Admission and Application
Students having a B.A. with an undergraduate major in English and/or American literature, or a closely related discipline, or 24 credit hours of literature in English above the sophomore level may apply for admission to either the M.A. or the Ph.D. program. Applicants are expected to have outstanding grades in literature or a closely related discipline, as well as an overall average of at least a B in all their college-level work.
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences requires applicants to submit their applications online. Applicants unable to submit the online application may download the application at this site All application materials should be submitted to the Graduate Admissions office at the following address:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street, NW, Room 107
Washington DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-6210; Fax: 202-994-6213
The application form must be accompanied by the following components:
- Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- M.A. Applicants - GRE general (taken in the last five years). Note: the ETS code for both the GRE and ToEFL is 5246.
- Ph.D. Applicants - GRE general (taken in the last five years). Subject GRE test is recommended (taken in the last five years). Note: the ETS code for both the GRE and ToEFL is 5246. The GRE general test is waived for applicants who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.
- Statement of Purpose (250-500 words).
- Writing sample,10-20 pages; this should be critical/scholarly work rather than creative writing.
Deadlines vary from year to year. For more detailed information on this year's deadlines, please consult the GWU Columbian College website. In general, deadlines are:
- January 5 for Ph.D. candidates
- February 1 for MA applicants for funding consideration
- April 1 for all M.A. candidates
After submitting your application online, you may check your application status by logging into your online account. Applicants who do not apply online must contact Columbian College of Arts and Sciences to determine their status.
It is the policy of the Graduate English Program to attempt to fund all students admitted to the PhD program. Most funding will consist of Graduate Teaching Assistantships and other sources within the University, but we also admit students with outside funding (a number of students have had Fulbright or McNair scholarships). For complete information on available fellowships, please consult the GW Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships and the Columbian College list of fellowships. The following list highlights some of our funding opportunities.
- Graduate Teaching Assistantships/University Fellowships – merit-based awards for full-time doctoral candidates; include salary, stipend, and 18-credit-hour tuition award. May be renewed for up to five years.
- George McCandlish Fellowship – stipend for doctoral candidates.
- Dean’s Fellowship – competitive fellowship for those in first or final year of PhD.
- Center for Washington Area Studies Fellowship – for degree candidates in humanities and social sciences and in fields concerned with public policy and planning; provides stipend, graduate research assistant’s salary, and 18-credit-hour tuition award
- The George Washington University Presidential Merit Fellowship – competitive fellowship; awards full tuition and stipend.
- Resident Assistantships – tuition and residence; includes counseling and administrative duties in University residence halls.
- Scottish Rite Endowment Fellowships – for graduate students affiliated with the Scottish Rite.
- Phi Delta Gamma Scholarship Fund – must have completed nine semester hours of graduate work at GW (not open every year).
In addition to these, we offer competitive grants to students with records of distinguished teaching and research.
English Department Graduate Handbook, updated Spring 2014 (PDF)