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English M.A. Admissions

Application Deadline

The deadline for submission of materials is Jan. 15 for admission in the following Fall semester. This is the only annual admissions period. The English Department does not admit students for Spring semester; all accepted students should will begin work in their degree program in the fall semester.

Because of the large number of applications, it is impossible for the department to acknowledge each completed application, and it is almost impossible to inform applicants when their applications are incomplete. Nevertheless, the graduate secretary of the English Department will be glad to answer any questions about the status of a particular application.

After the Jan. 15 deadline, all completed applications are passed onto the admissions committee for consideration. Students will be notified of the decision of the admissions committee sometime after March 1. Formal notification of admission or rejection comes from the Graduate College on recommendation from the department. Offers of financial assistance come from the director of Graduate Studies, and contracts for financial aid come from the College of Arts & Sciences.

For more information, call 740-593-2838 or email Professor Linda Zionkowski, the Director of Graduate Studies, at zionkows@ohio.edu.

Admissions Requirements

In making admissions decisions, the department relies on five distinct criteria: transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, writing sample, and statement of purpose.

  • A completed online application for admission: Transcripts of all academic work must be submitted with the online application.
  • Bachelor’s degree with a record of substantial coursework in English language and literature.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Foreign language: Two years of undergraduate foreign language coursework, or foreign language proficiency recommended.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors familiar with the applicant’s academic work.
  • General Record Examination (GRE) required.
  • Writing sample that reflects your best work. Applicants in literature should submit a critical essay of 10 to 15 pages in length. Applicants in creative writing should submit a portfolio of poems, a selection of short fiction, or a selection of creative nonfiction. The recommended length is approximately 10 poems or 20 to 40 pages of prose. In addition, applicants for the Ph.D. program in creative writing should submit a critical essay (does not apply to M.A. applicants). Applicants in rhetoric/composition should submit a piece of scholarly writing 10 to 15 pages in length.
  • One- to two-page Statement of Purpose to the admissions committee outlining your educational background, interests and goals, and the ways you think Ohio University's program can foster and help you implement your plans. Indicate at the top the name of the concentration for which the prospective student is applying (literary history, rhetoric and composition, or creative writing).
  • Resume or Vitae recommended.
  • English Proficiency. All non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency by submitting official test scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS academic). To be considered official, test scores must be reported directly from the testing agency to Ohio University. Minimum TOEFL-iBT 80. IELTS 6.5 minimum across all bands. More information on English Proficiency.

See more information about Ohio University’s graduate admission requirements.

There are no additional application requirements for students transferring from another degree.

Non-Degree Application

Applications for non-degree students should include the application, transcripts, a statement of purpose (explaining why you want to take graduate-level classes in English), a writing sample, and one letter of recommendation.

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All graduate applications must be submitted electronically through the Graduate College. 

Please consult the Graduate College’s website for instructions for applying online or through the mail. All documents, including undergraduate and graduate transcripts, should be sent to the Graduate College, and not to the English Department.

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