Overview of Programs

The Temple Graduate Programs in English offer distinguished faculty providing degrees in English and Creative Writing.

The Ph.D. program features faculty teaching a wide range of courses in all historical periods of British and American literature, Anglophone literature, and critical and cultural theory. The program is designed to give students a solid grounding in the methods of literary study and a broad perspective on literary production and meaning. The program balances theoretical sophistication with historical scope and methodological variety. The Literature faculty is strong in traditional areas of literary scholarship with concentrations in criticism, literary forms and periods, cultural studies, rhetoric and composition. Our aim is to produce students who will write publishable dissertations and pursue productive careers as scholar-teachers. In addition to challenging course work, students receive attentive mentoring from individual faculty members assigned to entering students in their first semester. Course work is usually completed in two to three years. The dissertation is expected within six years. The program requirements include completion of course work (14 courses), written and oral preliminary exams, and completion and defense of the dissertation.

For students who are unclear about their desires to enter the doctoral program, we offer a two-year, 30-credit M.A. program. In pursuit of the M.A. degree, students will take a range of courses grounding them in traditional literary periods and theoretical approaches to literature. The M.A. culminates in a qualifying paper developed out of course work. Temple M.A.s in English find employment at the high school or preparatory school, in editing or publishing, or as professional writers; they also go on to doctoral study at Temple and other institutions.

Our M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing is a two-year, 33-credit program in either fiction or poetry. The Creative Writing faculty includes nationally recognized writers in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The writing component features small, intensive workshops, supplemented by one-on-one tutorials and courses in literature and the craft of writing. The program culminates in a thesis. Temple M.F.A.s in Creative Writing find employment as writers, teachers, publicists, writing consultants, or publishers; they also go on to doctoral study in English or other disciplines.

Degrees and Programs of Study

Admissions Process

Applicants to the English Ph.D. and English M.A. programs should follow the instructions below. Applicants to the Creative Writing M.F.A. program should click here and follow those applications instructions.

For questions about any of the English graduate programs, please call: (215) 204-1796 or email eng1grad@temple.edu.

Application Deadline

The extended deadline for all completed applications is January 30; applications are accepted only for Fall admission.

Admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs

To be accepted into the M.A. or Ph.D. programs, a student should have the equivalent of an undergraduate concentration in English with broad chronological coverage. Applicants are required to declare their terminal degree at the time of application, although Ph.D. students can choose to stop at the Master’s degree.

Part A:

Applicants for admission to the M.A. or Ph.D. graduate programs in English must submit the following documents to the English department to be considered for admission:

  1. Temple University Graduate School application: You can begin the Graduate School online application process by following this link to go directly to the Banner application system.
  2. Test Scores: Your GRE scores (and TOEFL scores if required) should be sent to Temple University electronically by ETS.
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the general test (scores good for 5 years).
    • Literature program applicants (M.A. and Ph.D.): scores for the GRE Literature in English subject test (scores good for 5 years).
    • Foreign applicants: TOEFL scores (minimum score 620).
  3. Transcripts: Two copies of all your transcripts must be submitted, one official copy by mail, and one unofficial copy electronically.
    • Request that official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended (including Temple, as well as institutions from which you did not receive a degree) be mailed to the Temple University Department of English at the mailing address below.
    • We ask that you also scan and upload copies of all your transcripts to your Interfolio account and submit them electronically with the other application materials (see below). These can be unofficial or student copies of transcripts.
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons in a position to evaluate applicant’s past work, as well as their ability to do graduate work in literary criticism or creative writing. Request signed, confidential letters of recommendation from your evaluators through your Interfolio account. After your letters have been uploaded to your Interfolio account, you will be able to send them electronically to us without seeing their contents. Your evaluators do not need to also send paper copies of their letters by mail.
  5. Personal Statement: Please send through Interfolio a copy of the Personal Statement from your online application. The Personal Statement should discuss your research interests and your interest in the English graduate program at Temple University, your career goals, and your academic and research achievements, if applicable.
  6. Writing Sample: A sample essay in literary criticism or rhetorical analysis for literature applicants and a portfolio of poetry or fiction for creative writing applicants
  7. Resumé or CV.

Part B:

The following required materials should be submitted electronically through the Interfolio online dossier service. For instructions on how to create an Interfolio account and submit all the additional application materials as one package, see below.

A personal interview may be requested. A student with some deficiencies in these respects may apply for admission. Such a student may be admitted to a degree program with the provision that one or more courses be taken in addition to the normal requirements.

Interfolio Instructions

Please use Interfolio’s Dossier Service to collect and submit application materials.

  1. Create or log in to your Interfolio Dossier account here.
  2. Request signed, confidential letters of recommendation from your evaluators through your Interfolio account.
  3. Upload all supporting application documents to your Interfolio account (copy of all transcripts, statement of goals, writing sample, and resumé).
  4. Send all required documents as one delivery to Temple University Department of English:
    1. Search for the Temple University-Department of English by entering “Temple English” in Step 1 of the “Add Delivery” process.
    2. Select program to which you are applying  from one of the three options:

“English MA Temple University”

” English PhD Program-Temple University”

“Creative Writing MFA Program-Temple University”

DO NOT select the option to “Email your documents to Temple English” that is further down the page–you should instead proceed with electronic delivery by choosing one of the three program options above

  1. Select and order all the required documents.
  2. Check out and complete the electronic delivery.

Applications through Interfolio are strongly preferred. However, we will continue to accept by regular mail supporting materials for those applying to enter the program in Fall 2014 only. Applications for subsequent years must be submitted through Interfolio. There is a small fee required by Interfolio.

Mailing Address for the Department of English Graduate Programs:

Temple University
Department of English (022-29)
[Program name to which you are applying]
Anderson Hall, 10th Floor
1114 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Applicants to the graduate programs are not invited to reapply for admission once they have been rejected.

Transfer Credits

Students who have earned graduate credits or a Master’s degree at another institution can transfer a maximum of 15 credits toward the course work requirement for the Ph.D.