How to Apply

Apply

To apply to the Department of English, you will need to submit the Graduate School's general application online. In addition, the department requires a specific writing sample (see more information below) depending on the degree option to which you are applying. 

In addition to the materials requested by the Graduate School, all English Ph.D. applicants must submit a Teaching Assistantship Application Form. For more information, visit our financial aid page.

Deadlines

M.A. and M.S.T. applicants can apply for fall, spring, or summer admission. Deadlines for applying to M.A. and M.S.T. programs are:

  • Fall semester – Financial Aid Deadline (Jan. 15), Admission without financial aid (July 1)
  • Spring semester – Financial Aid Deadline (Oct. 15), Admission without financial aid (Dec. 1)
  • Summer semester – Admission only (April 1)

We admit M.F.A. and Ph.D. candidates to the program for fall semester only. All M.F.A. and Ph.D. applicants must have a completed application to the Graduate School by Jan. 15.

Ph.D. applicants must submit an application for financial aid since all of our Ph.D. students hold a teaching assistantship during their first four years.

In order for your file to be considered for admission and/or financial aid, your file must be complete by the appropriate deadline.

GREs

The GRE General Test is required for all M.A. and Ph.D. applicants. The Subject Test in literature is required for Ph.D in Literature applicants only. GREs are not required for M.F.A. or M.S.T. applicants. Waivers are not granted.

Below you will find a description of writing samples appropriate to each degree program. Please note that a writing sample is required of all graduate English applicants. This is one of the most important parts of your application. At least three faculty members will read this sample to determine your potential for our graduate program, so choose your sample carefully and proofread it.

M.A. English/Language and Linguistics

Ten to 20 pages of a linguistics-related essay would be acceptable, as would a piece previously submitted for a literature class.

M.A. English/English Studies

The sample could emphasize an area you would like to study, i.e. a paper previously submitted for a literature course. Your paper should reflect your ability to read literature closely, to place it in a historical or theoretical context, and to use research materials responsibly. Ten to twenty pages would be acceptable.

M.F.A. Writing

  • FICTION: Please submit at least two separate pieces, i.e. two short stories, part of a novel or novella and a short story.
  • NON-FICTION: At least two separate non-fiction pieces, i.e. feature articles, essays, or newspaper stories.
  • POETRY: Ten to fifteen poems.

M.S.T. English

You should submit at least two different pieces of writing – one to demonstrate competence in analytical writing, i.e. a research paper, a literary analysis paper, an extended book review; the other piece should demonstrate your creative writing ability, i.e. a chapter in a novel, a short story, or a personal essay (recounting or reflecting on a personal experience). You may use a paper previously submitted for a class. The samples could total between fifteen and thirty pages.

Ph.D. English/Composition

You should submit at least one substantial paper which demonstrates your potential to do scholarly work in composition/rhetoric. Length may vary, but a 15-20 page paper is typical. You may use a paper from an earlier graduate seminar or undergraduate course.

Ph.D. English/Literature

You should submit at least one substantial paper which demonstrates your potential to do scholarly work in literature. Your paper should reflect your ability to read literature closely, to place it in a historical or theoretical context, and to use research materials responsibly. Length may vary, but a 15-20 page paper is typical. You may use a paper from an earlier graduate seminar or undergraduate course.

Writing samples should be returned together with the completed application to the Graduate School. If you have more specific questions, please contact the English Graduate Office at (603) 862-3963 or email janine.wilks@unh.edu.

Requirements for M.A./M.F.A./M.S.T. Applicants

  • Application deadline for Spring, with financial aid: Oct. 15 (postmarked)
  • Application deadline for Spring, without financial aid: Nov .22 (postmarked)
  • Application deadline for Fall, with financial aid: Jan. 15 (postmarked)
  • Application deadline for Fall, without financial aid: July 1 (postmarked)
  • Application deadline for Summer, without financial aid: April 1 (postmarked)
  • Application deadline for M.F.A. students with or without financial aid: Jan. 15 (postmarked)

Your application must include the following
Application form (available here) You must indicate which program you are applying to; note that our M.F.A. Writing Program has three tracks, Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction.

  • Personal statement (see application form)
  • University or college transcripts
  • General GRE scores (we accept scores no older than four years old). Not needed for M.S.T. or M.F.A.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample (more information about writing samples available here)
  • Department financial aid form (available here)*
  • Teaching Assistantship application form (available here)*
  • FAFSA (available here)*

Please send all materials to The Graduate School, Thompson Hall, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824. DO NOT send materials to the English department; doing so may lead to a significant delay in an admission decision.

*Required only if you are applying for financial aid. We cannot consider you for financial aid without these forms. English Dept financial aid not available for summer programs.

Requirements for Ph.D. Applicants

Your application must include the following:

  • Application form (available here)
  • University or college transcripts (Bachelor's and Master's degrees)
  • General GRE scores
  • Advanced GRE score in Literature (required for Ph.D. in Literature students only)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample
  • Financial aid form (available here)*
  • Teaching Assistantship application form (available here)*

Please send all materials to The Graduate School, Thompson Hall, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824. Do NOT send materials directly to the English department; doing so may result in a significant delay in an admission decision.

*All applicants for our Ph.D. program are required to hold a Teaching Assistantship. For that reason, you must include these forms with your application. Please mark "Teaching Assistantship" as your first choice for financial aid.

International applicants must also submit a TOEFL score report with the application packet.

If you are a non-U.S. citizen currently living outside the United States, please complete International Student Pre-application Form before submitting application materials. 

For more information, please see Graduate School Information for International Applicants.

If you are a non-U.S. citizen living in the United States or if your pre-application has been approved, please proceed to the application procedures.

More Resources for International Applicants