How to Get into Grad School

Want to continue your education? Follow these steps to get into graduate school!
  • Contact faculty mentors: English faculty are your best resource for grad school preparation. They can assist you in discovering and developing your academic interests in English literature and language study, make suggestions about schools and programs, supervise independent writing and research you may take on as an undergraduate, and write letters of recommendation to graduate programs.
  • Investigate schools and programs. Ask faculty and current graduate students for their recommendations. Request admission packets and begin to look over the materials.
  • Prepare to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE). Some students choose to take GRE preparation courses; others use books or software programs. Most schools will require both the General Test and the Subject Test in Literature. Check with each school for their admission requirements. Find out more info about the GRE here.
    Access tips for GRE Preparation here.
  • Begin to develop your critical writing sample: Most grad programs have a January deadline for students seeking admission for the following autumn, so you'll need to have your critical writing sample ready early. The critical writing sample is usually 12-20 pages of your best writing, often a revised paper from an undergraduate course or part of a senior project. It is always for the best if the paper concerns works or issues within or closely related to your stated areas of interest for graduate study. If you've written a paper for an English course that you're thinking of developing into your writing sample, talk with your instructor. He or she may have suggestions for you on how to improve it, or may be willing to work with you on further revisions.
  • Begin to write your statement of purpose: Your statement of purpose is an extremely important part of your application materials; you should plan to spend a lot of time on it and rewrite it many times.

Go to the Applying to Grad School page for a more in depth look at the application process.

Access the Grad School Timeline for assistance with organizing your application materials.

Need help writing your Statement of Purpose? Get help here.