted with the application. The personal statement should address your intellectual interests, academic and professional objectives, and proposed topic(s) of graduate study.  

Online Statement of Purpose – Upload in the appropriate section and submit with the online application for automatic inclusion in your application record. Do not send a hard copy version of the online personal statement to avoid delays.

Transcripts of Academic Coursework and Degrees Earned

Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply  (new window)page for additional details and FAQs.

Official Recommendations

Three official recommendations are required by the Graduate School. These recommendations must be from persons in positions to appraise the applicant’s potential for graduate study. The Graduate School requires use of the online recommendation system. The online application utilizes a secure online recommendation system which will:

  • automatically email your recommendation providers with instructions for online submission of the recommendation;
  • allow applicants to track recommendations received or not received and follow up with recommenders who still need to submit their appraisals;
  • expedite the processing of the recommendations, which will be included in the online application once submitted.

Proof of English Language Proficiency

All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by:

  • the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (please note that applicants receiving degrees at universities in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS unless the primary language of instruction at the institution is English).
  • submission of an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report with a minimum score of 620 (paper-based test) or 260 (computer-based tests) or 100 (iBT test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL information:
  • submission of an official International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Academic Module score report with a minimum score of 7.5 from the International English Language Testing System. IELTS Information:

All official examination results must be submitted by the application deadline listed in the Admissions section of each graduate program listing; take no later than one month prior to the application deadline for the program; be received directly from the appropriate testing organization. Photocopied / faxed documents will not fulfill this requirement.

Writing Sample

This should be a 10-20 page, scholarly essay, in English, preferably on a topic related to the applicant’s field of study.