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 especially strong in 19th and 20 century studies.  It also emphasizes training in Composition and Rhetoric.  Graduates with a Ph.D. typically go on to careers in college teaching and related fields.  We also offer a two-year, 30-credit M.A. program. Temple M.A.s in English find employment in high schools or preparatory schools, in editing or publishing, or as professional writers; they also go on to doctoral study at Temple and other institutions. Please see the main description of the program here. You can view a list of our FAQ’s to help answer any questions you may have.

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. 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 deadline for applications is December 15 for those students applying for funding (i.e. teaching fellowships). We will continue to accept applications until February 15.

Prerequisites for 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 and a strong record of achievement. 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.

Application Process

  1. Begin by applying online to Temple University Graduate School: http://www.temple.edu/apply/common/appcheck.asp.  You can track your application using the nine digit TUid number issued to you once you have submitted your application, along with the PIN number you receive.  You will need your ID number and PIN in order to log onto the system.
  1. Submission of Supporting Materials: Supporting materials can be submitted in several ways.
  2. Interfolio: http://www.interfolio.com  [See note below on using Interfolio.]
  3. Submit in a single PDF file attached to an email to  eng1grad@temple.edu.
  4. Materials can also be mailed as hard copy to:

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

  1. Assembling your application:

3A.  Test Scores:   Please make sure that you schedule the GRE and LITERATURE subject exam (for PhD and MA in Literature) as soon as possible so that your scores will be received by the December 15th deadline.  Your GRE scores (and TOEFL scores if required) should be sent to Temple University electronically by ETS. Scores are good for five years from date of test. Foreign applicants: TOEFL scores (minimum score 620).

3B.  Transcripts: Two copies of all your transcripts must be submitted, one official copy by mail, and one unofficial copy electronically.

  • Request that official transcriptsfrom 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 above.

3C. Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons in a position to evaluate your past work, as well as your ability to do graduate work in literary history and  criticism.  Request signed, confidential letters of recommendation from your evaluators through your Interfolio account or have them mailed or emailed directly to us.  (See above for addresses.)  We suggest you waive the right to see the letter.


3D. Personal Statement: Please send through Interfolio a copy of the Personal Statement from your online application, or include in your PDF or mailed application. The Personal Statement (500 to 800 words) 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.

3E.  Writing Sample: A sample essay in literary criticism or rhetorical analysis for literature applicants is required.   Again, submission via Interfolio, or PDF, or US mail.

3F.  A current Curriculum Vitae (CV).

3G. 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.  Transfer credit applications are received after the student arrives on campus, although you are welcome to inquire regarding eligibility during the application process.

3H.  Other information:  A personal interview is not required, but may be requested. A student with deficiencies in any area 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.    Applicants to the graduate programs are not invited to reapply for admission once they have been rejected.

If you are using Interfolio:  

  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:

4A. Search for the Temple University-Department of English by entering “Temple English” in Step 1 of the “Add Delivery” process.

4B.  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]

4C.  Select and order all the required documents.

4D.  Check out and complete the electronic delivery.