Frequently Asked Questions About English Graduate Admissions

Our graduate program web page has a very detailed description of our program, and our admissions page provides information about applying to our M.A. and Ph.D. programs. Many of your questions can be answered by perusing these pages.

  • How much weight does the GRE hold in the admissions process? Is there a minimum score needed?
    We do look at the scores (the Verbal and Writing sections), but they are not determinative in any way, since we look at the application as a whole. There is no minimum score necessary for admission.

  • What TOEFL do I need for admission?
    Similar to the GRE, for TOEFL scores we do not have a set score - applications are considered holistically. For further questions about TOEFL please refer the English Proficiency Requirements section on our Application and Admissions page. 

  • What do look for in a writing sample and about what is the length requirement?
    For writing sample information, view the Graduate Application and Admissions.

  • May I submit a writing sample from another discipline?
    Difficult to answer without concrete examples, but in general a literature paper would be preferred, though a writing sample from a related humanities discipline is acceptable.

  • How rigid are the “areas of interest” once admitted to the program. Will I be able to mold the area according to my interests?
    Not all students stick to a certain field of study once they enter the program - it's quite common, and perfectly fine, for students to make their own way.

  • Are there any foreign language pre-requisites needed? 
    No prerequisites are required. For information on how students fulfill the foreign language requirement, please click here.

  • In addition to the internship with Fordham University Press, do you also offer any teaching internships/assistantships? Graduate students may apply for a Fordham University Press internship during the course of their degrees. The teaching assistantships are different: all students who receive a fellowship with admission must serve as a GA (graduate assistant) as part of their funding, and for this the assignments vary, from working in the writing center as a tutor to helping a professor one-on-one with a research project. None of our MA students actually teach their own courses, however -- that is reserved for the PhD students. For detailed information about graduate student teaching, please have a look at our PhD Handbook

  • Do most students accepted to your PhD program already have an MA degree? Am I more likely to be accepted if I already have an MA?
    Our incoming cohort size is usually about 6 students, of which about half come in with a prior MA. At the admissions stage, there is no advantage or disadvantage to holding a prior MA – we assess each application on its own terms.

  • I currently have a full-time job. May I pursue the M.A. or Ph.D. as a part-time student?
    Students may pursue the MA on a part-time basis, but the Ph.D. program requires full-time attendance.

  • Is the Teaching Practicum required for every Ph.D. student, or can those who already have advanced degrees/teaching certification be excused from that requirement?
    The Teaching Practicum is required for all Ph.D. students.

  • Will I be automatically considered for admission to the M.A. if I am not accepted into the Ph.D. program?
    Yes, applicants not accepted into the Ph.D. program will be automatically considered for admission to the M.A. program. 

  • Do I need to submit two applications if I’m going to apply for both M.A. and Ph.D.? If so, will I need to pay for the application fee twice?
    When you apply for the Ph.D. program, you will automatically be considered for the MA in the event you are not accepted into the Ph.D. program. You do not need to submit a separate application or pay a separate fee. 

  • If the official transcript of my current college contains the courses and degree records from my previous colleges, do I still need to submit a separate transcript for my previous college? 
    Within the application applicants should list all colleges, universities, and/or professional schools they have attended beginning with the most recent or advanced degree first, working in reverse chronological order, and unofficial transcripts are required for all schools. NOTE: For the application review process we require unofficial transcripts only. For more detailed instructions about transcript requirements, and about completing the online application, please contact [email protected].

  • Do you offer any online graduate degrees in English?
    We do not at present offer any online degrees or courses in the graduate English program.

  • Is housing available for graduate students?
    Yes, graduate students may apply for a room in Arthur House II, which is a few blocks from the Rose Hill campus. Learn more about graduate housing at Rose Hill.

  • Which year do graduate students start teaching?
    For detailed information about graduate student teaching, please have a look at our Ph.D. Handbook.

  • I would like to find out more about the Graduate English programs at Fordham, would it be possible for me to meet with someone to discuss?
    Our website has very detailed descriptions of our MA and PhD programs. Please read through this information, and if you have any remaining questions, we would be happy to set up a meeting (contact [email protected] to arrange for an on-campus meeting or phone appointment).