Normally, applicants to the Ph.D. program have the equivalent of an undergraduate major or an M.A. in English, although the Department welcomes qualified students who have previously specialized in other related disciplines and who show clear promise for success in English. Applicants to the M.A. program should also have strong undergraduate records in English or a related field.
In assessing an application for admission, the Department pays close attention to the candidate's personal statement, writing sample, and letters of recommendation. At least two letters are required, preferably from faculty in English; most candidates submit three letters. Additional letters from appropriate judges are welcome, though not necessary. The University requires that the applicant submit GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, analytical). Scores for the exam in English Literature are optional. The Department requires applicants to submit a writing sample; this often takes the form of a paper revised from an undergraduate or graduate class. This should offer a demonstration of the candidate's analytical skills and writing ability that is both representative and striking. Essays should comprise a substantial piece of work (10-20 pages, or a comparable excerpt from a longer effort, such as an Honors Thesis) that reflects the candidate's potential for successful graduate study.
Both our PhD Program and our MA Program are full-time (with part-time options available only for those receiving University of Rochester Employee Tuition Benefits).
Our application fee is $60. The deadline for applications is January 15; students who are admitted will enter the program in the fall semester. Apply on-line here. Please note that the College's online application allows you to upload writing samples. All written inquiries should be directed to: The Director of Graduate Study, the Department of English, The University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 14627-0451 (phone: 585-275-4092).
If the application fee would cause financial hardship, you may
submit to the English Department a request for a fee waiver. The
department will evaluate your request to determine if you qualify
for the waiver. Please forward the following information:
1. Your application number.
2. A brief statement explaining why you might qualify for a fee waiver.
We will review only your statement. Please do not send any confidential
financial documents (including copies of tax returns, bank statements,