Graduate Admissions

While new applications to our graduate programs will continue to be read until admissions decisions have been made, the application deadline for best consideration for all funding opportunities is December 1.

Application to all graduate programs offered by the English Department is made through the University of Alabama Graduate School online application. Please note that the policies, procedures, and requirements listed below in some cases supersede or are more specific than the Graduate School’s policies. The Graduate School online application can be accessed by following this link:

Apply for Graduate Studies in English at the University of Alabama Graduate School


  1. Complete an online application form. All applicants must enter one of the following for the “Specialty Area” field: “Literature,” “Renaissance,” “Composition/Rhetoric,” “Prose,” “Poetry,” “Prose & Poetry,” “TESOL.”
  2. Pay the application fee. Once steps 1 and 2 are completed, the applicant will be assigned a Campus Wide Identification Number (CWID), which will enable him/her to log in to the Supporting Documents System to complete step 3.  Applicants should complete steps 1 and 2 well before they are ready to upload supporting documents as it can take several days for the system to generate a CWID.
  3. Upload the following supporting documents/information:
    • Statement of Purpose (the first line should mention the desired Specialty Area in the English Department). Tip: the Statement of Purpose describes your main research interests. Effective statements avoid generalizations and developmental narratives. Instead, they identify where you are with your work now and where you want to go. It can help to address the relationship between your writing sample and your research interests; and to connect your work to the faculty in the department. 500-750 words is usually right; just don’t go over 1000.
    • Writing Sample:
      • For the MA and PhD Programs, this should consist of 10-20 pages of critical writing for the MA and 20 pages for the PhD. The writing sample is usually a single essay written for an upper-level English course or an excerpt from a senior or master’s thesis. A strong essay positions your argument in relation to other scholars in the field.
      • For the Strode focus area, the writing sample should be on some aspect of English Renaissance literature.
      • Applicants to the Creative Writing Program must specify the specialty area in which they wish to apply (“Prose,” “Poetry,” or “Prose and Poetry”) in the space designated “Specialty Area” in the online application. For applicants in prose, the writing sample should consist of 20-30 pages of prose (fiction, nonfiction, or a combination of the two). For applicants in poetry, the writing sample should consist of 10-20 pages of poetry. Applicants who wish to apply in both prose and poetry should upload two separate writing samples, one of prose and one of poetry.
    • Names and institutional email addresses of three (3) referees who will submit letters of recommendation online via a link that will be sent to recommenders directly by the Graduate School. Please note that neither the Graduate School nor the Department of English can accept letters via Interfolio or Parchment.
    • Unofficial transcripts from each institution of higher education at which you have completed 15 or more credit hours. Accepted applicants will be required to furnish official transcripts prior to enrolling.

Conditions of Admission

  • For non-native English speakers applying to the MA-TESOL program, a score of at least 100 (IBT) with a minimum score of 25 in both the speaking and writing sections. Note that this departmental requirement is more stringent than the Graduate School’s requirement.
  • For the PhD program, successful applicants normally have a GPA of 3.5 or better in master’s or equivalent graduate work.
  • For all other programs, consult the Graduate School’s minimum requirements.

Financial Support

For more information about Financial Support, see the Graduate Financial Support page. Students may also wish to contact the director of the particular program (Strode, Creative Writing, etc.) to which they are applying.

Questions About Graduate Admissions?

All graduate applications in the English department are processed by Jennifer Fuqua. She can be reached at