FAQs - Prospective Graduate Students on the Tempe Campus

Information about the Department of English graduate programs can be obtained online  or you can e-mail enggrad@asu.edu (or call 480-965-7454). In peak times, response to emails and calls may take up to 48 hours to return Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Please look through the FAQs to see if your question can be answered in the meantime.

1. What are the deadlines for admission to Tempe campus programs?

1. What are the deadlines for admission to Tempe campus programs?

The deadline is January 15th for most in-person programs. The MFA in Creative Writing deadline is January 1st. The MA Linguistics and Applied Linguistics program and MTESOL program have three deadlines: January 15th and April 15th for fall and September 15th for spring.

The online application is required to be submitted by the deadline. It is expected that letters of recommendation, official transcripts and official test scores also be uploaded by the deadline. We recommend you submit your application before the deadline in order to allow recommenders plenty of time to upload their letters and admissions to receive the official documents.

2. How do I submit my application?

2. How do I submit my application?

The graduate application can be found here: https://webapp4.asu.edu/dgsadmissions/Index.jsp  

Review the program webpage on the English site for required supplemental documents. Complete the application on the website and upload documents. Submit all required transcripts and test scores to Graduate Admission Services once you have submitted the application and paid the application fee. Addresses for mailing documents can be found here: https://english.clas.asu.edu/admission/graduate-admission/how-to-apply   

3. What is the application fee?

3. What is the application fee?

$70 for domestic applicants and $90 for international applicants. The fee is non-refundable.

4. What supporting documents are required by the English Department?

4. What supporting documents are required by the English Department?

Supporting documents (with the exception of letters, official transcripts and official test scores) must be uploaded during the online application process. Items required are:
• Three letters of recommendation from faculty familiar with the applicant’s academic work. (The MFA Program accepts letters by mail.)
• Statement of purpose detailing the student’s background, reasons for wanting to do graduate work in English, and plans for the future.
• A writing sample, if required by the program (see specific program materials for information).
• Resume or vita. 

*A statement of teaching philosophy (if interested) in a Teaching Assistantship will also need to be uploaded into the designated area on the application. Priority is granted to PhD and MFA students in English. MA and MTESOL students are not funded. Teaching Assistantships are available in the Department of English on a competitive basis. Admission to the program does not guarantee a TA.

5. Do I have to take the GRE?

5. Do I have to take the GRE?

The four PhD programs require the GRE and it cannot be waived. There is no established minimum GRE score as students are evaluated by the entirety of their application file. The average GRE verbal score of our admitted students is around the 85th percentile. (Note that the MFA Program in Creative Writing and all MA programs do not require GRE scores.)

6. How do I calculate my GPA?

6. How do I calculate my GPA?

Applicants need a grade point average of "B" (3.0) or higher in the final two years of work leading to the bachelor's degree. For help in calculating your GPA, please refer to the GPA calculator: https://students.asu.edu/gpa-calculator

In addition for PhD applicants, the Department of English requires that applicants have at least a 3.50 GPA in all previous graduate work.

7. What are the English Proficiency requirements for international applicants?

7. What are the English Proficiency requirements for international applicants?

International students who are from countries whose native language is not English (regardless of where they may now reside) must meet English proficiency requirements for the Graduate College as outlined in the ASU academic catalog.

International students applying to graduate programs in the Department of English at ASU must submit evidence of English proficiency.  This can be done in one of three ways outlined on this webpage

8. What type of transcripts do I have to submit? How do I submit transcripts?

8. What type of transcripts do I have to submit? How do I submit transcripts?

Have your official transcripts mailed to either:

Regular Mail

FedEd, DHL, UPS

Arizona State University

Graduate Admission Services

PO Box 870112

Tempe, AZ 85287-0112

Graduate Admission Services

Arizona State University

1151 S. Forest Avenue, #SSV112

Tempe, AZ  85287-0112


Graduate Admissions only accepts the following electronic transcript services: E-Scrip, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse. Transcripts must be sent directly to gradtranscripts@asu.edu from those transcript services or from the institutions that use those services. We do not take forwarded or emailed transcripts.

All international transcripts must be submitted in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Translations must be literal, complete versions of the originals and must be translated by a university, government official or official translation service. You may not complete your own translation.

Any questions about your transcripts, please contact Graduate Admissions: 480-965-6113 or gograd@asu.edu or check their FAQs and Admission Standards.

9. Should I contact faculty before applying?

9. Should I contact faculty before applying?

Absolutely! Contacting faculty is a terrific way to learn about the program. Programs directors are listed here: https://english.clas.asu.edu/student-life/graduate-experience/graduate-advising

10. Who should I ask for recommendation letters? How do I submit recommendation letters?

10. Who should I ask for recommendation letters? How do I submit recommendation letters?

Letters of recommendation should ideally be from instructors or professors who can provide a clear picture of the applicant’s potential for successfully completing a graduate program. In some cases, applicants submit professional recommendations from employers who can speak to their potential academic abilities. Applicants should not submit personal references.

Once you submit the online application, your recommenders will receive an automated response from ASU with instructions on how to upload their letters. Do not send letters as email attachments. Do not send hard copies of the letters unless you are an MFA in Creative Writing applicant.

See guidelines for requesting letters of recommendation for more information.

11. How can I tell if my application is complete? How do I check the status of my application?

11. How can I tell if my application is complete? How do I check the status of my application?

Within a few days you will receive an email with instructions on how to log into your MyASU account. MyASU is where you can monitor the status of your application, view any missing items and receive the final outcome of your application.

12. If my application is complete before the deadline, will it be evaluated early?

12. If my application is complete before the deadline, will it be evaluated early?

No. The committee does not review applications until after the deadline.

13. I have requested transcripts, so why are they still listed on my priority tasks?

13. I have requested transcripts, so why are they still listed on my priority tasks?

It can take up to 10 days for the Admissions office to match your documents to your application. Once they have arrived, they are processed in the order they are received. During peak application deadlines, it may take longer. Applicants can contact Graduate Admissions with questions: 480-965-6113 or gograd@asu.edu.

14. When will I be notified about the final decision on my application?

14. When will I be notified about the final decision on my application?

Check your MyASU regularly for updates to your application. Pending Priority Tasks will delay the processing of your application. You should expect to receive a decision on your application within a month of the application deadline, though this date may fluctuate based on the number of applications received. If you have concerns about your application, please contact the graduate program manager Sheila Luna or the graduate program specialist Kira Assad.

15. I noticed there is a foreign language requirement for my program, should this be completed before I apply?

15. I noticed there is a foreign language requirement for my program, should this be completed before I apply?

No. You will complete this requirement during the program. Further information on how to satisfy the requirement can be found here. The language requirement will be waived for students whose native language is not English. 

16. If I am admitted, can I count coursework taken prior to admission?

16. If I am admitted, can I count coursework taken prior to admission?

Yes, with the approval of the advisor, 12 preadmission credits can be used on a graduate plan of study. The courses must be graduate level with a grade of B or better and must not be over three years old. The courses must not have been used on another degree. In order to apply these to the plan of study, ASU must have official transcripts from the accredited transfer institution. The student must have the advisor’s approval for any elective or transfer courses.

17. How can I withdraw after being admitted?

17. How can I withdraw after being admitted?

If a student wishes to withdraw from his/her graduate degree program and the university, they must complete the Voluntary Withdrawal form. International students should contact the International Students and Scholars Center before submitting a Voluntary Withdrawal form, as it most likely will affect their visa status.

18. How long will it take to complete the degree?

18. How long will it take to complete the degree?

The time it will take each student to complete a graduate degree program in English will vary depending on several factors (i.e. a student attends classes on a full-time basis, etc.). Generally speaking, the time to degree for the Master of Arts (M.A.) program is about two years. The MTESOL program is designed to be completed in three semesters. The MFA program takes three years. The time to degree for the Ph.D. program is about five years (for students with a master’s degree). 
It is a Graduate College policy that master's students must complete their degrees within six years. Ph.D. students have ten years from admission (five years from candidacy).

19. What is the tuition?

19. What is the tuition?

Please check the Tuition and Fee Schedule as prices change each academic year.

20. What kind of funding is available?

20. What kind of funding is available?

The department awards fellowships and teaching assistantships on a competitive basis to PhD and MFA students. For information on how to apply for an assistantship, visit the website. A 50 percent teaching assistantship (20 hours/week) comes with full waiver of tuition, health insurance, and a stipend. Admitted students are automatically considered for fellowships and awards. Continuing students may apply for internal and external awards, travel grants and dissertation fellowships. See this site for more details. U.S. citizens may also apply for federal financial aid. Further financial aid options for International Students can be found here: https://students.asu.edu/financialaid/apply/international

21. Is the writing sample and resume/cv that is required for the TA position the same for my main application?

21. Is the writing sample and resume/cv that is required for the TA position the same for my main application?

Yes, the same writing sample and resume/cv are used for admission and the TA application.

22. Will the department waive the application fee?

22. Will the department waive the application fee?

No. The department cannot waive the application fee for any applicants to our graduate program. As stated on the online application, the application fee is nonrefundable.

23. I received a letter from Graduate Admissions stating the decision of my application. What's next?

23. I received a letter from Graduate Admissions stating the decision of my application. What's next?

Graduate Admissions sends the official notice of admission (or denial). Students may print their letters by going to MyASU. You will not receive a separate letter from the department.

Admitted students will receive an informative email regarding registration, next steps, and will ask students to respond to the email either accepting or declining the offer of admission.

24. When will decisions about teaching assistantship or funding be made?

24. When will decisions about teaching assistantship or funding be made?

Decisions about teaching assistantships are usually made in March. The department will call, e-mail, or send an official offer letter via U.S. mail.

25. If I do not hear from the English Department by April 15, does that mean I will not be offered a teaching assistantship?

25. If I do not hear from the English Department by April 15, does that mean I will not be offered a teaching assistantship?

No. ASU is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools. Students who are offered financial support (TA) have until April 15 to make their decision. We cannot make additional T.A. offers until outstanding offers have been declined.

26. Can I take graduate English courses without being officially admitted to a degree program?

26. Can I take graduate English courses without being officially admitted to a degree program?

Yes. You may apply as a non-degree graduate student. Note that non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.

27. What if it has been several years since I have been in school?

27. What if it has been several years since I have been in school?

Often students will enroll as non-degree graduate students in order to obtain letters of recommendation from faculty, as well as writing samples, for their application. Master’s students may apply twelve hours (four classes) of non-degree graduate work to their program once they are admitted. Ph.D. students may petition for non-degree course work to count at the time they do their plan of study. Non-degree students should seek advising from program directors regarding course work. (Please note that MFA in Creative Writing courses require instructor permission for enrollment, and most are limited to students enrolled in the program.)

28. Is there an orientation for new students?

28. Is there an orientation for new students?

Yes, for fall semester new students. Information is sent out in the welcome emails.