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How to Apply

How to Apply

Deadline for submission of applications for Fall 2021 is Monday, January 11, 2021

IMPORTANT: The GRE is not a requirement for admission to our graduate program.

NOTE: If you are interested in getting a PhD in English but do not already have a completed MA degree, you must apply to the MA program.

Beginning November 10, 2014, you will only need to upload one copy of each institution’s official transcript(s) when completing your online application. Please do not send paper copies of the transcripts to our office. Official paper transcripts will only be required by the Graduate School upon admission to the program.

Step 1: Complete the Online Application

If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit that website at

If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application at

The following items shall be submitted electronically with your online application:

For MA and PhD applicants:

  • Statement of purpose for graduate study (1-3 pages double-spaced) The Graduate Program in English welcomes a statement of purpose that discusses your intellectal development and the goals you hope to pursue in graduate school. What kinds of questions do you hope to explore during your graduate school career? We also welcome discussion of your personal background and work experience that prepares you for graduate school.
  • Current Curricumlum Vitae.
  • Article-length (15-20 pages double-spaced) critical writing sample
  • An unofficial transcript (this is NOT a copy printed from the institution’s website) from each institution of higher education attended, both undergraduate and graduate. Note: Official transcripts will only be required by the Graduate School upon admission to the program.

Step 2: Submit Three (3) Letters of Reference

Each reference that the applicant lists on the electronic application will receive an e-mail that details the reference submission portal on the Graduate School’s application website.  To avoid delays, please be sure you have entered a correct email address for each reference you supply.   No special form is necessary.

Step 3: If You are an International Student, Submit the Following Additional Items with Your Application

Results from a recent Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

International applicants who have received a baccalaureate or a master’s degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following countries are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement:  Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (Except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.

The fee information for the current and new application year can be found at
For more information, please contact:

Graduate Studies Office
Department of English
The Pennsylvania State University
403 Burrowes Building, University Park, PA 16802-6202

Telephone: (814) 863-3069