- Ph.D applications for Fall 2020 due December 1, 2019
- 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.
Your application to the PhD program should consist of the following components:
- The Online Application.
- A Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume. This should provide an overview of your academic and, if applicable, professional experience.
- A Statement of Academic Purpose. The work of the faculty of the Department of English at NYU is characterized by a wide variety of interdisciplinary approaches, encompassing literary history, theory, and criticism, as well as careful reflection on the methods of literary study. We are especially interested in graduate students who will be comfortable bridging historical periods in their reading and writing, and who are curious about a wide variety of approaches to literary studies. The admissions committee requires from all applicants a statement of academic purpose, which will be judged as a piece of writing. It will use this statement to evaluate how well your aspirations and interests suit those of the Department of English at NYU. This statement of academic purpose should be succinct (no more than 1200 words) and address most, if not all, of the following questions: What kinds (genres, styles, forms, etc.) of literature most engage you? What, for you, is the purpose of reading literature critically? Are there particular kinds of criticism/theoretical approaches/methods of literary study that you would like to work within or learn more about? How have your intellectual and scholarly interests been shaped by your time outside and beyond the college classroom? In the light of the description above, do you have a particular reason for wishing to work within the Department of English at New York University?
- A Writing Sample of academic literary criticism is required. It should demonstrate your strongest work in that mode and should not exceed 20-25 double-spaced pages, including any bibliography or notes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transcript. An official, electronic copy of your transcript.For further Admissions information, please visit the Application Resource Center .
- TOEFL or IELTS: TOEFL or the IELTS is required of all applicants who are not native English speakers or who do not have a bachelor's or master's degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English.
All accepted Ph.D. students in English receive up to five years of funding through the Graduate School’s MacCracken program. In 2019-2020 students will receive a $28,850 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. The MacCracken award includes a one-time $1,000 Dean's Supplementary Fellowship Grant. This grant is intended to provide support for start-up research and educational expenses such as books, academic supplies, and computer equipment. In addition, the Department of English offers a one-time $3,000 Supplementary Grant that may be used at the student's discretion and a $5,500 stipend during both the first and second years of study to help defray the cost of housing. 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 courses in the undergraduate college, and in departmental undergraduate survey courses. 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.
If your question is not answered, please contact the Director of Graduate Admissions: Robert Young.
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.