College of Arts and Sciences

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When you apply to a graduate program at USF, the process is entirely online. First, you create an application account and then complete the application at your own pace.

Start Your Application

You upload all application items to your application account. Once you provide your recommenders' names and email addresses, your recommenders receive instructions on how to upload their letter to your application account.

Please remember to review your individual program's requirements and application deadlines, which are listed on each individual program website under "How to Apply." Below is a list of items to be submitted to your account.

Application Instructions for Each Program

Analytics Application Instructions
Asia Pacific Studies Application Instructions
Biology Application Instructions
Biotechnology Application Instructions
Chemistry Application Instructions
Collegiate Athletics Application Instructions
Computer Science Application Instructions
Economics Application Instructions
Environmental Management Application Instructions
International and Development Economics Application Instructions
International Studies Application Instructions
Museum Studies Application Instructions
Public Affairs Application Instructions
Sport Management Application Instructions
Urban Affairs Application Instructions
Writing (MFA) Application Instructions

Application Form

Begin your application by selecting the "Start Your Application" link above. Complete the required sections of the online application at your own pace. Then, scan and/or upload your application items to your online application account. Please ensure that your scanned documents are easy to read and printable. If you are submitting test scores, you must upload an official printed copy of your score and request that official scores are sent to USF. You are encouraged to submit your completed application several weeks before the deadline.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose is one of the most important pieces in your application. The instructions for the Statement of Purpose varies for each program. Visit your program's website and select 'How to Apply' for instructions on your specific program's statement of purpose.

The statement of purpose is a two- to three-page document (length varies for each graduate program) that includes: your personal, educational and career goals; your reasons for pursuing your Master's program; features, objectives or aspects of USF's program that interest you; and any personal, academic, extracurricular, volunteer and professional projects and experiences that have prepared you for your graduate program or influenced your decision to pursue Master's program.

For applicants to Computer Science or Web Science, the 'Experience and Background Essay' is required as the statement of purpose. Upload this document to your application account.


Your current resume or CV can list and describe your educational history, work or job history, coursework related to the graduate program to which you are applying, and any experiences relevant to your pursuit of graduate studies — including internships, published articles or other published materials, volunteer and/or community service experience, study or work outside of your home country, and any other interests or activities related to your graduate program. Upload this document to your online application.

Transcripts (Academic Records)

Upload a copy of your university-issued transcript from each university, college (university-level) and community college you have attended. Please make sure the institution name is on the document you upload. Transcripts from all attended schools and study abroad programs must be submitted since universities at which you earned your Bachelor's Degree often do not list transfer and study abroad courses with grades. If you have not yet graduated from your Bachelor's Degree institution, submit a copy of your current transcript, showing in progress courses. Then, if admitted, request that your final, official transcript with final grades and degree conferral date be mailed to the Office of Graduate Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Letters of Recommendation

Follow the instructions in the online application in order to provide your recommenders' contact information. They will receive an email submit their letter through the online system. You can log into your account to send them a reminder at any time.

Test Scores (GRE and GMAT)

The USF school code for the GRE is 4850. Below is a list of programs and GRE requirements.
GRE General score required Analytics (GMAT or GRE), Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science
GRE Subject score recommended Biology, Chemistry
GRE not required Asia Pacific Studies, Collegiate Athletics, Economics, Environmental Management, International and Development Economics, International Studies, Museum Studies, Public Affairs, Sport Management, Urban Affairs, Writing
If you have taken the GRE general exam and your program does not require it, you may submit the score report if you choose to do so. You can upload your copy of your GRE score report when you apply online, and then request ETS to send your official score report to USF.

Writing Sample (only for MFA Writing Program)

A Writing Sample(s) is only required for applicants to the MFA in Writing Program.

The writing sample, the most heavily weighed component of the MFA in Writing application, consists of 10-15 pages in the genre in which you are applying (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry). Please indicate the genre on the first page of the writing sample. Although students have the opportunity to take courses outside their primary genre, they are accepted into a genre. For this reason, applicants who wish to be considered in a second genre should submit a second writing sample in that genre. The writing sample demonstrates your talent, accomplishment, and serious commitment to writing. It should not include collaborative assignments, such as edited pieces for newspapers, because these might not accurately represent your own work. All writing samples should be set in 12 pt. type, and prose should be double-spaced.

International Applicants – In addition to the items above, international applicants need to provide the items listed below. Click here for more instructions for international applicants.

English Language Test Scores

U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents are not required to submit an English language test score. All international applicants submit an English language test score, except for applicants from countries listed under "Test Scores" at International Students. TOEFL, IELTS and PTE scores are accepted. The TOEFL school code for USF is 4850. Please upload a copy of your score to your online application, and request that an official score report be sent to USF. For exceptions to this requirement, and to view each programs' minimum score, visit our International Students website and select "test scores."

International Transcripts

International applicants submit a transcript copy from each university, college (Bachelor's Degree level) and community college attended. In addition, you need to submit a copy of the transcript and diploma (document that indicates when a Bachelor's Degree has been completed) in the original language and in English translation (either from your university or an officially notarized translation). You are only required to mail an official, sealed copy of your Bachelor's Degree transcript and diploma if you are admitted into the university. 

Passport Photo Page

Please provide us with a copy of your passport photo/information page. Upload a copy of this page to your application. 

Certification of Finance (to obtain an F-1 visa)

Click here to download the Certification of Finances form and instructions. Complete the appropriate sections of the Certification of Finances form and sign it. If you have a sponsor who will assist in providing financial support for your graduate studies in the U.S., please have your sponsor complete and sign the "Sponsor's Funds" section. Include copies of supporting bank statement(s). Upload these documents to your online application. You do not need to submit this item if you will not be maintaining an F-1 student visa.