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Department of English

Graduate Studies

Admission Requirements

All relevant materials must be received in the English Department by January 15. Only complete application files will be reviewed. Notification of the department's admission decision will be sent by the Graduate School.

The Graduate School requires a non-refundable $65 application fee for all applicants.

Admission is competitive and based mainly on academic merit, demonstrated capability to do research, and the match of research interests between the applicant and faculty in indicated or developing areas of specialization.

A Statement of Purpose should accompany the application. The Statement of Purpose should give a sense of academic training to date, as well as the research interests the applicant wishes to pursue while in graduate school. Ph.D. applicants should also indicate how their goals and experience prepare them to participate in the profession as researchers and teachers.

Supplementary materials as described below are to be sent directly to the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English, Swan Hall, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881.

M.A. Requirements

  • a B.A. in English (or a related field)
  • Two copies of official transcripts of all work (undergraduate and graduate) in sealed envelopes that have been signed across the seal. The minimum acceptable quality point average for M.A. applicants is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Three letters of recommendations from academic institutions, similarly sealed or sent electronically to the department.
  • One writing sample (preferably 10-15 pages in length, 20 pages maximum) demonstrating capacity for close reading, effective argumentation, and research skills. For the specialization in Rhetoric, a piece of empirical research or rhetorical theory will satisfy the requirement.
  • If you wish to concentrate in creative writing, you may also submit a creative writing sample no longer than 10 pages.
  • A validated Certificate of Residence for consideration for in-state tuition and fees.
  • Teaching Assistantships are limited—and preference is given to Ph.D. applicants. Applicants who wish to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship must include a cover letter with the request detailing any prior teaching, Teaching Assistantship, tutoring, or writing center experience.
  • CV
  • Non-native speakers of English must have a minimum score of 91 on the TOEFL in order to be considered for admission. The suggested minimum speaking score for International Teaching Assistants is 23. TOEFL test scores more than two years prior to term of application will not be accepted. Older test results will necessitate a retaking of the examination.

Ph.D. Requirements

  • An M.A. in English (or a related field).
  • Two copies of official transcripts of all work (undergraduate and graduate) in sealed envelopes that have been signed across the seal. Ph.D. applicants with less than a 3.5 quality point average (on a 4.0 scale) have a very low probability for admission.
  • Three letters of recommendations from academic institutions, similarly sealed or sent electronically to the department.
  • One writing sample, preferably 10-15 pages in length, 20 pages maximum demonstrating close reading, effective argumentation, research skills and familiarity with scholarship in a field of study. For the specialization in Rhetoric, a piece of empirical research or rhetorical theory will satisfy the requirement.
  • If you wish to concentrate in creative writing, you may also submit a creative writing sample no longer than 10 pages.
  • GRE (General Test) scores are required for Ph.D. applicants only. Effective for Fall 2012 admission, the Literature in English Subject Test will also be required except for applicants wishing to specialize in Rhetoric.
  • A validated Certificate of Residence for consideration for in-state tuition and fees.
  • Teaching Assistantships are limited—and preference is given to Ph.D. applicants. Applicants who wish to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship must include a cover letter with the request detailing any prior teaching, Teaching Assistantship, tutoring, or writing center experience.
  • CV
  • Non-native speakers of English must have a minimum score of 91 on the TOEFL in order to be considered for admission. The suggested minimum speaking score for International Teaching Assistants is 23. TOEFL test scores more than two years prior to term of application will not be accepted. Older test results will necessitate a retaking of the examination.
  • GRE test scores earned more than five years prior to term of application will not be accepted. Older test results will necessitate a retaking of the examination.