Future students: Graduate admissions

Application and financial aid

The Department of English welcomes your interest in the graduate program. In order that we may conduct a full and fair review, applicants are asked to provide several different kinds of information. Some are required by Wayne State University while others are specific to the English department.

  • Application requirements

    The department requires that all applicants provide the following:

    • Application for graduate admission
      • The Graduate School requires a CV or résumé to be uploaded with your application.
      • The English department does not require GRE scores.
    • Official transcripts: Unofficial transcripts are acceptable as a placeholder, but you will be required to provide official transcripts before you will be admitted to our graduate programs.
    • A statement of purpose: A concise two to three-page statement about yourself and your academic goals. This statement should address your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial and educational opportunities or challenges and explain how this graduate program will help you meet your objectives.
    • Two academic letters of reference: We utilize the letters of recommendation to evaluate a student's academic and research potential and strongly recommend that you obtain recommendations from faculty members or other individuals who can specifically comment on those attributes. If you have prior teaching experience, we encourage you to have at least one letter writer address that. Our admissions committee will only read two letters per applicant.
    • M.A. applicants writing sample
      • Provide an analytical or research essay from an upper-level English course (preferred) or upper-level humanities course (history, philosophy, media studies, etc.). Please do not submit more than 20 pages of material.
      • Applicants indicating a concentration in creative writing should also submit creative work as a writing sample. A good guideline for the creative writing sample is 10 to 20 pages of poetry or 10 to 25 pages of prose (please do not send more than this).
    • Ph.D. applicants writing sample
      • Provide a research essay from an upper-level undergraduate English course (for those applying without the M.A.) or a master's level English course (for those applying with the M.A.). Please do not submit more than 20 pages of material.
    • English application supplement: Download and complete the form below and upload it to the online application as additional material.
    • International applicants should review additional requirements by the Graduate School. All material should be uploaded to the online application for graduate admission. English proficiency requirements are followed precisely as stated in the university admission checklist.
  • Application due dates

    Ph.D. applicants, fall term

    January 15: All Ph.D. applicants (the department only admits Ph.D. students for the fall term).

    M.A. applicants, fall term

    Jan. 15: M.A. applicants who wish to be considered for graduate teaching assistantships.

    Aug. 1: All other M.A. applicants.

    M.A. applicants, winter term

    Oct. 15: Students entering the winter term are not eligible for graduate funding consideration, although they may apply in a subsequent semester.

    Application deadlines are Oct. 15 (for winter admission) and Jan. 15 (for fall admission with funding consideration). The deadline for fall admission without funding consideration is Aug. 1. The application deadline is Jan. 15, but every Ph.D. student must begin the program in the fall semester.

How to apply

Teaching assistantships and fellowships

The English department offers several awards that provide financial aid for graduate students. All graduate students and applicants are invited to apply indicating so on the English Graduate Admissions and Funding Application. All awards are allocated in January/February and begin the following academic year (e.g., August/September).

See graduate awards and financial aid


We encourage you to learn about the areas of research of our faculty, however, the English department faculty does not recommend or accept students directly into their research. Please direct all requests for information gradenglish@wayne.edu rather than contacting faculty directly.

Contact 💬

For general program questions, please contact gradenglish@wayne.edu.