Information for Prospective Ph.D. Students

Application Deadlines

  • Ph.D applications for Fall 2018 due December 1, 2017

All application materials must be received by 5 p.m. eastern time on the deadline date. If an application deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal U.S. holiday, then the next business day will be the deadline date.

Open House for Newly Admitted Doctoral Students

Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program are invited to attend our annual Open House for Newly Admitted Doctoral Students, which this year will take place on (dates to be determined). Admitted students will be asked to arrive in New York City the afternoon of (TBA), when there will be an informal cocktail party with English Department faculty and current students. Scheduled events on (TBA) will allow admitted students the opportunity to interact with faculty as well as current graduate students and other admitted, prospective students, attend classes and tour the campus.

Your application to the PhD program should consist of the following components:

  1. The Online Application.

  2. A Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume. his should provide an overview of your academic and, if applicable, professional experience.

  3. A Statement of Academic Purpose of approximately 1,000 words. Your statement of purpose should avoid excessive personal or autobiographical anecdotes and offer a clear sense of your training in literary studies, your strengths as a scholar, and the reasons you are applying for the masters or doctoral degree. While applicants need not indicate a precise field of specialization, it will be helpful to the admissions committee to have a sense of their main area(s) of scholarly interest and the critical questions and/or conversations that drive their interest in pursuing the degree. Finally, applicants should address their particular reasons for wanting to work within the Department of English at New York University.

  4. A Writing Sample of 20-25 double-spaced pages. Candidates with a good sense of their area(s) of interest would be well-served by submitting a writing sample that matches or reflects their area(s) of primary interest, but this is not required. Please do not send a sample that exceeds the page limit with instructions to read only certain pages; applicants should instead edit the writing sample to meet the length requirement.

  5. Three Letters of Recommendation. It is important to have strong letters of recommendation that come from professors and instructors who know you and are familiar with the your academic work. Applicants who have been out of school for several years should make every effort to reconnect with former teachers to ensure that their letters of recommendation address their academic preparation and abilities and their readiness to pursue the degree for which they are applying.

  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Test Score(s). General Test Scores are required. Taking the GRE Subject Test in Literature is recommended but not required (Note: This is the up-to-date information. Please ignore the line mentioned elsewhere on the website that the Subject Test results also have to be submitted.). Scoring well on the Subject Test may strengthen your application, but not taking the Subject Test will not adversely affect your application. We do not have a minimum GRE score requirement, nor do we publicize the GRE scores of past, admitted applicants. It is important that applicants arrange to take the GRE at least six weeks before the application deadline to ensure that test scores arrive in time to receive full consideration.

  7. Transcript. An official, electronic copy of your transcript.

For further Admissions information, please visit the Application Resource Center . If your question is not answered, please contact the Director of Graduate Admissions: TBA


Ph.D. Program

All accepted Ph.D. students in English receive up to five years of funding through the Graduate School’s MacCracken program. In 2017-2018 students will receive a $27,526 stipend for nine months, plus a full tuition scholarship, registration and services fees, and full coverage of NYU student health insurance for an individual under the comprehensive plan. In addition, the award includes a one-time $1,000 Dean's Supplementary Fellowship Grant that may be spent at the student's discretion. This grant is intended to provide support for start-up research and educational expenses such as books, academic supplies, and computer equipment. While teaching is not required as a condition of the MacCracken award, the English Department still sees teaching as crucial to the professional development of its doctoral candidates. We therefore expect that our Ph.D. students will teach for four semesters starting after the second year of study, typically scheduled across the third through fifth years. Students who participate fully in the department's teaching program will receive in excess of $22,000 in adjunct-instructor compensation for their four semesters of teaching service, over and above the fellowship stipend payments they will receive during the term of the MacCracken award.

The English Ph.D. program is designed to be completed within the five-year term for which the MacCracken award ensures full funding. However, students can arrange to set aside as much as half of the fellowship stipend they receive during each semester in which they teach, to be drawn on at later points in the period of their enrollment. Thus if they follow the Department’s recommendation and teach for a total of four semesters during the MacCracken term, they can guarantee themselves an additional year of full funding in case they require a sixth year of matriculation in order to secure employment and complete the degree.

Teaching opportunities primarily include serving as a recitation leader in general education (MAP) courses in the undergraduate college, and in departmental undergraduate survey courses: British Literature I, British Literature II, and American Literature I. Students who follow the department's teaching protocol will be assigned to a range of different courses over their four semesters of service, and will thereby achieve the breadth of literacy-historical knowledge appropriate to doctorate holders in the discipline. Students who forgo teaching may be required to demonstrate the breadth of their literary-historical knowledge through other means.