PhD in Cultural Studies

Become a Mason Graduate Student

All applicants for graduate study at George Mason University must meet the admission standards specified in the Admission chapter of the University Catalog.

You are responsible for submitting all required application materials by the posted deadline. Review your program's Admissions Requirements and Deadlines before you begin your application. You can also visit our Grad Admissions page for helpful hints on how best to prepare your transcripts and other Admissions materials.

Step 1: Complete and submit the online Graduate Admissions application. George Mason University requires all graduate applicants to upload all possible required supplementary materials, such as unofficial transcripts, goals statement and writing sample, at the same time you submit your application. Online applications require a non-refundable $75 application processing fee.

Step 2: Within a few days of submitting your online application, you will receive an email with your Mason G number (G#). This is a tracking number provided to all applicants that allows us to match your supporting documentation to your completed application.

Step 3: Check your application status and requirements checklist in your application portal. Initial processing takes 3 to 5 business days from the date of submission. You can use your application log-in and password to access your information throughout the application process. Graduate Admissions may send updates or notify you of issues with your application through your admissions portal, so it is best to log in periodically to monitor your application status.

Step 4: For newly admitted students, refer to the CHSS New Graduate Student webpage for tips on confirming enrollment, submitting official transcripts, registering for class and more.

The fall graduate degree seeking application opens September 15.

Program Specific Requirements

College Transcripts Goals Statement GRE Portfolio Recommendation Letters Resume Writing Sample

Additional Information

Students must already have earned a master's degree in a relevant field.

It is recommended that applicants shape their statement of interest under the guidance of a faculty mentor who is familiar with interdisciplinary cultural studies. Applicants should also be mindful of the program's areas of emphasis, which are embodied in standing Theory and Topics courses.

The required goals statement for this program should be a detailed and sophisticated statement of interest that provides an overview of the applicant’s intellectual development and proposed research topics.

The writing sample should be of academic nature (e.g., an exemplary term paper or MA thesis) uploaded online.

Demonstration of foreign language competence is not required for admission, but is required for advancement to candidacy.

The GRE Exam is not required but recommended. 
The Office of Graduate Admissions, in coordination with the PhD in Cultural Studies review committee, will consider requests from admitted students to delay enrollment and have their application reconsidered for a future term.  A reconsideration is not an automatic admission and an applicant must go through admissions review again, regardless of previous decision. Offers of funding are not guaranteed for reconsiderations and are at the discretion of the program of admission.  All requests for reconsideration must be submitted using the response form in the application portal. Reconsideration is granted only for a period of one full academic year (Ex. Fall to Fall).
For specific questions about the program, please send an email to or call the office at 703-993-2851. More information about the program is available on the Cultural Studies web site.

Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline: January 15

Students are admitted for fall semester only. Priority funding consideration will be given to completed applications received by January 15. 

All applicants are strongly advised to submit applications and all supporting documents by the program's posted deadline date. Fellowships, tuition waivers, and research or teaching assistantships may be available for qualified applicants who submit by the January 15 deadline. 

Additional Requirements for