MA & PhD

Apply Now: MA & PhD

The fields below detail the application process for Graduate programs in English and the Admissions Requirements for MA and PhD applicants.

All applications must be submitted through our online application, including current MA students at UIC who want to be considered for the PhD program.

The application requires the following materials:

  • Official online application
  • Non-refundable application fee of US $70
  • Unofficial transcripts (official transcripts required upon admission; see the official Admissions policy on unofficial domestic transcripts for more information)
  • Official GRE test scores, no more than 5 years old (the Institution Code for reporting official scores is 1851). No subject test is required.
  • Statement of purpose: a statement of about 500 words presenting your reasons for pursuing graduate work in English, and relating that work to professional and other goals
  • 20-page writing sample:
    • English Studies candidates should upload only a standard writing sample of no more than 20 pages in an area reflective of your graduate research interests. A creative sample is not required.
    • Applications for the Program for Writers should upload one creative writing sample, approximately 20 pages of prose and/or 5 to 8 poems. Poetry may be single-spaced but prose must be double-spaced, and all samples should use a font no smaller than 12 pts. Please indicate whether the prose is creative nonfiction, short fiction or an excerpt from a novel. Program for Writers applicants may, in addition, send a critical writing sample of no more than 20 pages, but this is not required.
  • CV / resume
  • Three letters of recommendation. These are uploaded electronically by the recommender. While completing your application, you will be prompted to add the contact information of your three references, including email and phone number. You may use Interfolio to submit letters of recommendation.
  • Completed Admissions Review Cover Sheet (.docx)

You may check on the status of your application by logging in to the application page after submitting.

International applicants

The deadline and requirements for international applicants are the same as they are for domestic applicants.  Please visit UIC Admissions International Requirements page for details specific to international applications.

Funding

All accepted students are considered automatically for university awards, so no special instructions are necessary.

The English Department does not offer assistantships to MA students, but Graduate Hourly positions are often available on campus and may carry a tuition waiver.

Non-Degree

Non-degree English students must follow the same application procedures but may take until May 15 to do so. Once accepted, they may enroll in any English class.

Non-degree (unassigned) students only need to submit unofficial transcripts and complete the online application and there is no deadline, but they must petition to join each class.

Questions?

Visit our FAQ page.

Baccalaureate Field

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in English or the equivalent that includes a balanced program in English and American literature beyond the level of sophomore surveys. Applicants who intend to concentrate in Creative Writing may have an undergraduate major or a graduate degree in any field, if they show substantial evidence of ability to complete the work in literature required for the degree in English.

NOTE: The English Department does accept applications from prospective students who have degrees in other fields, but we place all applications in equal competition, and students with undergraduate experience in English are often better aligned with our program goals than those who have degrees in other fields.

Grade Point Average

At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study and for all graduate work.

Tests Required

  • GRE
    General Test: verbal; quantitative; writing. The GRE subject test is not required. Scores cannot be more than five years old. There is no minimum score for admission.
  • TOEFL (international students only)
    600 (paper-based); 250 (computer-based); 95, with minimum subscores of Reading 24, Listening 24, Speaking 24, and Writing 22 (iBT Internet-based TOEFL).
  • IELTS (international students only)
    7.0, with subscores of 6.5 for all four subscores.

Baccalaureate Field

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in English, or the equivalent that includes a balanced program in English and American literature beyond the level of sophomore surveys. Applicants who intend to concentrate in Creative Writing may have an undergraduate major or a graduate degree in any field, if they show substantial evidence of ability to complete the work in literature required for the degree in English.

Master’s Degree

A degree at the Master’s level is not required to apply. However, applicants with a degree at the Master’s level (MA, MS, MFA) tend to have more scholarly experience and academic goals that are more aligned with our program. Since 2000, we have only accepted two candidates to the PhD program who did not have a degree at the Master’s level.

NOTE: The English Department does accept applications from prospective students who have degrees in other fields, but we place all applications in equal competition, and students with undergraduate experience in English are often better aligned with our program goals than those who have degrees in other fields.

Grade Point Average

At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study and for all graduate work.

Tests Required

  • GRE
    General Test: verbal; quantitative; writing. The GRE subject test is not required.
    Scores cannot be more than five years old.
  • TOEFL (international students only)
    600 (paper-based); 250 (computer-based); 95, with minimum subscores of Reading 24, Listening 24, Speaking 24, and Writing 22 (iBT Internet-based TOEFL).
  • IELTS (international students only)
    7.0, with subscores of 6.5 for all four subscores.