Admission is competitive for all programs, especially for the PhD. In considering applicants, the Graduate Studies Committee looks for students who will benefit from our programs, who will succeed in our programs, and who will add vitality and diversity to the intellectual community of the English department through their contributions as graduate students and teachers. The Graduate Studies Committee takes care to look at the whole application, basing its decisions on several kinds of information: grades, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, a statement of purpose or professional goals, and a writing sample.
When considering qualified applicants for the PhD program, the Graduate Studies Committee pays careful attention to the variety and quality of their earlier course work and to the intellectual promise of the writing sample and Statement of Purpose. The writing sample is generally a 10-15 page term paper or critical essay, typically one which demonstrates the candidate's ability to work with scholarship and interpretation. The Statement of Purpose is a 2-3 page statement of goals for graduate study at Auburn. The three letters of recommendation should come from professors who are able to assess the applicant's potential for success in doctoral study.
Successful applicants typically present an MA in English or its equivalent, a very good grade-point average, especially in upper-division and graduate English courses, and acceptable scores on the GRE, both the general test and the Advanced GRE Literature in English test. Students without prior graduate work in English are encouraged to apply for admission to the MA program.
The Graduate Studies Committee reviews applications for admission year-round, but we can only offer Graduate Teaching Assistantships beginning in Fall Semester. Thus, in order to receive full consideration for financial support, your application must be received by January 15 for the following Fall.
Questions about this program
Last updated March 7, 2005