APPLYING to the ENGLISH GRADUATE PROGRAM
(effective Summer 2012)
Application requirements outlined below apply to both the M. A. and to the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs unless otherwise noted.
How to Apply
Begin by going to the SIUE Graduate School web site
, which contains all necessary information regarding applying to SIUE, including requirements, fees, deadlines, application forms, and financial aid. It is possible to apply online.
Along with submitting a classified application and three letters of recommendation, applicants must submit the following supporting materials to the graduate school (please do not include additional materials beyond what is required):
American and English Literature: (1) a one-page statement of purpose; (2) a recent sample of the applicant's writing, at least ten pages in length, which demonstrates the ability to conduct scholarly investigation.
Teaching of English as a Second Language and Teaching of Writing: a 3-5 page paper which explains how the applicant became interested in the field of TESL or TOW, what the applicant hopes to learn in the program, and how that learning will help the applicant in a career.
Creative Writing: (1) a one-page statement of purpose; (2) either two complete prose works (short stories, novel chapters, and/or creative non-fiction pieces), or 10 poems, depending upon genre of interest.
Statements of Purpose
: for help with these, check out the following:
Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required; each letter (originals, not copies, emails, or faxes) must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation access waiver form
and sent directly by the recommender (not by the applicant) to Graduate Admissions. Letters written by former and current professors are strongly
recommended; letters by family members, clergy, etc are best avoided. Please do not request or submit more than the required three letters; this only imposes a burden on busy professionals, and additional letters do not increase your chance of acceptance; there is in fact a high likelihood they will never be read.
These Department-specific materials are to be mailed directly to the Office of Graduate and International Admissions, Box 1047, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL, 62026-1047.
Students admitted to the program will be notified, first, by email
. (Thus it is crucial for applicants to notify the Director of Graduate Studies of any change of email address during this process.) This informal notification from the Department serves primarily to give students the name of that faculty member who will serve as their advisor. Once formally notified of admittance by the Graduate School, students must contact that advisor in order begin the advising process and to register for classes.
DEADLINES and APPLICATION MATERIALS:
Applicants to the program are responsible for the timely receipt of all application materials.
Deadline for admission to the program is generally one month prior to the first day of classes of a given term (e. g., if Fall term classes start on August 15, the deadline for applications will be July 15; the deadline for the Spring term will be early December, and the deadline for international students is, for all terms, even earlier than the dates above, typically 6 or 7 weeks earlier). Checking well
ahead of the deadline, with both the English Department
and with the SIUE Graduate Admissions Office (618.650.3010), to determine if all materials have been received will prevent frustration and delay.
Deadlines apply to the receipt of ALL
application materials — application form, transcript, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, TOEFL scores (if applicable), and writing sample — not just to the application form itself. The application must be received by the Graduate School NO LATER THAN the specified deadline. Please understand that waiting until the last minute to submit materials reflects poorly on the seriousness of your commitment to graduate studies.
HELPFUL HINT: Keep in mind that the December deadline for Spring term applications occurs very close to finals week, when faculty are very busy, and very close to winter break, when the University is shut down for nearly two weeks and faculty are not available for application review, nor are staff personnel available to process paperwork. The deadline for Fall term occurs in late summer, again a time when many faculty are not readily available to review application materials. These official deadlines have often proven problematic for students in the past, so plan on submitting ALL of your materials much sooner (for example, by November 1 for the Spring term and by April 1 for the Summer and Fall terms). Submitting your application close to the deadline also increases the chances that the classes you want to take will be full by the time you can be registered, which is often a week or two after
a decision has been made on your application.
To check on the status of your application, please contact Graduate and International Admissions, x3770.
For information on financial aid please see this site's Fellowships and Assistantships
Evaluation of Applications
Admission to the program is based upon a review of an applicant's transcripts, overall GPA, GPA in English courses, letters of recommendation, writing sample and/or Statement of Purpose. Some particular considerations include the following:
Transcripts: Applicants are expected to have completed courses in the survey of American literature, the survey of English literature, major author studies, literary research methods and theory, and at least one introductory course in linguistics, or their equivalents. Applicants whose undergraduate transcripts reveal deficiencies in these areas will be required, as a condition of their acceptance into and retention in the program, to enroll in additional undergraduate courses as determined by the Director of Graduate Studies and graduate advisors. Such courses carry no graduate credit and cannot be applied to the graduate program.
GPA: Applicants to all specializations must have at least a 2.5 GPA in previous academic work.
Foreign Language: Applicants to the American and English Literature and Teaching of English as a Second Language M. A. specializations are required to have completed at least two years of college-level course work in the same foreign language with a C (or better) average, or to have equivalent competence. Applicants to the Creative Writing specialization are required to have completed at least one year of college-level course work in the same foreign language with a C (or better) average, or to have equivalent competence. The Teaching of Writing specialization offers alternatives to the language requirement, although foreign-language coursework may help meet a program requirement.
The language requirement can be met while enrolled in the MA program. It may be met with coursework taken at another university or community college; once all coursework for this requirement has been completed, an official transcript must be sent to the SIUE Graduate School. Grades earned in undergraduate courses, whether taken at SIUE or elsewhere, do not affect graduate GPA.
Applicants to a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program do not need to meet a language requirement, though would have to meet the requirement specified above if transferring from a Post-Baccalaureate program to the M. A. program.
Admissions Tests: The GRE is not required, although we do accept GRE scores and include them in an applicant's file. International students are required by the University to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), with a minimum score of 550 on the paper version or 213 on the computerized version.
The Department requires that applicants for admission to the M. A. program in English be fully competent in English language skills, both oral and written. No one whose English is in need of remediation can anticipate success in the English Master of Arts program.
Published by: Department of English Language and Literature
by English Web Manager