Ohio University

English Ph.D. Admissions

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Attention Graduate Applicants in Creative Writing and Rhetoric & Composition

Please review the statements below regarding the application process.

Creative Writing Applicants

Ohio University's Graduate Program in Creative Writing continues to serve a vibrant, diverse community of emerging poets and prose writers. We invite applicants who are interested in pursuing an M.A. or Ph.D. in poetry or in creative prose. Currently, we seek prose writers who are interested in working in both fiction and creative nonfiction, although a prose applicant may specialize in one of those two prose genres.

Poetry applicants should submit a portfolio of approximately 10 poems. Prose applicants should submit 25 to 40 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction or samples of both. In addition, all Creative Writing applicants to the Ph.D. program are required to submit a critical/scholarly essay of about 10-15 pages. (M.A. applicants are not required to submit a critical essay.)

Rhetoric/Composition Applicants

Ohio University's Graduate Program in Rhetoric & Composition will not be accepting Ph.D. applications for academic year 2021-22. This is due to program restructuring and to the unanticipated impact of COVID-19 on the upcoming year. We plan to begin accepting doctoral students again in the future. We are still accepting M.A. students and will consider Ph.D. students who are seeking hybrid degrees in Literature and Rhetoric & Composition or Creative Writing and Rhetoric & Composition.

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.
  • For the doctoral program, M.A. or M.F.A. in English or a related field required by time of enrollment.
  • 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 your academic work.
  • Graduate Record Examinations (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.