NEW: Admissions FAQ (PDF)

Required of All Applicants:

Applications are considered for Fall 2017 admission only and must be submitted no later than December 15, 2016  Please do not mail any paper materials to the graduate office.  The application is done entirely online.  The application will open up in early September.

For further information, please contact the English Graduate Office (510-642-6732,

Department of English, Graduate Office
322 Wheeler Hall #1030
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1030


International Applicants

International applicants should consult the Graduate Division's web site,, for admissions requirements and estimated costs of graduate study for international students.

Application Preparation & Evaluation

The English Department typically receives between 300-400 applications each year and seeks an incoming cohort of 12-14 students to enter the program. We make our admissions decisions on the basis of the whole application. No one factor necessarily carries more weight than the others. The Graduate Division requires an overall GPA of at least 3.0; however, the average GPA of successful applicants is considerably higher at 3.85. We consider the kinds and number of the courses the applicant has taken and how well he or she has done, especially in the junior and senior years. The Bachelor's Degree need not be in English. There are no minimum GRE scores but those admitted score, on average, in the 700s (97%) in the Verbal test and 650 (88%) or higher in the Subject test. Letters of recommendation should come from professors who can attest to the quality and strength of the applicant's academic work. The Statement of Purpose should provide a clear sense of the applicant's interests and intentions in pursuing graduate study. The writing sample is an important element in our evaluation. Applicants should submit only one paper of no more than 20 pages, and it should be an example of scholarly or critical writing (not creative writing). The 20 page limit does not include the bibliography.  Applicants should not send a longer paper with instructions to read an excerpt, but should edit it themselves.

Reactivation of a Previous Application

The Department keeps all applications on file for two years. If you have filed an application within the past two years but have not registered, you may reactivate your previous application (see current application for instructions). The Department recommends that applicants submit new materials such as the Statement of Purpose and writing sample if the previous application was denied.

Fellowships, Financial Aid, Housing

For information on fellowships, financial aid, and housing, please consult the the Graduate Division, The English Department typically is able to offer fellowships, which provide a stipend and cover tuition and fees, to most of the admitted applicants each year.

Graduate Diversity Outreach

Dr. Josephine Moreno is the Graduate Diversity Coordinator for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Letters & Science at the University of California, Berkeley. She works with both prospective and continuing graduate students, discussing graduate school preparation, admission criteria, the admissions process, university and extramural funding, academic issues, student life, and more.