English | College of Liberal Arts
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If the FAQ page has not answered your question, do not hesitate to contact Patricia Schaub at pjschaub@austin.utexas.edu 

  • General Information

    When is the application deadline?
    Your ApplyTexas online application form must be submitted by December 1st, 2023 at 11:59 pm CST. The deadline to submit your supporting application materials is December 8th, 2023 at 11:59 pm CST.

    Please note that it can take up to 3 days after submitting the ApplyTexas application to receive access to MyStatus, where you will be able to upload supporting documents.

    How early can I apply and submit my application materials?
    ApplyTexas will open the Fall 2024 application in August 2023. After you submit your online application form and pay your application fee, you will receive an email with your UT Austin credentials. Once you receive this email, you will be able to upload your application materials via the Document Upload System.

    Will you let me know if something of decisive importance is missing from my file?
    No. Due to the volume of applications, the English department cannot confirm the receipt of nor manage your application materials. You are responsible for ensuring all application materials are submitted by their respective deadlines. This is accomplished via your MyStatus "To Do List."

    When will I hear an admission decision?
    Typically notifications of the program's admissions decisions are sent out via email in mid-February.

    Why does the decision process take so long?
    Each dossier receives multiple anonymous readings from the faculty. Once the Admissions Committee has identified those applicants who have earned the greatest faculty interest and enthusiasm, the really labor-intensive process of building a cohort begins.

  • GRE and Subject Test

    Is there a requirement for a general GRE or Subject Test score?
    No. The GRE score requirements have been waived for Fall 2023 admission.

    Can the English Department grant an English Proficiency Test Score waiver if I have an expired TOEFL/IELTS and/or another English Proficiency test?
    No. GIAC certifies all test scores independently of the Department of English. If you have questions about the validity of your TOEFL/IELTS, please write to giatest@austin.utexas.edu.

  • Transcripts

    (Please visit the Graduate School's Graduate Admission website for more information re: transcripts. For specific questions about transcripts, please contact gradtranscript@austin.utexas.edu)

    Do I need transcripts from schools that are not four-year colleges?

    Can I have my transcripts sent directly to GIAC from my institution(s)?
    Only if your college or university uses the electronic SPEEDE delivery service. Please do not mail official transcripts or paper copies of your transcripts before you are offered admission. Sending paper copies of documents will significantly delay the processing of your application.

  • Writing Samples

    What makes for a competitive writing sample?
    It is largely on the basis of the writing sample that we judge your readiness and aptitude for graduate study, in particular your ability to recognize and to effectively state research-worthy problems. Since scholars typically situate their interpretive work in the context of an existing professional conversation, compelling writing samples typically—although not always—establish their projects in reference to an important scholarly work or modest body of scholarship. Other considerations include the clarity and economy of your prose.

    Can I submit a longer Writing Sample?
    Yes, but excess length is often read as a symptom of imprecise argumentation and/or poor writing. Less really can be more in a writing sample.

  • Statement of Purpose

    What items should I include in my statement of purpose?
    Compelling personal statements invariably reveal the “intellect” beneath the writing sample as a recognizable person, someone whose combination of professional energy and personality suggests the potential for collegiality, collaboration, and inspired teaching. Applicants are strongly encouraged to formulate a research agenda in this document. We realize, and indeed almost expect, that your views of topic and method will change during your career with us.  However, we want to see your current understanding of those matters in your application.

    Should I submit my Statement of Purpose to “Apply Texas” or as a separate document?
    Please type “See Attached Statement of Purpose” in the ApplyTexas application and upload your Statement of Purpose with your other documents via MyStatus.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Must I have three recommendation letters or is two acceptable?
    Applicants will be at a severe disadvantage with only two letters of recommendation.

    Can I have more than three letters of recommendation?
    It is highly discouraged. Evaluators spend a great deal of time reviewing all supporting materials of your application packet. More letters of recommendation could be interpreted as a lack of confidence. It is better to choose three strong recommenders than four adequate ones.

    Does the program accept mailed recommendation letters or letters from Interfolio?
    No. Your recommenders must submit their letter of recommendation via the email invitation sent to them from GIAC.

    What should I do if one of my recommenders has not received their email invitation to submit their letter of recommendation?
    You can resend the invitation email via MyStatus. Click on "Manage your recommendation requests" link in your "To Do List" and follow the prompts to resend the email.

    One of my recommenders will not be able to submit a letter on my behalf. Can I ask someone else to submit a letter instead?
    Yes. You can edit your recommenders in MyStatus. Click on the "Manage your recommendation requests" link in your "To Do List" to add a new recommender.

  • Course Work and Major

    Must I have been an English major to get into the Ph.D. program?
    No. However, we do require at least 15 hours of upper-division English credit for entry into the program.

    Must I have earned 15 hours of upper-division English credit by the time of my application?
    Yes—unless you are concentrating your research in Rhetoric or Digital Literacies and have earned 15 hours of field-relevant, upper-division course work.

    Should I report my overall GPA or my GPA in English courses?
    We are more concerned with your GPA in English (and related) courses.

    Can I apply even though I have not yet graduated with my B.A.?
    Yes—but you will be required to present evidence of your graduation before you join our program the following fall.

    Is foreign language training an asset to my application?
    Yes—in all instances and especially in cases where it is relevant to or even necessary for a student’s proposed area of research.

  • Application Procedures

    Do I need to apply for a teaching assistantship (TA), assistant instructorship (AI), or fellowship as part of my application?
    No. All admitted students receive funding, which includes a mix of teaching assignments and research fellowships. In addition to our basic funding package, students can apply for further support—including professional development opportunities and competitive fellowships—while in residence.

    Will I be disqualified from consideration if some of my materials have not arrived by the deadline?
    No—but only if you have properly submitted all the materials reasonably under your control (e.g. transcripts, personal statement, writing sample. etc.).  Of course, it is difficult for late materials—recommendations, in particular—to play a role in this rather intense competition if they do not arrive before we complete the application review stage. 

    Can I have the application fee waived?
    If you can’t afford the application fee and are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident pursuing your first graduate degree, you may be eligible for a fee waiver.

  • Enhancements and Expectations

    Do I need to take any particular courses to help my admission chances before I apply?


    Is there an optimal age for a beginning graduate student?

    Can students over 30 apply?

    Does the program have an interviewing process, and if so, is it advantageous to visit UT for an interview?

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