Prospective Students

Our department cultivates a warm, friendly, and supportive atmosphere for our students. In our program, you will be introduced to both the deepest traditions of literature and the most current approaches to, and applications of, literary study. We both rigorously prepare students for PhD study and also provide them highly innovative curricular opportunities to explore other career options.

The deadline for admission with funding consideration is March 1. The deadline to apply for fall without funding consideration is July 13 and for 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.

Requirements

Applicants to the Master's program in English must hold a bachelor's degree from an institution accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies. Applicants are normally expected to have at least eighteen undergraduate credits and a 3.0 average in English, but applications are occasionally accepted from candidates who majored in related fields.

How to Apply

  1. Please visit the web pages of the Office of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to request additional information, view application deadlines or to begin your online application.
  2. Contact Dr. Evan Radcliffe, the Program Director, to discuss your interest in doing graduate work.
  3. Applicants to the Degree Program should submit the following materials:
    • Application for admission online.
    • Application fee. $50 payable by credit card online. The fee is waived for students with a Villanova degree. It is also waived for those who meet on campus with Dr. Radcliffe to discuss the program or who attend an Open House or Virtual Information Session sponsored by the Graduate Studies Office. (Listings of those sessions appear on the Graduate Arts and Sciences Events webpage.)
    • Transcripts. Step 1 - You may upload unofficial copies of your transcripts in the online application in order to receive an admission decision. However, those who are offered admission must complete the following process in order to enroll. Step 2 - Official transcripts of all previous college work undergraduate (and graduate where applicable), must be sent directly from your registrar's office to the Office of Graduate Studies at Villanova. (Applicants in their last year of undergraduate study who have not completed their bachelor’s degree should provide a transcript of all courses completed at the time of application, and submit an official transcript when the undergraduate degree is completed.)
    • Three Letters of Recommendation. Please use the form found on the online application.
    • Graduate Record Examination. Please note that GRE scores from tests taken more than five years before the date of application will not be accepted. While we prefer to receive the score if you have taken the GRE subject test, it is not a requirement for admission. The GRE requirement will be waived for teachers with a teacher certification.
    • A Writing Sample. The writing sample should be a work of literary analysis that is 10 - 20 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.
    • Statement of Goals (1-2 pages). The personal statement should address the following: the reason(s) you wish to pursue advanced study in literature; specific areas of literary study you hope to concentrate on; academic work you’ve done; how Villanova in particular might help you develop your intellectual interests; and what you would like to do with your MA
  4. Applicants to a non-degree Certificate Program should submit the following materials:
    • Application for admission online.
    • Application fee. $50 payable by credit card online. The fee is waived for students with a Villanova degree. It is also waived for those who meet on campus with Dr. Radcliffe to discuss the program or who attend an Open House or Virtual Information Session sponsored by the Graduate Studies Office. (Listings of those sessions appear on the Graduate Arts and Sciences Events webpage.)
    • Transcripts. Step 1 - You may upload unofficial copies of your transcripts in the online application in order to receive an admission decision. However, those who are offered admission must complete the following process in order to enroll. Step 2 - Official transcripts of all previous college work undergraduate (and graduate where applicable), must be sent directly from your registrar's office to the Office of Graduate Studies at Villanova. (Applicants in their last year of undergraduate study who have not completed their bachelor’s degree should provide a transcript of all courses completed at the time of application, and submit an official transcript when the undergraduate degree is completed.)
    • A Writing Sample, preferably a critical essay of roughly 10 pages.

Villanova’s graduate school tuition is very competitive, and there are a number of ways to finance your M.A. in English. All of the classes are held in the evenings, permitting you to work while in the program whether you are studying part-time or full-time. All teachers receive a 20% discount and Catholic school teachers receive a 40% discount on tuition. The GRE requirement will be waived for teachers with a teacher certification.

The program offers a considerable number of graduate Tuition Scholarships and Assistantships. The Tuition Scholarships cover tuition for the program in exchange for seven hours per week of work as a research assistant for one of the graduate English faculty members. The Graduate Assistantships cover tuition and provide a stipend of over $16,000 per year. In exchange for this aid, Graduate Assistants work thirteen hours per week in the University Writing Center and seven hours per week as a research assistant. To be considered for these funding sources, you should apply for admission in the fall semester. Applicants for spring admission cannot be considered for these awards.

You should also explore the assistantships offered by other Villanova departments and offices. You should consider applying for any of these assistantships that seem appropriate for you. If you apply for other university assistantships, you will still be considered for internal department funding. The deadline for all department scholarships and assistantships is March 1.

If you wish to take loans to pay for part or all of your coursework, you can contact the Villanova Financial Assistance Office at (610) 519-4010. If you have specific questions you can contact the Graduate Education Specialist at the Financial Assistance Office, Nathan Walch, at nathan.walch@villanova.edu.

Click here for information about completing the FAFSA.

To earn the Master's degree, you will complete 30 credits, including a thesis or an oral/written field examination.  The only two formal requirements are a course in American literature before 1900 and another in British or Irish literature before 1800.  An average grade of at least "B" must be maintained to remain in the program.  Full-time students complete the curriculum in two years, taking two or three courses each semester, but you may also pursue your studies on a part-time basis, in which case you may take up to six years to earn the degree.

Contact Us

Villanova University
Department of English
St. Augustine Center
Room 402
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085

Dr. Evan Radcliffe
Graduate Program Director

Emailevan.radcliffe@villanova.edu
Phone: (610) 519-4648

Brooke Erdman
Graduate Program Coordinator
Email
brooke.erdman@villanova.edu
Phone: (610) 519-7826