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Department of English
Graduate Admissions Requirements

Contact

Derek Ross

Derek Ross

Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

dgr0003@auburn.edu

MA and PhD Requirements

Review of applications for fall semester begins in January. To receive full consideration for admission and financial aid, your completed application must be received in our office by the first business day after January 15.

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 Department of English through their contributions as graduate students and teachers. The Graduate Studies Committee looks 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.

Highly ranked candidates for the MA program usually present the following:

  • a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (not necessarily in English or writing)
  • good scores on the general portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as determined by the standards of the English faculty
  • an excellent academic record
  • excellent writing skills, as demonstrated by an academic writing sample and by work in undergraduate writing courses
  • strong letters of recommendation
  • clear statement of purpose for applying to the MA program

How to Apply and What to Submit

Applications to the MA and PhD programs are accepted for fall term only. To be considered for admission, your completed application must be received by the first business day after January 15. If positions remain available after the first round of admissions review, we will consider applications submitted later.

Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies if the deadline has passed and you would still like to apply to the program. All applicants are automatically considered for financial aid in the form of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA); there is no separate application or deadline for the GTA.   

Materials submitted for the MA and PhD applications include:

  • transcripts for all prior degrees
  • GRE General Test scores
  • a statement of purpose
  • a writing sample
  • three confidential letters of recommendation.  

Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose is a one to two page single spaced document describing your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in English and your academic background, experience, and long-term goals. PhD applicants should describe how they plan to build on the skills and interests they developed at the master’s level. MA applicants may wish to indicate which of our three concentrations they plan to pursue (literature, composition and rhetoric or creative writing), although a concentration does not have to be declared officially until the second year of study. We would also be happy to know if you are considering more than one concentration at this stage. 

Writing Sample

Your writing sample should take the form an analytical essay submitted for an English class or closely related field of study. A writing sample submitted with an MA application should range from 10-15 pages; PhD writing samples can be longer, but generally not more than 25 pages. Include a bibliography of all sources. Overall, the topic of the paper is less important than the potential it reveals for successful writing at the graduate level, and we encourage you to consult with a faculty member at your previous or current department for guidance about what to submit. MA applicants planning to concentrate in creative writing should submit a sample of creative writing along with an analytical essay.

Letters of Recommendation

Your application should include three confidential letters of recommendation from current or former professors who can comment in detail on your academic work and potential for success as a graduate student and GTA. Letters should be submitted electronically by your referees. The graduate school application form will automatically email them to request a letter.

Application Process

  1. Complete the online application form and pay the application fee. Your application does not become official until the fee has been paid.  
  2. Request that official transcripts for all prior degrees be sent to the Graduate School
  3. Take the GRE General Test and request that scores be sent to the Graduate School (ETS Institution Code 1005). Do not send scores directly to the department. Be aware that it may take up to six weeks for GRE scores to be received and processed. Note that GRE scores expire after five years, so you may need to retake the exam before applying. 

 


MTPC Requirements

Admission to the Master of Technical and Professional Communication program is competitive. In considering applicants, the technical and professional communication faculty looks for students who will benefit from and succeed in the program and who will add vitality and diversity to the intellectual community of the Department of English. The faculty looks at the whole application, basing its decisions on several kinds of information: academic grades, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample.

Highly ranked candidates for the MTPC program usually present the following:

  • a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (not necessarily in English or writing)
  • good scores on the general portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as determined by the standards of the technical and professional communication faculty
  • an excellent academic record
  • excellent writing skills, as demonstrated by academic or professional writing samples and by work in undergraduate writing courses or professional writing experience
  • strong letters of recommendation
  • clear statement of purpose for applying to the MTPC program

The Application Process

Although applicants may request admission in any semester, those who wish to be considered for graduate teaching assistantships or any available graduate assistantships should apply by January 15 to receive full consideration for an assistantship beginning in the fall semester. All application materials should be submitted through the Graduate School.

Writing sample

The writing sample should be 8-10 pages of academic or professional writing. The sample should include documentation of sources and a list of references or bibliography. Applicants who have been in the workforce may submit a substantial professional document, such as a proposal or technical manual, with a cover memo explaining their role in preparing the document and the audience and purpose for the document.

Three letters of recommendation

The three letters of recommendation should typically include at least two letters from current or former professors who can comment on the applicant's academic work. The third required letter may be from another faculty member or from a supervisor or employer.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should address in one to two single-spaced pages the applicant's reasons for choosing graduate study in technical and professional communication at Auburn University. The statement should briefly discuss the student's academic background and any relevant work experience and should provide the committee with an overview of the student's professional goals.

 


Requirements for International Students

The Department of English welcomes qualified applicants from outside the U.S. International applicants must meet the same standards of admission as other applicants and submit the same application materials, including GRE General Test scores. In addition, international applicants must meet a minimum set of language and financial requirements as established by the Auburn University Graduate School. These requirements are described in more detail below: 

Language

Applicants whose native language is not English must score at least 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper version (pBT), 213 on the computer version (cBT), or 79 on the internet version (iBT). Additionally, successful applicants must score minimums of 16 on the listening, reading, speaking, and writing components of the iBT. Auburn will also accept a minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.

Finances

The international student must have sufficient funds to cover all fees, transportation, and living expenses. The Graduate School has no funds for scholarships or fellowships and cannot guarantee other forms of financial aid. An Official Statement of Finances and certified evidence of a sponsor's financial capability must be submitted. Forms are available on the Graduate School web site.

Insurance

All international students are required to subscribe to Plan II of the Student Insurance Program or provide evidence of equivalent coverage. Information is available at the Auburn Medical Clinic.

Additional questions can be directed to the international admissions processor for the Auburn University Graduate School. 

Contact

Derek Ross

Derek Ross

Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

dgr0003@auburn.edu