Minimum Requirements

Admitted students should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • While not a requirement, most successful applicants to the MPSM Doctoral Program have earned a Masters Degree in a relevant field (for example, Applied Statistics or Quantitative Social Sciences) if not actually in Survey Methodology.  Where appropriate, applicants to the PhD program will be considered for admission to the MS in Survey Methodology.
  • Applicants should have a strong analytical background in social science disciplines and statistics. We ask that MS applicants submit a supplemental form (Summary of Prerequisite Courses) describing the coursework they have taken which will prepare them for the Program in Survey Methodology. For the statistical science area of concentration, three courses in calculus, one course in linear algebra, and one statistics course are strongly recommended. For the social science area of concentration, two quantitative courses, at least one of which must be a statistics course, and at least two undergraduate courses in the social sciences are recommended.
  • All MS and PhD applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. There is no minimum GRE score requirement at this time.  Applicants admitted for Fall 2015 had an average Quantitative Score of 158 and an average Verbal Score of 155.  The score submitted must be from a GRE taken within the past five years. 
  • Proficiency in the English language. If the applicant's native language is not English he/she will be required to present evidence of competency in English (TOEFL or MELAB scores) with their application. If, however, a non-native English speaker has been granted a degree by an English speaking institution, the TOEFL or MELAB test is not required. Please refer to the Rackham Graduate School's Minimum Requirements for Admission for additional details.
  • The average undergraduate GPA for applicants admitted in Fall 2015 was 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

How to Apply

I am currently a University of Michigan (UM) Graduate Student.

For current students seeking admission into the Program in Survey Methodology, please view the Current and Previous U-M Ann Arbor Student  section of the Rackham website to determine which application best fits your circumstances.

Current students should contact the Program in Survey Methodology at for additional information about program content and supporting materials needed for the application (such as transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation and personal statement). The deadline for submitting the Application for Change of Program or Dual Degree form is the same as the program deadline for new Rackham applications, January 1.

I am not currently a University of Michigan (UM) Graduate Student.

This background information will be helpful: The name of the department that oversees many of the details for graduate students and graduate study at University of Michigan is Rackham Graduate School, usually referred to as "Rackham." Therefore, some of the steps you take during your application process will be for Rackham, and some will be for the Michigan Program of Survey Methodology (MPSM). You will be directing application materials to Rackham and MPSM.

Read all of these instructions carefully, because you may find that some parts apply to you and others do not.  Frequently asked questions when applying.

If you are filling out the Rackham Graduate School Application for the First Time Enrolleees, you must use the Web Application.

Online Application Process

The University of Michigan strongly encourages all applicants to apply online.

The  Application Fee is paid directly to Rackham Graduate School. Please follow the link for the most current fee details. Applications received without a fee payment will not be processed.  For information related to application fee waivers, please refer to the Rackham guidelines for Application Fee Waivers and Grants.  Application fees as of September 1, 2014 are:

  • United States citizens and those with permanent resident visa status, $75
  • Non-U.S. citizens, $90
  • This fee is non-refundable and subject to change.
  • Applications received without fees, Rackham approved fee waivers, or need-based fee grants will not be processed

If you do not have Internet access or have extenuating circumstances, a paper application can be requested. Please contact the Program in Survey Methodology by phone in order to request a paper application: (734) 647-0038.

Program Selection                                                                                                                                                      

Please indicate the degree for which you are applying and the appropriate number code on the application form.

o    The Program in Survey Methodology PhD code is 01716.

o    The Program in Survey Methodology Masters code is 01717.

o    The Program in Survey Methodology Certificate code is 01718.

o    The Program in Survey Methodology, non degree code is 01719.


1) Academic Statement of Purpose

The Academic Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement  about your academic and research background, your goals, and how study in the Program in Survey Methodology  graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.  (250-300 words for MS or Certificate applicants and 450-500 words for PhD applicants). 

The statement of purpose is the applicant's opportunity to convey to the Admissions Committee information that cannot be found in transcripts, letters of recommendation, or test scores. It should clearly explain the applicant's reasons for wanting to study survey methodology. 

If applying online, the statement of purpose should be submitted with the online application.  Rackham instructions for submitting documents online.

2) Personal Statement

The personal statement should describe how your personal background and life experiences including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan.  The personal statement should be kept to a 500 word limit for PhD, MS or certificate applicants. Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose.

If applying online, the personal statement should be submitted with the online application.  Rackham instructions for submitting documents online.

3) Test Scores

Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores report is required.  Offical results should be sent to The University of Michigan.

o    The institution code is 1839. There is no department code.

Please note: Due to changes to the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), applicants applying for the 2012 entering class MUST complete the GRE early to assure scores are received by the application deadline of January 1.  See the GRE website for details related to receiving your GRE scores.  

GRE (general) test scores are required of all applicants.  Those applying to the Certificate program are not required to submit GRE scores.  The GRE should be taken within five years of application. 

International applicants only:

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide evidence of proficiency.

TOEFL scores are sent electronically from ETS directly to the University of Michigan (institution code: 1839). Official ECPE, IELTS and MELAB scores must be sent directly to the Rackham Graduate School. Test scores are valid two years from the test date.

Additional information about the English proficiency requirement, please see the Rackham Graduate School website:  Required Tests for Non-native English Speakers.

4) Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Your curriculum vitae or resume describes your education, work experience, research and teaching experience, professional affiliations, volunteer activity and community engagement, honors and awards.

If applying online, the CV or resume should be submitted with the online application.  Rackham instructions for submitting documents online.

5) Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation are required and should reflect the academic and, if relevant, job capabilities and experience of the applicant. Academic recommendations should be from faculty members in the major discipline. We encourage applicants to submit letters of recommendation electronically – please see the online application for instructions. Hard copy letters of recommendation are also accepted and should be mailed directly to the Program in Survey Methodology (see address below).

Letters of recommendation should be submitted with the online application.  Rackham instructions for submitting letters of recommendation.

6) Transcripts

Please submit an official transcript from your undergraduate degree granting institution to the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, an administrative body that oversees many graduate departments at the University of Michigan. Rackham will certify your transcripts. Please send the official transcript to the Rackham address below.

In addition, the Program in Survey Methodology  also requires a copy of transcripts from your undergraduate degree-granting institution. The Program copy can be either official or unofficial. Uploading a scanned version of your transcript with your online application is recommended.  Rackham Instructions for Submitting Transcripts.  Please note: A transcript from your degree-granting institution is required, and your application may not be reviewed if not received by the deadline.

All transcripts which are not in English must include a certified translation with each copy of the transcript. All other application materials must be submitted in English, including letters of recommendation.

7) Prerequisite Courses (For MS applicants only)

The online application will provide a place for you to provide supplemental information, Summary of Prior Courses, during the application process. This form allows space to indicate specific details of the coursework you have taken that may be relevant to study in the Program in Survey Methodology. For the statistical science area of concentration, courses in calculus, linear algebra, and statistics should be listed. For the social science area of concentration, quantitative courses such as statistics and courses in the social sciences should be listed.

Addresses to which material should be mailed:

Rackham Mailing Address:

University of Michigan
Rackham Graduate School
Attn: Transcripts/U-M ID# (if known) or Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
915 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Program in Survey Methodology Mailing Address:

Program in Survey Methodology
Institute for Social Research
426 Thompson Street, Room 4050
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1248

Application Deadlines

Admissions applications and supporting credentials must be received at the University's Rackham School of Graduate Studies by specific deadlines. These deadlines vary by program.

Program Application Deadline
MS & PhD January 1 for study beginning the following fall term
Change of Program, Dual Degree, & Readmission January 1 for study beginning the following fall term
Certificate April 1 for study beginning the following summer term
July 1 for study beginning the following fall term
Non-Candidate for Degree One month prior to the first day of classes for study beginning that fall, winter, or spring term

Applicants will be notified of the Program's admission decision no later than April 1. All applications and supporting credentials become the property of the University of Michigan.