English @ OU

Graduate Admissions Information

Attention: All application materials must be received by January 15th.



In making admissions decisions, we rely on five distinct criteria:

  1. transcripts
  2. letters of recommendation
  3. GRE scores (general test)
  4. a writing sample that reflects your best work
  5. a statement of purpose to the admissions committee outlining your educational background, interests and goals, and the ways you think OU's program can foster and help you implement your plans.

Please consult the Graduate College’s website for instructions for applying online or through the mail. All documents should be sent to the Graduate College, and not to the English Department.




On the top of your statement of purpose, please note clearly whether you’re applying for the MA or Ph.D. (remember, Ph.D. applicants must have or be finishing an MA or MFA). Also note which concentration you’re applying for: Literature, Rhetoric & Composition, or Creative Writing. If the last, then further note which genre: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. E.g., “MA Creative Writing: Poetry.” Providing this information will prevent your application from going into the wrong file.

The writing sample for all Literature and Rhetoric & Composition applicants should be a critical essay written for a previous course. The writing sample for creative writing applicants should be appropriate to genre: fiction (20-40 pages), nonfiction (20-40 pages), or poetry (10 poems). In addition, applicants for the Ph.D. program in creative writing should submit a critical paper (this does not apply to MA applicants).

Because of the large number of applications, it is impossible for the department to acknowledge each completed application, and it is almost impossible to inform applicants when their applications are incomplete. Nevertheless, the graduate secretary of the Department of English will be glad to answer any questions about the status of a particular application.

As soon as an application is complete—that is, as soon as all materials have arrived—it is passed onto the admissions committee for consideration. Formal notification of admission or rejection comes from the Office of Graduate Student Services on recommendation from the department. The deadline for applications is January 15. All students should expect to begin work for the degree in the fall semester. Students will be notified of the decision of the admissions committee shortly after March 1. Offers of financial assistance come from the director of Graduate Studies, and contracts for financial aid come from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Applications for non-degree students should include the application, transcripts, a statement of purpose (explaining why you want to take graduate-level classes in English), a writing sample, and one letter of recommendation

For more information call 740-593-2838 or email Professor Paul C. Jones, the Director of Graduate Studies at .