Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois


Graduate Studies in English

Graduate Admissions Information

Admissions: Instructions for Applying for Admission

NOTE: Applicants to the Ph.D. program MUST have an M.A. in literature or equivalent by the start of the Fall semester they are entering.

Applicants to the M.A. program in literature or writing studies are required to submit:

  • An online Application for Admission to the Graduate College.
  • Indicate your intent to specialize in Writing Studies or in a particular field or period of literature. If necessary indicate more than one field or period of literature; i.e., Early American literature, Medieval, 16th century British Literature, etc. Use the space provided on the application form.
  • One copy of each transcript of all previous college-level work.  The transcript must indicate the name of the applicant, name of the institution, and show grades by semester/quarter. You are required to upload one copy of all previous college-level work to your online application. Please include a copy of the transcript legend or university key (back page in most cases) for each institution. English translations should be included if the credentials are not in English. Official transcripts are not required at initial time of application; however, the University of Illinois reserves the right to require official academic credentials at any time during the admissions process, and may rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcript(s) are found.  Additional details about uploading are available on the graduate college website.   Only if you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official credentials (sent to us by mail directly from the institution). Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents which must show the award of degrees. Please do not send these official records until we request them from you.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores should be requested from the ETS (Educational Testing Service). The scores must not be more than five years old, and an official copy must be sent electronically from ETS. Literature applicants must submit BOTH the General Test and the Subject Test for Literature in English scores. Our institution code is 1836.
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from instructors of your college English courses. Letters may be electronically uploaded to your online application by your recommenders, or through Interfolio. Letters can also be mailed with a sealed envelope with the recommender's signature across the seal.
  • A 300-500 word statement of purpose. Please include on your statement your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available). Submit only one statement.  Please upload to your online application under "statements".
  • Writing Sample (15-20 pages). One copy to be uploaded to your online application. Please include on your writing sample your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available). Please upload to your online application under “statements” in the “Program Specific Questions area ”.   

Applicants to the Ph.D. program in literature or writing studies are required to submit:

  • An online Application for Admission to the Graduate College.
  • Applying to Ph.D. program you must have M.A. entering into our program.
  • Indicate your intent to specialize in Writing Studies or in a particular field or period of literature. If necessary indicate more than one field or period of literature; i.e., Early American literature, Medieval, 16th century British Literature, etc. Use the space provided on the application form.
  • One copy of each transcript of all previous college-level work.  The transcript must indicate the name of the applicant, name of the institution, and show grades by semester/quarter. You are required to upload one copy of all previous college-level work toyour online application. Please include a copy of the transcript legend or university key (back page in most cases) for each institution. English translations should be included if the credentials are not in English. Official transcripts are not required at initial time of application; however, the University of Illinois reserves the right to require official academic credentials at any time during the admissions process, and may rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcript(s) are found.  Additional details about uploading are available on the graduate college website.   Only if you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official credentials (sent to us by mail directly from the institution). Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents which must show the award of degrees. Please do not send these official records until we request them from you.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores should be requested from the ETS (Educational Testing Service). The scores must not be more than five years old, and an official copy must be sent electronically from ETS. Literature applicants must submit BOTH the General Test and the Subject Test for Literature in English scores. Our institution code is 1836.
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from instructors of your college English courses. Letters may be electronically uploaded to your online application by your recommenders, or through Interfolio. Letters can also be mailed with a sealed envelope with the recommender's signature across the seal.
  • A 300-500 word statement of purpose. Please include on your statement your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available). Submit only one statement.   Please upload to your online application under "statements".
  • Writing Samples (2 different samples are required, 15-20 pages each). All copies should include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available). Please upload to your online application under “statements” in the “Program Specific Questions” area .
  • A succinct description of the requirements in the Master’s Program that you are either currently enrolled in or have already completed. This description should include course requirements (including area distribution requirements) and language requirements. Please upload to your online application under “statements” in the “Program Specific Questions” area.

Applicants to the Writing Studies program:

The only difference for Writing Studies applicants is that the GRE Subject Test for Literature in English is NOT required. All of the other above materials are required.

Applicants to the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing are required to submit:

  • An online Application for Admission to the Graduate College.
  • Indicate your intent to specialize in Poetry or Fiction under heading "Application Information", Field(s) of Specialization on online application.
  • One copy of each transcript of all previous college-level work.  The transcript must indicate the name of the applicant, name of the institution, and show grades by semester/quarter. You are required to upload one copy of all previous college-level work to your online application. Please include a copy of the transcript legend or university key (back page in most cases) for each institution. English translations should be included if the credentials are not in English. Official transcripts are not required at initial time of application; however, the University of Illinois reserves the right to require official academic credentials at any time during the admissions process, and may rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcript(s) are found.  Additional details about uploading are available on the graduate college website.   Only if you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official credentials (sent to us by mail directly from the institution). Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents which must show the award of degrees. Please do not send these official records until we request them from you.  
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores should be requested from the ETS (Educational Testing Service). The scores must not be more than five years old and must be sent electronically to University. Only the General Test is required. Our institution code is 1836.
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from instructors of your college English courses. Letters may be electronically uploaded to your online application by your recommenders, or through Interfolio. Letters can also be mailed with a sealed envelope with the recommender's signature across the seal.
  • A 300-500 word statement of purpose. Please include on your statement your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available). Submit only one statement.  Please upload to your online application under "statements".
  • Writing Sample. No more than 20-25 pages of fiction or 15 pages of poetry uploaded to your online application. Please include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available).  Please upload to your online application under “statements” in “Program Specific Questions” area .

International Applicants are required to submit:

In addition to the requirements for domestic applicants, international applicants must submit the following items:

  • English Proficiency Scores for Admission (see below)
  • English Proficiency Scores for Non-Native English Speaking Teaching Assistants (see below)
  • Evidence of Financial Resources (http://www.grad.uiuc.edu/admissions/instructions/04d)
  • All international students requesting a VISA must upload a passport. A passport must be uploaded for each dependent VISA Request also.

International applicants must submit official copies of the following test scores:

English Proficiency Requirement for Admission

All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency. Official scores are required to be submitted directly from TOEFL/ETS or IELTS (please see instructions below for Submitting Official Scores regarding our institution code and program number).

Graduate applicants may be exempt from providing a TOEFL or IELTS score if one of the following criteria is met:

Completion of at least two years of full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

OR

Completion of a graduate degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this exemption is for admission purposes only. This may not necessarily  provide an exemption for international teaching assistants. For more information, please see the English Proficiency Requirement for International Teaching Assistants.

Please visit http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply/exempt countries for a list of countries that qualify for an exemption from the admissions requirement.

Minimum Score Requirements for Admission*

The following chart provides minimum score requirements for admission*:

English Proficiency Test

Minimum score

Limited status admission and English as a Second Language Placement Test required**

Full Status Admission

TOEFL iBT

79

79-102

greater than 102

TOEFL PBT

550

550-610

greater than 610

IELTS (academic exam)

6.5 with a score of 6 or higher in allsub-sections

6.5 with a score of 6 or higher in allsub-sections

greater than 6.5

* Please note: TOEFL or IELTS scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry in order to be valid.

** If the scores on the TOEFL or IELTS are acceptable, but indicate the need for further English study (scores of 550-610 Paper or 79-102 iBT, inclusive), an English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) will be required upon arrival at the University. On the basis of the ESL EPT results, applicants are generally required to enroll in non-credit "English as a Second Language" courses and take a reduced academic load beginning the first semester at the University.

English Proficiency Requirement for Non-Native English Speaking Teaching Assistants

University policy regarding appointing non-native English speaking teaching assistants

Non-native speakers of English who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships must provide evidence of spoken English language proficiency.

The English Department's primary form of financial aid is Teaching Assistantships.  If a non-native speaking applicant is admitted without a score and does not pass the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) upon arrival, the applicant will not receive a Teaching Assistantship or the tuition waiver and stipend it supplies.  The English Department may not be able to offer financial assistance to a student who is not eligible for a Teaching Assistantship.  It is in a non-native speaking applicant's best interest to take the test as soon as possible and before the application deadline.  A passing score will only help an applicant's chance of admission.

Illinois law requires that all instructors at the University of Illinois be orally proficient in English. Campus has established a minimum acceptable score for approved English proficiency exams that is required of all non-native speakers of English serving in instructional roles. There are no exceptions. In addition, campus policy requires those who pass the proficiency exam to attend the Graduate Academy for College Teaching and have their classroom teaching monitored closely by their departments during the semesters in which they teach. Additional information may be obtained from the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Minimum Score Requirements for Non-Native English Speaking Teaching Assistantship Consideration*

The following chart provides minimum score requirements for Non-Native English Speaking Teaching Assistantship consideration*:

English Proficiency Test

Minimum score required for Non-Native English Speaking Teaching Assistants

TOEFL iBT

speaking sub-section score: 24

IELTS (academic exam)

speaking sub-section score: 8

* Please note: TOEFL iBT and IELTS scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry in order to be valid.

Test Information and Instructions for Requesting Official Scores

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Website: www.toefl.org

TOEFL Services at Educational Testing Service (ETS):

Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the TOEFL should request the Educational Testing Service send scores to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using our institution code number 1836.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

IELTS is jointly owned by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.

Website: www.ielts.org

Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the IELTS should upload their score report forms directly to the online application.


Please note that the Admission Requirements listed at the Minimum Requirements by Country section are Graduate College minimum requirements for admission.

Submission of Application Materials to English Department:

  1. Application submitted online.
  2. All unoffical transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) uploaded to online application.
  3. GRE scores (General and/or Subject if applicable) electronically from ETS.
  4. TOEFL iBT and or TOEFL PBT scores (if applicable) electronically from ETS.
  5. Three letters of recommendation mailed or uploaded to online application.
  6. Statement of Purpose uploaded to online application.
  7. Writing sample(s) uploaded to online application.
  8. A program description (PhD applicants only) upload to online application or e-mail it to english-grad@illinois.edu.


NOTE: Applicants do not need to mail hard copies of materials uploaded to their online application.

Mailing address :
Graduate Coordinator
English Department
University of Illinois, 210 English
608 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801

Deadline

Applications must be submitted by 12 noon (CST) December 17.
Supporting Material must be received in our office December 17.


For admission information, please contact:  217-333-3646 or e-mail at english-grad@illinois.edu