Applying to the Graduate Program | Department of English

Applying to the Graduate Program

By January 1, applicants should email the following to GradEnglishStudies@unt.edu:

  • Personal statement (MA) / Letter of intent (Ph.D.)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample(s)

Notes:

-The January 1 deadline is for the fall semester. We only allow students to start in the fall semester, you cannot apply to start in the spring

-Indicate in the body of the email whether or not your waive your right to access the letters of recommendation.

-Admission decisions are generally announced 10 weeks after the deadline, via mail.

-For general program information, please see the Graduate Handbook for English Students.

Admission Criteria

Since 2007, the State of Texas has mandated that all applications are to evaluated under the rubric of "holistic review," indicating that deficiency in one element of an application doesn't necessarily disqualify a candidate from gaining admission to any given program.

Information About Applying to the Graduate Program

The faculty of the Department of English is a body of dynamic teachers and researchers committed to instruction in British, American, and Anglophone literary and cultural studies, creative writing, and rhetoric and composition from the earliest periods to the present day. Courses in literary criticism and theory educate students in classical and postmodern modes of analysis, and various special topics courses offer students the opportunity to study literature and culture across the conventional boundaries of period and discipline. The department prides itself not only on the quality of its teaching but also on its international scholarly reputation. Professors publish their work in top academic journals and in monographs and editions published by university presses. The department sponsors the American Studies Colloquium, the Early British Literature Colloquium, and the Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium, as well as the quarterly journal Studies in the Novel.

The creative writing faculty features several nationally recognized writers whose books have been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Harper Collins; University of Illinois Press; LSU Press; and Oxford University Press among others. Stories, essays, and poems by the faculty also appear in publications such as The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The New York Times, Image, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, TriQuarterly, The Threepenny Review, Best American Poetry, and Best American Spiritual Writing. One distinctive strength of graduate creative writing is that students have the opportunity to work closely with both the creative writing and literature faculties, and to explore ways in which knowledge of literary traditions develops craft. Creative writing students take workshops in fiction, poetry, and/or creative nonfiction alongside a range of literature courses. To complete the degree, students write either a creative thesis (for the MA with a major in creative writing) or a creative dissertation with a critical preface (for the PhD in English with a concentration in creative writing). Each year the department sponsors a Visiting Writer Series that brings distinguished writers to campus to give readings and meet with students in Q&A sessions. Students also have opportunities to pursue editorial positions with the department's national literary journal, American Literary Review, and with the local student-run journal, North Texas Review.

Degree programs

The Department of English offers the following degrees:

  • Master of Arts with a major in creative writing
  • Master of Arts with a major in English
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in English

A concentration in creative writing is available under the PhD with a major in English.

Master of Arts with a major in Creative Writing or English

Admission requirements and procedures

Applicants must first meet the qualifications for admission set by the Toulouse Graduate School. To be eligible for admission to the MA with a major in English or creative writing, applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate semester credit hours prior to receiving a bachelor's degree or a 2.8 GPA on all undergraduate work. The applicant must also submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants accepted into the MA program have presented verbal scores ranging from the 50th to the 98th percentile and analytical writing scores ranging from 3.0 to 6.0. Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit a score on the TOEFL examination. Scores on the computer-based TOEFL examination have ranged from 231 to 255, and scores on the internet-based TOEFL have ranged from 87 to 108. TOEFL scores are not accepted in lieu of GRE scores.

Applicants for the MA program must also meet the departmental qualifications for admission by having completed up to 24 hours of undergraduate course work in English. Applicants with fewer than 24 hours of undergraduate course work in English may be admitted to the program, and the director of graduate studies will determine the prerequisite course work based on an applicant's educational background and area of scholarly interest.

Financial support

Full-time students in English who meet all qualifications may apply to be academic assistants or graders. Occasionally opportunities arise for those having completed 18 graduate hours to apply for a teaching fellowship. All applications are available at www.engl.unt.edu/graduate/job-opportunities.

Foreign language requirement

All candidates pursuing a master's degree in the Department of English must have a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. As evidence of such knowledge, a student may present the results of a standardized examination or have completed the sophomore year of a foreign language (or the equivalent), provided that the grade point average on all language courses is 2.75 or higher. A student who has permission to write a thesis or to enroll in ENGL 5920-ENGL 5930 will not be allowed to register for the courses until the foreign language requirement has been met.

Degree plan requirement

During the second term/semester of graduate work toward the master's degree, the student is required to file a degree plan with the Graduate Studies in English office. Students should obtain an appointment with the graduate advisor as soon as possible after the registration period during their second term/semester's work.

Comprehensive examination

MA candidates on the English track must pass the master's comprehensive examination. This examination is administered by the Department of English and is given each fall and spring semester. Students must register for this examination at the appropriate time in the Graduate Studies in English office. Students should consult with the graduate advisor early in their programs to learn of the specific nature of the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination may be taken twice. If the candidate fails the examination on both occasions, then permission for any retake of the examination must be granted by the graduate admissions committee. No student will be permitted to take the exam a fourth time. Students must first pass the comprehensive examination in order to register for thesis hours.

Application deadline

  • January 1 for admission in the fall semester

Application checklist

All applicants

All applicants for the MA program should send the following materials directly to the Toulouse Graduate School:

  1. A completed Graduate Studies Application form with the intended major (creative writing or English) indicated in the appropriate blank.
  2. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent from the Educational Testing Service. Applicants must take the GRE verbal and analytical writing sections.
  3. Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for students whose native language is not English.
  4. Official transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate academic work.
Applicants for the MA with a major in Creative Writing

Applicants for the MA with a major in creative writing should send the following materials via e-mail attachment directly to the Graduate Studies in English Office at GradEnglishStudies@unt.edu:

  1. a 300-500 word personal statement describing the applicant's specific area of interest (creative nonfiction, fiction or poetry), career plans, and purpose in working toward an MA;
  2. a writing sample (10 pages of poetry, 15-25 pages of fiction, or 15-25 pages of nonfiction); and
  3. two letters of recommendation that assess the candidate's potential for pursuing graduate-level work in creative writing. Please provide referees the above e-mail address for file attachment.

Note: Students should indicate in the e-mail whether or not access is granted to letters of recommendation.

Applicants for the MA with a major in English

Applicants for the MA with a major in English should send the following materials via e-mail attachment directly to the department's Graduate Studies in English Office at GradEnglishStudies@unt.edu:

  1. a 300-500 word personal statement describing the applicant's specific area of literary interest, career plans, and purpose in working toward an MA;
  2. a sample of critical, literary analysis and interpretation (10-15 pages); and
  3. two letters of recommendation that assess the candidate's potential for pursuing graduate level work in English literature. Please provide referees the above e-mail address for file attachment.

Note: Students should indicate in the e-mail whether or not access is granted to letters of recommendation.

Time limitation for the master's degree

All master's students have six years to complete their degree requirements.

Doctor of Philosophy with a major in English

Admission requirements and procedures

Applicants must meet the qualifications for admission set by the Toulouse Graduate School as well as departmental admission requirements. Applicants may pursue a PhD in English by writing a literature dissertation or a creative dissertation. Admission to the doctoral program in English is competitive.

All applicants must meet the following minimum standards.

  1. Graduate Record Examination. Applicants must submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal and analytical sections. Applicants accepted have presented verbal scores ranging from the 69th to the 99th percentile and analytical writing scores ranging from 4.0 to 6.0. The student must also meet GRE requirements established by the Graduate Council and must comply with general regulations concerning the GRE in relevant sections of this bulletin.
  2. TOEFL. Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit TOEFL scores. Applicants accepted have presented TOEFL computer-based test scores ranging from 233 to 293, and scores on the internet-based TOEFL have ranged from 87 to 115. TOEFL scores are not accepted in lieu of GRE scores.

Application deadlines

  • January 1 for admission in the fall semester

Application checklist

Applicants should send the following materials directly to the Toulouse Graduate School:

  1. A completed Graduate Studies Application form with the intended major (creative writing or literature) indicated in the appropriate blank.
  2. Official transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate academic work.
  3. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent from the Educational Testing Service. Candidates applying for the PhD program must take the GRE verbal and analytical writing sections.
  4. Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination for students whose native language is not English.

Applicants should send the following materials via e-mail attachment directly to the Graduate Studies in English Office of the Department of English at GradEnglishStudies@unt.edu:

  1. Letter of intent. The letter should describe the applicant's scholarly field of interest or creative genre of specialization. It should explain why the applicant wants to work toward a Doctor of Philosophy with a major in English.
  2. Writing Sample(s). All applicants must submit one substantial example of critical writing (12-20 pages). Those applying for the concentration in creative writing must also submit a sample of their creative writing (10 pages of poetry, 15-25 pages of fiction, or 15-25 pages of nonfiction).
  3. Three confidential letters of reference that assess the applicant's potential contribution to the discipline. Please provide referees with the above e-mail address for file attachment.
  4. A current curriculum vitae.

Note: Students should indicate in the e-mail whether or not access is granted to letters of recommendation.

If you have questions about the degree or application process, please contact the Graduate Studies in English Office at 940-565-2273.

Time limitation for the doctoral degree

Doctoral students have eight years to complete their degree requirements.

Financial assistance

All applicants who meet all qualifications for both the doctoral program and for instructional positions will be considered for employment as graders, academic assistants, or teaching fellows in the Department of English. Part-time students will normally be employed elsewhere, but, if qualified, they are not precluded from performing instructional services at some time during their studies.

Departmental scholarships may be awarded to incoming graduate students who show unusual promise as indicated by their application credentials.

Residence

The student must meet the doctoral residence requirement described in the Doctoral Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Foreign language requirement

Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language other than his or her own native language. The student will work with his or her major advisor to decide what foreign language is most appropriate for his or her graduate program and scholarly interests. Some advisors may require additional foreign language work. The student's advisor may also set specific requirements based on individual and scholarly needs. The student may demonstrate reading knowledge of a single foreign language in any of the following ways: (1) by showing proof of completion of 12 hours (through the sophomore level) of a single foreign language at the undergraduate level or graduate level with a minimum GPA of 3.0 via transcript(s) or (2) by passing the appropriate competency test as administered by the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures at UNT.

Admission to candidacy

After admission to PhD study, a graduate student will be accepted for candidacy for the PhD after accomplishing all of the following:

  1. successful completion of all required courses, including foundation and distribution requirements, and elective courses;
  2. successful completion of foreign language requirements; and
  3. successful completion of the PhD examination.

Programs

    Master's Degree

    Doctorate

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