How to Apply

 

Application Deadline: January 5, 2018

January 5 is the single application deadline for admission consideration for entry the following academic year (beginning fall term) into all six graduate degree programs in the Department of English.

All application documents are to be received no later than January 5 to ensure maximum consideration for admission and support available from the Department of English (assistantships, scholarships, fellowships). The deadline represents the endpoint in the application process (i.e., the completion of your application file) rather than the beginning of the process.  Applications are not reviewed until after the January 5 deadline and decisions may not be finalized until late February or early March.

Applicants are responsible for collecting the required documents and uploading them into the ISU application system to form a complete application by January 5.  We strongly recommend you complete the online application form and submit it early for transcript evaluations to be done and for email notifications to be sent to recommenders to upload their recommendation. You will not be able to edit the actual application form once it is submitted. However, other required documents may be uploaded later. This gives you time to work on and finalize the required supplemental documents (personal statement, writing samples, curriculum vitae) and upload copies of exam scores as they become available. If you have recently taken exams (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE) and scores are not yet available, please leave these areas blank on the application form and upload a PDF copy of your scores once you have access to them.

In addition to the preferred and required minimum criteria given below (GPA, GRE scores, TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores), applicants are also evaluated on factors such as performance on writing samples, quality of the cover letter, letters of recommendation, and program match—all of which influence the applicant’s admission status. We do not offer conditional admission to nonnative speaking applicants not meeting the minimum TOEFL/IELTS score requirement.

If you are a current graduate student at ISU or have previously graduated from any graduate program at ISU, please contact us at englgrad@iastate.edu for special instructions. You do not submit an online application and pay the application fee again.

If you have questions about the online application system, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office.  Application Instructions are also available to download from their website.

 

Teresa Smiley
Graduate Program Staff Assistant
English Department
227 Ross Hall
englgrad@iastate.edu
Graduate Admissions Office
Iowa State University
100 Enrollment Services Center
admissions@iastate.edu
1-800-262-3810 (toll free)

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Spring admission:  Consideration is limited to our three MA programs and no assistantships, scholarships, or fellowships are available from the Department of English with spring admission. The same application requirements and procedures apply. Deadline of October 15. Contact us at englgrad@iastate.edu if you have questions.

 

Application Requirements and Instructions

All of the following application components are required and must be uploaded electronically via the Iowa State University Office of Admissions online application system:

  • Graduate online application completion and fee payment
    (Note: Your application is not received by ISU until you click “Save and Submit” and pay the application fee.) We recommend you submit the actual application form ASAP and upload documents as available or completed.
  • GRE General Test official scores are required from all applicants and must be reported directly to ISU by ETS (no Subject Test required) and a copy of exam scores uploaded into the online application system. Test scores are required regardless if applicant possesses other graduate degrees. If official scores cannot be sent by ETS at the time of application (more than five testing years old), the exam must be retaken.  Register to take the exam or request score reports at www.ets.org.   Iowa State University Inst Code: 6306

Preferred minimum scores:
MA: 154 Verbal OR 4.5 Analytical Writing*
MFA: 154 Verbal AND 4.5 Analytical Writing
PhD: 158 Verbal AND 5.0 Analytical Writing; 147 Quantitative for ALT major only
(*Master’s level TESL/AL program applicants who are nonnative speakers of English and not requesting consideration for assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships are not required to submit GRE scores.)

  • TOEFL or IELTS or PTE official scores reported directly to ISU (nonnative speaking applicants only) that meet minimum requirements below and a copy of exam scores uploaded into the online application system. Test scores are not required if the applicant has earned (or will earn) a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a country where English is the only official language (please refer to the Admissions Office website and the downloadable instructions.)  The department will only consider applications once the required minimum score is met and does not offer conditional admission to applicants not meeting the required minimum scores.  Iowa State University Inst Code: 6306

Required minimum scores:
MA and MFA:  100 IBT; 600 PBT; 7.0 IELTS; 68 PTE
PhD:  111 IBT; 640 PBT; 8.0 IELTS; 79 PTE
(Note:  Minimum score of 25 IBT Writing or 7.0 IELTS Writing for teaching assistantship consideration)

  • An audio or video file demonstrating competence in spoken English (all nonnative speaking applicants only) must be sent electronically as an email attachment to englgrad@iastate.edu.  This file cannot be uploaded into the admissions application system. This speaking sample should include 3-5 minutes of extemporaneous speaking.  You might, therefore, begin by talking informally about your educational background and your reasons for pursuing graduate study.
  • Scanned official academic transcripts and degree statements issued by the institution where you earned (or will earn) a degree for all undergraduate and graduate work. ISU current students or graduates are asked to upload a scanned PDF copy of their official ISU transcript into the application portal.
    Preferred overall minimum undergraduate GPA:
    MA and MFA:  3.25
    PhD:  3.50
  • Three letters of recommendation are to be submitted electronically using the electronic letter of recommendation option in the online application system.  These letters should be from persons qualified to comment on your preparation for graduate study in the major to which you are applying.  If applying for a teaching assistantship, at least one of your references should comment on your teaching experience and abilities or on your potential to teach.  If a recommender does not wish to submit an online LOR, you must download the Letter of Recommendation form, complete the appropriate sections, and send the form to your recommender.  You must include our email address (englgrad@iastate.edu) or postal address (Department of English, Graduate Studies Program, 227 Ross Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011-1201 USA) for the recommender to submit their recommendation directly to the program.  The use of dossier services such as Interfolio is also acceptable for transmitting letters (to englgrad@iastate.edu).
  • Curriculum vitae including educational background, awards, accomplishments, and any teaching/tutoring experience if applicable must be uploaded as a supplemental document into the online application system.
  • Statement of purpose and personal goals according to the individual program specifications below.  If seeking a teaching assistantship, elaborate on your relevant experience.

MA English:  Statement of purpose of up to 500 words included on the application that explains your preparation for graduate study, your career goals and research interests, and specifically why you want to study at Iowa State.  We are particularly interested in knowing how your abilities, experiences, awards, and achievements relate to and demonstrate your ability to pursue graduate work in literature.

MA RCPC and MA TESL/AL:  1-3 double-spaced pages uploaded as a supplemental document.  Please state preparation for graduate study, including reasons and objectives for study in the major to which you are seeking admission.

MFA CWE:  2-3 double-spaced pages uploaded as a supplemental document (leave application field blank).  Be sure to include information about the creative writing projects you have completed or are currently working on, as well as any publications, honors, or prizes for creative work.  Please include any teacher-training you’ve had, as well as any previous teaching, tutoring, and/or mentoring experience if seeking a teaching assistantship. In order to describe how the MFA in CWE suits your interests and creative projects, it’s useful to touch any of the following experience/interests:

1.  Fieldwork experiences in natural or urban landscapes that have influenced your practice or aesthetic as a writer
2.  Writers or currents of environmental thought that have influenced your work
3.  Issues of place, landscape, the natural world, or environment with which your work engages
4.  Organizations you’ve worked with or activities you have completed related to environmental issues
5.  Creative projects you have started or can imagine writing while in the program that have an ecological or environmental dimension

Applicants for the Hogrefe Fellowship in Creative Writing must incorporate a statement indicating their wish to be considered for the fellowship and explaining what they hope to achieve in their work as the Hogrefe Fellow.

PHD ALT and RPC:  1-3 double-spaced pages uploaded as a supplemental document (leave application field blank).  Please state preparation for graduate study, including reasons and objectives for study in the doctoral program to which you are seeking admission.  If seeking a teaching assistantship, elaborate on your relevant experience.

  • Writing sample(s) are required from all applicants according to these program specifications.  They are to be uploaded as supplemental documents into the online application system.  All writing samples are to be double-spaced.

MA English, RCPC, and TESL/AL:  Expository writing sample (8-20 double-spaced pages) demonstrating critical analysis and research skills in the intended major.  Applicants typically submit an essay they produced for an undergraduate or graduate course in English or a related field.

MFA CWE:  Two writing samples are required.
1] Creative writing sample of no more than 25 pages of prose (double-spaced) or 15 pages of poetry (may use 1.15 spacing) demonstrating exemplary ability in one genre; we ask that you declare a primary genre,  although once admitted, students will not be restricted to working in one genre.
2] Expository prose writing sample (5-10 pages double-spaced) displaying your command of scholarly research and accepted grammatical rules for written English.  Applicants usually submit a scholarly research essay written for an undergraduate class or graduate course in English demonstrating critical and research skills.

PhD ALT and RPC:  Writing sample demonstrating critical analysis and research skills with cover sheet contextualizing the document.  Applicants may include two documents totaling a maximum of 35 pages, but at least one document must demonstrate critical analysis and research skills.

A) Applicants to one of the other English Department graduate programs must upload the following additional documents:

Hogrefe Fellowship Application Form
• Include a sample of no more than 25 pages of poetry (may use 1.15 spacing) demonstrating exemplary ability in one genre.
(Note: The expository prose writing sample required can be the same expository/critical writing sample required for the other MA and PhD programs.)

B) Applicants to other graduate programs at ISU outside the English Department must email the following documents to englgrad.iastate.edu. (See Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship Application Instructions for more information.

Hogrefe Fellowship Application Form
• Online Graduate Application
• GRE General Test Official Scores
• Scanned Official Transcripts and Degree Statements
• Three Letters of Recommendation
• Curriculum Vitae/Resume
• Statement of Purpose & Personal Goals—2-3 double-spaced pages, maximum
• Two writing samples required.
1] Creative writing sample of no more than 25 pages of prose (double-spaced) or 15 pages of poetry (may use 1.15 spacing) demonstrating exemplary ability in one genre; we ask that you declare a primary genre,  although once admitted, students will not be restricted to working in one genre.
2] Expository prose writing sample (5-10 pages double-spaced) displaying your command of scholarly research and accepted grammatical rules for written English.  Applicants usually submit a scholarly research essay written for an undergraduate class or graduate course in English demonstrating critical and research skills.