Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

How to Apply

Admission Requirements

I. Prerequisites

In order to be admitted to the PhD program, you must have an MA record of distinction or a BA record that holds genuine promise for outstanding graduate work. Most students entering the PhD program have grade point averages of 3.5 and above in their previous coursework. Although you need not have majored in English, thorough preparation is essential to success in the program. If you apply to the PhD program with the MA already completed, you may be able to transfer up to 30 hours of graduate coursework from another institution toward the 60 hours required by Loyola University Chicago. After you have been admitted, the Graduate School will evaluate your transcript and determine which of your MA courses will be accepted by Loyola University Chicago.

II. Admissions to our dual MA/PhD Program:

A student with a strong undergraduate record may be admitted to the PhD program directly after completing the BA if your undergraduate record is outstanding and if your qualifications are clearly above the average of students applying for the MA program. The graduate programs in English normally admit for the fall semester only.

III. Application Materials and Procedures:

Applications must be supported with a statement of purpose; transcripts of undergraduate work and previous graduate courses; GRE scores (the general test only); and three letters of recommendation. Applicants must also supply a writing sample. A grade average of "B" or better in undergraduate coursework is required.

  • GRE scores are never the sole determining factor in an application file. Your writing sample and statement of purpose are also important sources of information about your qualifications for undertaking graduate study. However, successful applicants to our PhD program typically have scored above above 160 in the verbal section of the GRE general exam. Please see the following for information about our GRE fee waiver program. For information on the GRE exam, please visit http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/know/.
  • Applications for funding are due by January 15. For more information, please see our .

IV. Degree Financing: 

Each year, the department offers a number of graduate assistantships to new and continuing doctoral students. Assistantships pay a stipend (currently $18,000), cover the full cost of tuition, and provide health insurance as well. These assistantships are renewable for up to 5 years, provided students remain in good standing and fulfill the duties of the assistantship. 

At Loyola, we believe that both graduate assistants and undergraduate students taking composition deserve better treatment. A PhD student with little or no experience who is awarded an assistantship at Loyola enters a four-year program that offers preparation for teaching, experience in teaching composition, and opportunities to teach literature and cooperate with faculty members on research projects. (For students entering with the MA degree, the assistantship is normally renewable for a total of three years.)

Our assistantship program diversifies the training offered to graduate students. It is designed to allow graduate assistants to concentrate on their coursework as they acquire training in several different kinds of scholarly and professional activities:

  • First-year graduate assistants entering with the BA tutor two 3.5-hour sessions per week in the Writing Center in their first semester, and participate in a workshop on the teaching of writing. In their second semester, graduate assistants tutor one session per week in the Writing Center and take a course in teaching composition (English 402). Each assistant also works with a full-time faculty member in a mentorship program in which he or she attends the faculty member's composition class and gains experience in making presentations to the class, in grading and in holding conferences with individual students.
  • Second-year graduate assistants, drawing on this preparation, teach a two-semester composition sequence (one course per semester).
  • Third- , fourth-, and fifth-year graduate assistants have various options, but over the course of these two years normally work for two semesters as teaching assistants and for one semester as research assistants, and teach a literature course for one semester. As teaching assistants to faculty members offering lower division literature courses, they make presentations to the class, grade some papers and in some instances lead discussion sections. In this way, they gain experience teaching literature as well as composition. As research assistants, they work on a faculty member's project, usually in a field of particular interest to the student.
    • Other opportunities that often exist for advanced (third- or fourth-year) graduate assistants are to serve as director of the Writing Center or as site coordinator of the Literacy Center.

Students are eligible for up to five years of funding through the program. Students admitted to the PhD program are generally fully funded because as part of their degree, they will be teaching courses and serving as teaching and research assistants. Funding includes a nine-month stipend, a full tuition scholarship for all required courses, and healthcare. After students come off departmental funding, they are eligible to apply for a limited number of fellowships offered each year by the Graduate School. These include the Crown Fellowship, the Schmitt Dissertation Fellowships, and the Pre-Doctoral Teaching Scholars Awards. These fellowships are competitive and may be held for only one year. For more information on these awards, please visit the Graduate School  webpage.