The Department of English accepts applications for its Master's and PhD program once each year for the fall; there is no mid-year or rolling admission. For information regarding undergraduate admissions, please refer to the Office of Admissions and Records website.

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the department faculty pages, which provide information about individual faculty teaching and research interests. Program requirements are available by clicking on the appropriate degree to the right.

All accepted PhD students are automatically awarded funding in the form of teaching assistantships. There is no departmental funding available at the MA level.


Materials must be received by the Office of Graduate Studies by the date below:

Program Program Code Application Deadline
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 20FS0311PHD December 15
Master of Arts (MA) 20FS0311MA February 1
English Non-Degree
20FS0311NDEG May 15


Graduate-level applications consist of two types of required materials: university requirements and supplemental materials. All applicants are required to upload electronically (PDF and Word formats are acceptable) directly to UIC. Hard copies sent via snail mail will not be considered. Application documents received after the above deadline are not guaranteed to be reviewed. Applications may take up to 5-7 days to approve document upload, so applicants are encouraged to give themselves plenty of time to plan accordingly.

Instructions for electronically uploading materials can be found on the Admissions and Records website.

Non-degree students must also follow the same application procedures. Current MA students at UIC must submit all required materials by the regular PhD application deadline to be considered for that program. Please contact the program assistant to the DGS with ample time before the deadline and we will facilitate the application process.

  1. The Office of Admissions and Records requires you to upload or submit the following materials online directly to its basic credentials unit:

    • Graduate College Admission Application

    • Non-refundable application fee of US $70

    • Unofficial transcripts

    • Official GRE test scores, no more than 5 years old (the Institution Code for reporting official scores is 1851)

  2. The English Department requires you to submit the following supplemental materials:

    • A completed Department of English Admissions Review Coversheet

    • Statement of purpose (a statement of about 500 words presenting the applicant's reasons for wishing to pursue graduate work in English, and relating that work to professional and other goals)

    • 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 and critical sample are 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. A standard English sample is not required.

      • NOTE: Not all writing samples apply to all applicants. If you are applying to any of the English studies concentrations, you are required to upload a Standard Writing Sample. If you are applying to the Program for Writers, you should upload a creative sample, and if so desired, a critical sample. Applicants may receive a "Missing Credentials" email from the Admissions Office, but said emails are automated and may not reflect the department rules governing supplemental materials.

    • Application for Graduate Appointment. This form is required for prospective PhD applicants and those wishing to be considered for University Fellowships. All accepted students are considered automatically for university awards, so no special instructions are necessary. Applicants to the MA program are not required to upload this document unless specifically requested by the department.

    • Three letters of recommendation. These are uploaded electronically. When applicants complete their online application, they will be prompted to submit the email addresses of recommenders. Recommenders are then sent an email with a link that allows direct uploading of a letter.

    • CV / resume

Students can check the status of application materials via the Office of Admissions and Records log-in.

International applicants
International applicants are encouraged to visit the Graduate College's Information for International Applicants, for details on how to apply, and for downloadable application forms.

Visit our FAQ page.