Ph.D. — Literature or Writing Studies

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

  1. Applicants to the Ph.D. program must have an M.A. degree in English by the time of their arrival.
  2. 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.
  3. Submit 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.
  4. Request your GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores 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 no longer need to submit Subject Test. Our institution code is 1836.
    • The GRE Subject Test is no longer required for applications to either the Literature or the Writing Studies concentration, though applicants have the option to send those scores if they wish.
  5. Submit 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.
  6. Upload 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".
  7. Upload two 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 .
  8. Upload 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.

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