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Department of English Language and Literature

Graduate Applicants

The English Department reviews applications only once each year. All applications are processed through the Graduate School. Applicants who wish to check on the status of a file should use the online tracking system or contact the Graduate School, not the department.

The English Department offers to particularly well-qualified candidates the chance to apply for direct admission to the PhD Program. Applicants desiring to be considered for direct admission should follow the admissions guidelines for the PhD degree program. All those applying for direct admission will also be considered for regular admission to the MA program.

Please take care to read the procedures noted here. You should also see the Frequently Asked Questions: Prospective Students page for further information about the application process.


Application Procedures

After visiting the English Department graduate program web pages, including its Frequently Asked Questions page, your next step should be to visit the Graduate School at the University of South Carolina for prospective students. The online application accessible through this site describes the procedures for application, including the submission of transcripts, GRE scores, and recommendation letters.

The English Department also requires (1) a statement of purpose describing the applicant's plans for graduate study and (2) a sample of the applicant's written academic work (anywhere from 10-20 pages).  All of these materials must be submitted using The Graduate School's online application process.

Note: Applicants for admission to literature degree programs (MA or PhD) must also submit GRE subject test scores. Ideally, literature students would submit their GRE subject scores or at least would have taken their exams by the application deadline. However, since these exams are scheduled infrequently and intermittently throughout the academic year, we are willing to accept applications from students whose GRE subject test and/or scores are still pending.



The absolute final date for the receipt of complete applications is January 1. The department encourages applicants to submit all materials by early December.

As the number and variety of degree programs suggests, our graduates pursue careers in many fields, including college- and university-level teaching, public and private secondary education, librarianship, publishing, creative and technical writing, journalism, public relations, and business administration.

For specific information about admission to individual degree programs, please choose from the following menu.

Master's Programs

   • MA in English, with Emphasis in English and American Literature
   • MA in English, with Emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric
   • MA in English, with Emphasis in Speech Communication and Rhetoric
   • MAT in English
   • MA/MLIS, Joint Degree in English and Library and Information Science

MFA Programs

   • MFA in Creative Writing

Doctoral Programs

   • PhD in English, with Emphasis in English and/or American Literature
   • Direct-Admission PhD in English, with Emphasis in English and/or American Literature
   • Direct-Admission PhD in English, with Emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric

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