Prospective Students

Many of our PhD students come to us with a master’s degree from another university, but we do also admit students directly from undergraduate institutions. Incoming students with an MA must complete 36 credits of coursework (four semesters), while students with only a BA require 54 credits of coursework. All students must demonstrate either a basic reading knowledge of two languages other than English or an advanced reading knowledge of one. Before proceeding to the dissertation, students must pass a qualifying exam, which includes a substantive written proposal for the dissertation along with written and oral examinations in two additional fields of literary and/or cultural studies.

We do not offer a terminal MA. However, after two years, if students decide not to continue or if they do not make satisfactory progress, but they have completed 36 credits of graduate work and demonstrated a reading knowledge of one foreign language, they will receive the MA.

Further information about our program is included on the graduate home page for our department. Full details of the requirements and expectations for PhD students, including details on coursework distribution requirements, qualifying exams, and teaching assistantship duties, can be found in the Guide to Graduate Study in English. You can see the list of our most recent graduate seminars here, and a list of our graduate faculty by field of research interest here. You can find out about the many accomplishments of our current students and alumni in 2015-2016 here. For a directory of our current PhD students, with their research interests and photographs, go here.

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires an undergraduate major in literature or the equivalent; three recommendations by persons qualified to judge the applicant's potential for graduate work in literary studies; a sample of the student's scholarly writing, normally in the form of a formal critical paper of at least 15 pages; a persuasive, professional description of the candidate’s credentials and aptitude for doctoral study in English; and an official report of scores from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (we do not require the GRE English subject test). Applications that specifically demonstrate the candidate’s interest in our PhD program, including names of faculty who could support the student’s particular research interests, will generally have a higher likelihood of being successful.

The primary application process is online through the Graduate School (see link below); recommendation letters are submitted through the online application and a  sample of your academic writing in literary or cultural studies should be uploaded with the application. Other required supplementary materials should be sent to the department address below in a large envelope: official transcripts (sealed in envelopes by their institutions); GRE scores; and (for international students only) TOEFL scores. Since official GRE reports are often slow in reaching the department, the application package should contain a photocopy of the report sent to the student. The Graduate School will require an official institutional GRE report prior to the student's enrollment.

Please note that the final application deadline in order to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship (that is, the date by which we must receive all application materials, including transcripts, GRE reports, letters of recommendation, and writing sample) is February 1. However, to be considered for University fellowships, which carry additional funding and release from teaching duties, students should submit completed applications by January 1. The GRE, therefore, should be taken no later than December. The department makes its offers of admission and assistantships in March and expects decisions from accepted students no later than April 15.

Apply now with the Graduate School

For more information, you can email ENGLISHGRAD@miami.edu or write to:

Department of English
University of Miami
P.O. Box 248145
Coral Gables, FL 33124