MA Application

The general program application deadline for fall admission is March 1. The deadline for spring admission is November 15.

Unfortunately, the current financial situation has not made it possible for us to offer graduate teaching assistantships for Fall 2021 admission. All fall full-time time applicants will be considered the Craig Sirles Masters in English Scholarship.

Regardless of the semester, MA applicants should submit all application materials via the VCU Online Application:

  • An online application to graduate study, including the application for Virginia in-state tuition (again the entire application is now electronic/online and can only be accessed/submitted by logging-in to the VCU Online Application portal).
  • The 70.00 application fee (payable by credit card through the VCU Online Application). In certain cases, VCU may waive the fees for applicants that work for certain non-profit programs, including those that work for AmeriCorps.  Applicants who believe they may be eligible for a fee waiver must provide documentation in advanced.  They may send request to and will be asked to provide documentation that of participation/award of one the eligible programs.  If qualified, they will be provided with a coupon code that they may use in lieu of payment.
  • A personal statement (statement of purpose) which addresses the following questions:
    • Your career goals and how the graduate program would help you meet those goals
    • Prior work and life experiences related to your interest and aptitude for the program
    • Your perception of your intellectual capability to successfully complete the graduate program
    • Information about academic honors or professional awards, including scholarships, fellowships, prizes, honorary society memberships, publications, inventions or other creative work
  • Declare (check appropriate box) your intention to enroll part time, full time, and/or full time with consideration for possible assistantship.
  • A PDF or MSWord doc file of an academic writing sample ranging from 10-20 double-spaced pages. Longer writing samples should be edited to conform to the 20 page maximum. The writing sample should demonstrate mastery of research conventions (introduction and citation of sources) common in the discipline of English. Ideally, this writing sample should reflect the interests discussed in your statement of purpose. Creative works (fiction, poetry) will not be accepted.
  • Three letters of reference are required. These letters should be from people who are qualified to give information concerning your probable success in graduate school. At least two of these should be from academics or former professors who can specifically address your academic potential. Upon completion of the online application (where you supply names and email address of references), your references will be notified by email of the reference request. It is strongly recommended that your references use the online portal to submit their letters, if necessary however, they may email their letters to Emailed references must include your full name and the program you are applying to in the subject line in order to be included with your application materials for review by your desired program. Once you have saved an electronic evaluation, an email request will automatically be sent to the evaluator on your behalf. Please advise your evaluator to look for this email in their in box, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out.
  • Transcripts from each undergraduate institution you attended. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded onto your online application; however, official transcripts will be required if you are admitted.
  • Please note: official scores for the GRE General Test are no longer required (but can still be submitted if desired). We also do not require applicants to take the subject test.

 Again, applicants should submit all application materials via the VCU Online Application (i.e., hard copy application materials should no longer be mailed directly to the Department/program).


Jennifer Rhee, Director of the MA Program
Thom Didato, Graduate Programs Advisor

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