Application & Admission

MA and PhD in English and American Literature

Apply to Notre Dame's Graduate School

Application Requirements

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement, or statement of intent (also called a “statement of purpose”) between 500-750 words (usually 2 pages of double-spaced 12-point font)detailing your professional aims and objectives at Notre Dame, including your provisional field of study.
  • CV or resume
  • A single writing sample of over 5,000 words (usually 15 pages of double-spaced 12-point font) but no longer than 7,000 words (usually less  than  20 pages of double-spaced 12-point font)that demonstrates your ability to craft an sustained critical argument, perform independent literary research, and write with clarity. Students submitting longer writing samples than 20 pages cannot expect that their entire writing sample will be read. Should you wish to excerpt a longer work (e.g. an undergrad or M.A. thesis), please prepare a 15-20 page document and include a brief explanatory note providing the context of the selection and a description of the scope and argument of the larger work.

Application Deadline

December 15

Applicants should apply to the PhD Program directly.

"The MA program is open only to current and former students of Notre Dame and St. Mary's College as well as service members, international students, and others with documented portable funding from institutions and governments. The Graduate Admissions Committee will not consider applications which do not meet one of the above criteria."

For questions regarding the PhD or MA application, please email the Director of Graduate Studies, Yasmin Solomonescu, via email at

MFA in Creative Writing
Application Requirements

  • GRE is not required.
  • A writing sample consisting of approximately 30 pages of fiction, 20 pages of poetry, or an equivalent amount of other appropriate writing.
  • Other materials as explained in the application

Application Deadline
January 2

Applicants wishing to be considered for financial aid should make certain that all materials be sent by the deadline. GREs should be taken no later than the December test date.


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The Graduate School

Creative Writing Program