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PhD English

Applications are accepted each year for Fall admission. Applicants should submit a complete application via the Slate application portal by January 1.  All applications received by January 1 are considered for full-funding (stipend, tuition remission). Applications received after January 1 and before January 31 will not be considered for funding. 

The following items must be uploaded to your online application: 

  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of Objectives and Interests. Please be sure your personal statement answers the following questions (1–5 pages):
    • What are your intellectual objectives and how will your proposed plan of graduate study relate to them?
    • Within English studies, are there areas of special interest to you? Please explain.
    • How will the resources at the University of Delaware (faculty and otherwise) help you to achieve your objectives and pursue you areas of interest?
    • [Note: because special scholarships may be available for members of historically underrepresented groups in the humanities, including African and Asian-American students, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, and former members of the military, we encourage applicants who may be eligible for these awards to signal their eligibility in their statement.]
  • Unofficial Transcripts from All College/Universities Attended
  • GRE Test Scores (We do not require  the GRE English Literature Subject Exam) Application Process Update:  Due to COVID-19, the Department of English is waiving the GRE requirement for our graduate program this year. If you wish to apply without a GRE score, please enter a future GRE exam date into the application when prompted. This need not be an actual exam date. Entering any future date will allow your application to be sent on to our review committee where it will receive full consideration. Reporting your scores is entirely optional. If you chose to not submit a GRE score, this will have no bearing on the competitiveness of your application. If you have any questions regarding this process, email Sean Zdenek, Director of Graduate Studies (
  • TOEFL/IELTS Requirements Please read the linked instructions carefully and notes that applicants must score 100 or higher on the TOEFL to be considered as a Teaching Assistant (all of our offers are made for teaching assistants). A waiver of the TOEFL exam is only allowed when:
    • A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree has been or will be earned from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States.
    • A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree has been or will be earned from a university recognized by the ministry of education in a country where English is the primary language. Countries approved by the ministry of education are: Anguilla, Antigua, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cameroon, Canada (except Quebec),Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Ghana, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, The United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Three Letters of Recommendation. Be sure letters of recommendation are submitted by your faculty advisors prior to the January 1 deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 
  • Critical Writing Sample (10–20 pages)


  • Applicants must have earned a BA or MA degree before matriculation in Fall 
  • Please note we are a straight-to-PhD program that does not accept applications for a terminal MA degree. Our PhD students have the opportunity to earn the MA degree on their way to the PhD. 
  • The application fee is $75. View information regarding fees and possible fee waivers here
  • Students must accept the offer of admission no later than April 15
  • All incoming students are subject to a criminal background check as per UD policy 4-111

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How to Apply
  • Department of English
  • 203 Memorial Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2361