Applying to the Graduate Program in English

Application forms and instructions can be accessed through the Graduate School website. Note that the application to the Graduate Program in English must be for either the MA or the PhD, not both. Applications for the MA/PhD should be marked “PhD.”

For admission in the Fall, complete applications must reach the University of Connecticut by January 1. International applicants must submit application materials by December 20.

Your application form must be submitted through the Graduate School’s online system. Please include your official transcripts, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, GRE test scores, and writing sample.

All recommendation letters should be sent on-line through the Graduate School website. If a recommendation letter must be dispatched separately, it can be sent by mail to the English Department, or by email to the Graduate English Office, however this may delay your application review.

Applications are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • GRE Scores. Candidates who are admitted usually score 160 or above, and minimally in the 144 range, on the Graduate Record Exams. The General Test is required, however, the English Literature Subject Test is optional. Further information is available at the ETS website. The UConn code is 3915 and English Literature is 2501. Note that, if taking the Subject Test, it is offered by ETS only three times a year (typically in October, November, and April), so planning ahead is crucial. We must receive the General test scores in order to consider an application complete.
  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores. The University requires TOEFL or IELTS scores for all students whose native language is not English.
  • GPA. It is rare that a candidate is admitted with a GPA of less than 3.2 (on a 4.0 basis) or 3.4 in the candidate’s major field. The English Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee does make exceptions on occasion when the candidate’s junior and senior years of college work show substantial improvement over the freshman and sophomore years.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Three letters of recommendation are required. Students should ask for letters from professors who know them well, preferably from their last two years of coursework. We suggest contacting your professors several months before our application deadline. Please have recommendation letters submitted directly through the Graduate School’s application website. Please do not send recommendations by Interfolio.
  • Personal Statement. This essay gives the English Department’s Admissions Committee some idea of the applicant’s writing style, range and depth of ideas, quality of mind, and motivation to embark on an advanced degree program in English and American Literature. Please download our personal statement cover sheet and include it with your essay in the online application system. Please be sure your proposed field of concentration is showing on the top line of your personal statement.
  • Writing Sample. A writing sample is required for both the MA and the PhD application. The Graduate Admissions Committee would like to see a researched critical paper.