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How many students are in your M.A. program?

Enrollment varies, but there are typically around 20 students active in the program.

What is a typical class size?

All of our graduate courses are seminar-style, averaging about 13 students each.

How do I apply?

All applications should be submitted through the UVM Graduate College.

Does your program require a minimum GPA for admission?

While there is no official minimum GPA required for admission, the Graduate College requires students to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in graduate courses. Thus we are more inclined to admit applicants who maintained at least that level of academic performance as undergraduates.

What should I submit for my writing sample?

The writing sample should be 10-15 pages long and showcase your best work in literary analysis. Work from an undergraduate English class is ideal. Do not submit creative writing.  Successful writing samples will demonstrate a clear ability to analyze texts within a particular critical or theoretical framework.

What information should my statement of purpose include?

The statement of purpose should explain your motivations for pursuing graduate study in English and give us a sense of how you have prepared for that study. The document should focus on your intellectual and professional interests rather than on personal issues.

From whom should I request letters of recommendation?

Professors, especially those who teach courses in literature, are the best recommenders for this program. Letters from employers are generally not as relevant to our admissions process.

If I did not major in English, will you still consider my application?

Yes, if you have done significant coursework in English or a related field.

When do you make admission decisions?

Our Graduate Committee begins reviewing applications in mid-February and makes admissions and funding decisions in March and April.

What kinds of fellowship support do you offer?

  • “Graduate Teaching Assistantships provide a full tuition waiver plus a stipend (currently $23,000) for both years of the program. All GTAs receive training and mentoring in pedagogy and teach in the university’s First-Year Writing Program.
  • Non-teaching merit scholarships are available for MA students (18-credit tuition scholarship) and AMP students (12 credit tuition scholarship).

Is there a separate application for fellowships?

No. We evaluate all applications for fellowships.

May I apply for spring enrollment?

We will review applications for spring, but those applicants are not eligible for any fellowship funding. Thus we recommend applying only for fall enrollment.

May I take courses as a part-time student?

Yes. There are several part-time students in the program—many of them are full-time teachers or employees of UVM. Anyone may take up to three graduate courses through Continuing Education before matriculating into the program. Part-time students work closely with the Director of Graduate Studies to plan a schedule that works for them and will allow them to complete the program.

Is there a language requirement?

No. Students whose courses of study require foreign language training may take such courses in addition to their regular coursework, but the program does not require it, and language instruction is generally not covered by tuition scholarships.

Is a thesis required?

The program offers two “tracks” for completion. Students may opt to write a thesis, or they may pursue the “Comprehensive Option,” which requires more coursework and examination in three fields of literary study. More information on these tracks is available on the program’s main page.

What kinds of exams are required within the program?

The Graduate College requires all M.A. students to complete an examination. In our program “Thesis Option” students complete an exam on materials relevant to their thesis in the first semester of their second year. “Comprehensive Option” students complete an exam in three fields of study at the end of their second year.

Is creative writing part of your M.A. curriculum?

No. Creative writing coursework is not part of the M.A. curriculum, and students may not write creative theses.

Do students from your program apply to Ph.D. programs?

Yes. In 2022 our M.A. students were admitted into Ph.D. and other graduate programs at Brown University, University of Miami (Florida), University College London, and Yale Divinity School, among others. In previous years students have gone on to study at Northwestern, UC Santa Barbara, Tufts, SUNY Buffalo, Oklahoma State, SUNY Binghamton, the University of Virginia, the University of Minnesota, Indiana University, Michigan State, Rice University, Vanderbilt, and the Claremont Graduate School.

Need more information?

Contact Professor Helen Scott, the director of the graduate program, at Helen.Scott@uvm.edu.

Follow the links below to the University catalogue for a printable version of degree requirements.

MA Catalogue

AMP Catalogue