Frequently Asked Questions

What degrees and certificates do you offer?

The Graduate English Program offers the M.A. degree in English.  We also offer a Post-M.A. certificate for students who have already received an M.A. in English or Education.  This certificate is earned by taking a sequence of five courses from the English Program’s graduate course offerings.  We do not offer the Ph.D.

Back to Top

Is it necessary to take the Graduate Record Exam for admission? What scores are required?

Yes, the Graduate Record Exam is required for admission.  While there is no required score for admission, the admissions committee typically looks for a verbal score of at least 160.  Analytical and Math scores are not factors in the admissions process.

Back to Top

Is it necessary to take the Literature Subject Graduate Record Exam?

No, the subject score is optional. While we prefer to receive the score if you have taken the GRE subject test, it is not a requirement for admission.

Back to Top

What undergraduate GPA is required for admission to your program?

Applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 to be considered for admission to the program.

Back to Top

Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation?

At least two of your three letters of recommendation should come from English faculty with whom you have studied as an undergraduate. The third letter can come from an employer or from a faculty member who taught you in an area other than literature.

Back to Top

What are you looking for in a writing sample?

The writing sample should be a work of literary analysis that is at least ten pages long. It should demonstrate your ability to articulate a clear, specific argument and to support that argument through close readings of a literary text or texts. It is preferable if the sample also makes reference to secondary critical sources, but this is not a requirement.

Back to Top

What are you looking for in a personal statement?

The personal statement should explain what is motivating your interest in pursuing advanced study in literature. It may also include a discussion of what specific areas of literary study you hope to concentrate on.

Back to Top

Are there fellowships available for your program?

Yes, full-time students who apply for fall admission can apply for Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Fellowships. The Graduate Assistantship provides a tuition waiver as well as a yearly stipend of roughly $16,000. Students who receive Graduate Assistantships work as research assistants for graduate faculty members and as tutors at the Writing Center for a combined 20 hours per week. The Tuition Fellowship consists of a tuition waiver. Students who receive Tuition Fellowships work seven hours per week as research assistants.

Back to Top

How many students receive fellowships?

Roughly 30% of our incoming full-time students receive funding in the form of a Graduate Assistantship or Tuition Fellowship from the department. In addition, some incoming students receive funding in other department offices at Villanova. You can find more information about additional opportunities here.

Back to Top

How do I apply for the fellowships?

There is no separate application for the fellowships. Students who wish to be considered for them should simply check the box indicating interest in being considered for fellowships on the application.

Back to Top

Can I be considered for a fellowship if I apply for spring admission?

No, only applicants for fall admission are eligible for fellowship consideration.

Back to Top

What are the deadlines for applying?

The deadline for admission for the fall is March 1 and for the spring is November 15.  If you have missed a deadline, please contact Dr. Evan Radcliffe, Director of the Graduate Program, at (610) 519-4648 or at evan.radcliffe@villanova.edu to discuss your options.

Back to Top

What is the difference between a thesis and a field exam?

Upon completion of coursework, you have the option of either writing a thesis, which provides you with the opportunity to generate a sustained work of literary analysis, or taking a field examination, which permits broader coverage of a particular area of interest.  In either case, this final stage of the Master’s degree affords you an opportunity to pursue an area of interest deeply, while receiving extensive guidance from a faculty advisor of your choosing.

Back to Top