Department of English

Applying to the Ph.D. Program

Fall 2021 Admissions


Important Deadlines
Eligibility Requirements
How to Apply
Required Application Materials
Current UT Graduate Students


The Ph.D. in English program only admits students for the fall semester.

The Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) processes all U.S. and International applications for admission into the Graduate School at the University of Texas at Austin. The application process for graduate admissions into UT Austin is now completely online. Mailed, faxed, emailed, or hand-delivered applications and materials sent to GIAC or to the English Department will not be accepted nor considered. We are unable to return original documents sent to the department.

If, after beginning the application process, you have specific questions about the following topics, please email one of the addresses below (GIAC asks that you not send the same email to multiple addresses):

       Transcripts: (Please do not send transcripts to this address)
       Uploading Documents:
       TOEFL/IELTS Scores:
       Letters of Recommendation:
       General Inquiry for International Applicants:
       General Inquiry for U.S. Applicants:

Important Deadlines

December 7, 2020
11:59 pm CST
1. Completed online ApplyTexas Application form. Application forms
submitted after the deadline will not be considered. There are no
December 13, 2020
11:59 pm CST
1. Writing Sample uploaded.
2. Statement of Purpose uploaded.
3. Official Transcripts uploaded.


Eligibility Requirements

Bachelor's Degree
Earned from a regionally accredited institution in the United States, or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution.

3.0 minimum GPA (on a 4.0 scale) on all upper-division and graduate coursework (if applicable). Additionally, the English Department requires at least 15 hours of upper-division English credit.

TOEFL/IELTS (International Applicants only)
Minimum scores considered acceptable for Graduate School admission are:
TOEFL: 70 on the internet-based test (iBT)
IELTS: An overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination

How to Apply

To begin the application process, you must access the Texas Common Application at The application system is scheduled to open for access for Fall 2021 applications on August 1, 2020. Within 1-2 business days after submitting your application and paying the application fee, you will receive an email from GIAC with your UT EID, a temporary password, and a link to GIAC’s Admissions Status Check System, MyStatus. From this site you will be able to upload your required application materials: a PDF copy of your official transcripts, writing sample, and statement of purpose.

Please be mindful, it can take up to 2 business days (not including weekends) to receive your MyStatus credentials. If you do not receive the email with your EID and temporary password after two business days, please contact GIAC.

Please note: the deadline to upload your Writing Sample, Statement of Purpose, and Official Transcript is a week after the deadline to submit your online Application Form in order to compensate for this delay. We strongly recommend that you submit your online application no later than one week before the deadline to allow enough time to receive your credentials and upload your application materials.

Required Application Materials

All applications require the following:

Required by the Graduate School

(Please note: This section is a general summary of the Graduate School’s admissions requirements. For full explanations on each of the following topics, please visit Graduate School’s Graduate Admission website.)

1. ApplyTexas Application Form
The online application can be found at You will be asked to select your major. The English major can be found grouped under Liberal Arts. You will need to choose “Doctorate” as the initial degree you wish to seek, even if you will be entering with Bachelors’ degree. You will also need to specify your area of interest within the English major (e.g. Medieval Studies, 20th-21st Century American Literature, Pre-1900 British Literature, etc...). Please choose the area that most closely fits your desired area of study. You will able to choose up to two secondary fields of concentration to present a more accurate representation of your goals.

NB for Rhetoric applicants: The Department of Rhetoric and Writing has combined its Rhetoric and Digital Literacies and Literatures concentrations into a singular Rhetoric area of study. When asked for your "major area of interest," please only select the Rhetoric option.

2. Application Fee
$65 Application Fee ($90 for international applicants). You will not be able to upload any documents to your MyStatus profile until your fee is paid.

3. Transcripts
You will need to upload PDF copies of your official transcripts from each senior college that you have attended via your MyStatus profile. Transcripts must have been produced within the last calendar year. Please carefully read and follow the Instructions for Uploading Transcripts.

International Applicants: Transcripts written in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official translation.

4. TOEFL or IELTS Scores (International Applicants only)
Two years old or less. Scores must be reported to GIAC directly from the testing agency. Please note: IELTS does not currently offer electronic reporting of scores. To fulfill the requirement with scores from the IELTS, have an official paper score report sent to GIAC.

TOEFL UT-Austin Institution Code: 6882

Required by the Department of English

5. Writing Sample
Your Writing Sample should be between 15 and 25 pages double spaced. This document should demonstrate your readiness and aptitude for graduate study, in particular your ability to recognize and to effectively state research-worthy problems. A compelling writing sample typically—although not always—establishes an applicant’s project in reference to an important scholarly work or modest body of scholarship. Other considerations include the clarity and economy of your prose.

6. Statement of Purpose
Your Statement of Purpose should be 1 to 2 pages single spaced. The purpose of this essay is to give the faculty a clear idea of a) why you want to pursue a career in English; b) what topics in the field of Literature or Rhetoric interest you; c) how you have prepared yourself for graduate study in English; and d) why you want to pursue your graduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin.

7. Letters of Recommendation
We require three letters of recommendation, which should informatively address your academic achievement and potential for graduate study. During the online application process, you will need to provide the names and email addresses of your “Academic References,” individuals from whom you will be seeking a letter of recommendation. Within 24 hours of your online application submission, your recommenders will receive an email with instructions and a secure link to upload their letters of recommendation directly to your application file. Please ensure that the email addresses are current and accurate. Letters and materials sent through folio services (such as Interfolio) will not be accepted.

Current UT Graduate Students (Change of Major)

For change-of-major applicants (applicants already admitted to the UT Austin Graduate School) ONLY: Please follow the instructions here, and send all supporting documents to the graduate program administrator. The December 1 deadline and supporting document requirements still apply.


Please visit our FAQ page for answers to most common questions.