Application and Admissions

Fordham’s English Department warmly welcomes qualified M.A. and Ph.D. applicants who seek to join a dedicated, vibrant community of scholar-teachers to pursue literary studies at an advanced level. Our M.A. program offers in-depth exploration of literary topics and diverse professionalization opportunities over a nimble two-year program. Our Ph.D. program supports students from year 1 through the dissertation defense and beyond, with flexibly conceived coursework, hands-on mentorship, sustained pedagogical formation, and diversified professional development. We seek to strike a balance between broad historical coverage and research specialization, and we encourage students to explore and expand their intellectual interests over the duration of their studies. Our faculty teaches and mentors widely across literary fields from medieval to contemporary; please see the list of Areas of Interest below for an up-to-date sense of our department’s current research strengths. Apply through The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences online application.

Application Deadlines

Ph.D. Applications
(M.A. not required for admission, all admitted Ph.D.'s are funded):
January 5, 2024

Master's applications
Spring - M.A. Applications (without financial aid consideration):
December 1, 2023

Summer - M.A. Applications (without financial aid consideration):
January 5, 2024

Fall - M.A. Applications (without financial aid consideration):
Recommended Deadline: April 1, 2024
Rolling Admissions Begin: April 2, 2024

Accelerated Master's applications- (for current English B.A. students)
Fall - M.A. applications
Final Deadline: June 1, 2024

Advanced Certificate applications
Spring - Advanced Certificate in Rhetoric and Writing:
December 1, 2023

Summer - Advanced Certificate in Rhetoric and Writing:
January 5, 2024

Fall - Advanced Certificate in Rhetoric and Writing:
Recommended Deadline: April 1, 2024

Statement of Intent
Your 750-word Statement of Intent should characterize your interests as a student of literature, your current intellectual engagement with one or more Areas of Interest listed below, and your aspirations as a doctoral student of literature at Fordham University. It should detail your preparation for doctoral-level study during your undergraduate and/or Master’s degree program, identify topics and literatures you have enjoyed exploring in the past and/or wish to explore in the future, and describe your academic and/or non-academic professional goals.

Supplemental Essay (Optional)
You may choose to answer this optional essay question. Your answer will help the admission committee get a better understanding of your unique perspective and potential contributions to our community. 

Please discuss how your life experiences, perspective, or worldview have motivated or inspired you, posed challenges, helped you build skills, or taught you valuable lessons. We are eager to learn how these experiences have helped shape who you are and prepared you for graduate study, in keeping with our mission of "graduate education for the global good."

Areas of Interest

On their online application, Ph.D. applicants should select one or more Areas of Interest from the annually updated list below. This selection should reflect your current intellectual interests, with the understanding that interests commonly grow and change over the course of study.

Ph.D. in English
Medieval literature
18/19th-century British literature
Early and 19th-century American literature
20th century Anglophone literature
Contemporary literatures
Rhetoric and writing studies
Black studies
Critical race studies
Caribbean studies
Postcolonial studies
Disability studies
Queer studies
Feminist and gender studies
Environmental humanities
Affect studies
Sound and music studies
Drama and performance studies
History of the book
Poetry and poetics

Writing Sample
Your writing sample should be an original scholarly essay between fifteen (15) and twenty-five (25) pages, preferably written for an upper-level literature course. Ideally, it should reflect your scholarly interests and intellectual potential. The sample must be written in English and may be uploaded either as a Word or PDF document. Note: applicants who do not have a 15-page sample may submit two shorter samples (for example, 2 papers of 10 pages each would be acceptable).

Three letters of recommendation

Submit your letters directly via the online application. Enter the following information for each of your recommendation providers: name, address, email address, phone number, institution. Make sure you enter your recommenders' email addresses correctly so that they each receive an automated email instructing them on how to submit their recommendations online. Mark the waiver statement for each recommender you enter.

Official Transcripts

Please be sure to order official final transcripts from all previously attended institutions confirming degree conferral (if applicable) at least one month before the posted application deadline. Transcripts should be sent directly from your prior institution(s) via secure electronic delivery to the Office of Admissions at [email protected]. If electronic delivery is not available, please request that your transcripts be submitted by postal service in a sealed envelope from the institution to: 

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Office of Admissions
Keating Hall Room 216
Fordham University
441 E. Fordham Rd.
Bronx, NY 10458

Please note

We strongly recommend that you upload unofficial copies of your academic transcripts to your application while the Office of Admissions awaits receipt of your official transcripts. 

Please ensure that all official transcripts from previously attended post-secondary institutions are submitted in English, or are accompanied by a certified English translation. For academic transcripts from institutions outside the United States, applicants are strongly encouraged to obtain a course-by-course credential evaluation. Transcripts and credentials conversion information is available on the GSAS International Students page.

CV or resume

Include your full legal name, permanent and local/current addresses and contact numbers, and any relevant professional and scholarly experience (max 5 pages).

Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores

GRE scores are optional for both the Ph.D. and M.A. programs for the 2024 - 2025 admissions cycle; absence of GRE scores will not impact application evaluation. Applicants who still wish to submit GRE scores may send them directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Fordham University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences – Code #2259. We do not require the GRE Subject Test in Literature for M.A. or Ph.D. applications.

Application Fee

Please refer to the GSAS Tuition and Fees page.

English Proficiency Requirements

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete and submit to GSAS prior to matriculation their official scores from one of the following accepted English language competency exams:

Official TOEFL, IELTS, DET, PTE Academic, or Cambridge English Qualifications scores should be sent directly by the testing service to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Fordham University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (our ETS TOEFL score code #2259).  

Preferred minimum score requirements:

Exam Score
IELTS 7.0 band score
DET 130
PTE Academic 68
Cambridge English Qualifications 185 Overall Score on the B2, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency exam

Exemptions to the English Language Requirement

Exemptions from this requirement can be requested by the applicant in her/his application, or can be made in writing by the applicant to [email protected]. Exemptions are generally permitted for international applicants who:

  1. are native English speakers from countries where English is an official language; and/or
  2. have completed, within the past five years, at least two years of study at an undergraduate or graduate institution in the United States or in a country where English is the official language of instruction.

GSAS retains the right to request language evaluation from any applicant. The Fordham English Language Test (FELT), administered by Fordham’s Institute of American Language and Culture (IALC), may be required for those students whose English proficiency scores do not meet GSAS program requirements. Additional coursework may also be recommended by the IALC.

Students are permitted to register for two GSAS courses during the academic term in which they are completing any IALC-recommended coursework, which generally occurs during their first semester of study.

Please note: Tuition costs associated with the learning of English as a second language are the responsibility of the student and will not be covered by a GSAS tuition scholarship. GSAS merit-based tuition scholarships are not applicable to the costs of additional coursework recommended by the IALC.


For further questions about the Graduate Program, please write [email protected].

For questions about the online application, contact the Admissions Office of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at [email protected].