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How to Apply

How to Apply

The deadline for submission of applications for Fall 2024 is Monday, January 8, 2024

MA v. PhD Applications

All applicants should apply to the MA program. On occasion, an MA-holding applicant may be admitted directly to the PhD program. If you hold an MA, please indicate on the admission form whether you wish to be considered for PhD admission.


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

Application Fee

Fee information for the current and new application year can be found at

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

Required Materials

Both MA and PhD applicants should submit the following items with their online application:

  • Statement of purpose for graduate study (1-3 pages double-spaced).
    The English Graduate Program welcomes a statement of purpose that discusses your intellectual development and the goals you might wish to pursue in graduate school. What kinds of questions do you hope to explore during your graduate studies? How have your previous studies, or your personal background, or your work experience prepared you for graduate school?
  • Current Curriculum Vitae.
  • Article-length (15-20 pages double-spaced) critical writing sample.
  • An unofficial transcript, which you should request from each institution attended and upload to the admission form. If you are admitted to the program, the Graduate School will then request an official transcript directly from your institution(s).

If you have read both the Graduate School and English Graduate program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application using the button below.

Step 2: Submit 3 Letters of Reference

Each recommender 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: For International Students

Please submit 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.

For more information, please contact:

Cheryl Mohr, Administrative Assistant
English Graduate Program
Department of English
The Pennsylvania State University
403 Burrowes Building, University Park, PA 16802-6202

Telephone: (814) 863-2626