Degrees and Fields of Study
- English and American Literature
- English and American Literature
Our Ph.D. program will not be accepting admissions applications in fall 2021. The department is instead devoting its resources to supporting continuing students whose research and academic progress have been impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will begin offering admission again in fall 2022. Our master's program is open and will be accepting applications for fall 2021. Please see the departmental website for more information.
Note: The field of study descriptions may not exactly match the actual program name on the degree that is conferred. Please refer to the GSAS Bulletin section Degree and Certificate Programs as Registered by the New York State Education Department for the actual program name and degree conferred.
- December 1, fall only admission
- January 13: fall only admission
Late master's applications will be accepted until January 31.
All application materials must be received by 5 p.m. eastern time on the deadline date. If an application deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal U.S. holiday, then the next business day will be the deadline date.
Application Requirements for English
All applicants to the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) are required to submit a complete application for admission. A complete application includes the online application, academic transcripts, test scores (if required), letters of recommendation, a résumé or curriculum vitae, a Statement of Academic Purpose, and an application fee. Applicants also have the option of providing a short Personal History essay. Please refer to the Instructions section of the online application. In addition, the department specifically requires the following:
GRE: GRE general test optional. We will consider GRE test scores if they are submitted. Scoring well on the GRE may strengthen your application, especially if you perceive that you have weaknesses in your prior academic record. Not taking the GRE will not adversely affect your application and we will make no assumptions about why you did not take the test. The GRE subject test will not be required for fall 2021 applications because the GRE program has cancelled subject test administrations due to impacts from COVID-19. The subject test will be recommended but not required for applications in subsequent years.
TOEFL or IELTS: Either the TOEFL or the IELTS is required of all applicants who are not native English speakers or who do not have a bachelor's or master's degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English. See test score requirements.
Statement of Academic Purpose: The work of the faculty of the Department of English at NYU is characterized by a wide variety of interdisciplinary approaches, encompassing literary history, theory, and criticism, as well as careful reflection on the methods of literary study. We are especially interested in graduate students who will be comfortable bridging historical periods in their reading and writing, and who are curious about a wide variety of approaches to literary studies.
The admissions committee requires from all applicants a statement of academic purpose, which will be judged as a piece of writing. It will use this statement to evaluate how well your aspirations and interests suit those of the Department of English at NYU. This statement of academic purpose should be succinct (no more than 1200 words) and address most, if not all, of the following questions:
- What kinds (genres, styles, forms, etc.) of literature most engage you?
- What, for you, is the purpose of reading literature critically?
- Are there particular kinds of criticism/theoretical approaches/methods of literary study that you would like to work within or learn more about?
- How have your intellectual and scholarly interests been shaped by your time outside and beyond the college classroom?
- In the light of the description above, do you have a particular reason for wishing to work within the Department of English at New York University?
Writing Sample: A writing sample of academic literary criticism is required. It should demonstrate your strongest work in that mode and should not exceed 20-25 double-spaced pages, including any bibliography or notes.
The Graduate School of Arts and Science reserves the right to change this information at any time. This document supersedes all previous versions.
Last updated August 31, 2020.
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