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Graduate Academic Offerings Database

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The Department of English, General Literature and Rhetoric offers students the opportunity to study literature and language in their many manifestations. Although English and American literature and the practice of creative and expository writing are primary, the department conceives of neither literature nor writing in a narrow or parochial way. Literature courses deal broadly with genres and themes from the past and present, and teach students how to read and analyze texts; creative writing courses foster, in qualified students, the development of serious creativity; rhetoric courses deal with both the theory and practice of communication, as well as the history of oral and written argument.

Recent doctoral graduate employment placements include: Assistant Professor at Pfeiffer University, Assistant Professor at University of California Channel Island, Lead Editor and Writer at Kathy Layne & Associates, Assistant Professor at Virginia State University, Assistant Professor at Ithaca College.

Graduate Degrees Offered

  • MA English/American Literature
  • MA English/American Literature with a creative writing concentration
  • PhD with a research dissertation
  • PhD with a creative dissertation

Accelerated Degree: English BA + Business Administration, MBA (Learn more about Accelerated Degree Programs.)

Application Deadlines

  Fall Admission Spring Admission
MA February 15 November 15
PhD February 15 November 15

Admission Requirements*

The standards maintained by The Graduate School and individual departments and programs are applied to ensure that applicants admitted to the University are well qualified and trained to study at this institution and have a reasonable expectation of successfully completing a graduate program, and who, with the benefit of graduate education, are most likely to contribute substantially to their academic or professional fields.

To be eligible, you must have and provide:

  • A bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
  • Complete set of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts. At minimum, a 3.0 GPA is required. See details.


  • Undergraduate major in English desirable for admission


  • MA in English literature is expected, but a degree in another field does not preclude admission

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Online graduate degree application and application fee
  • Transcripts from each college/university which you have attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (2-3 pages) describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to your program's admissions committee.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • Official GRE scores
  • Writing sample
    • All applicants: critical writing sample (10-20 pages)
    • Creative writing applicants: portfolio of creative work (not more than 40 pages of fiction or 20 pages of verse)

And, for international applicants:

  • International Student Financial Statement form (PDF)
  • Official bank statement/proof of support
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores

*This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to keep it accurate and up-to-date, we recommend you contact the department for program-specific requirements.

How to Apply button


David Bartine, Associate Professor and Graduate Director

Colleen Bailey, Graduate Secretary

Department of English website

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Last Updated: 2/11/15