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 Requirements

Applicants to Temple’s MA or PhD programs in English should have an undergraduate major in English or the equivalent. Successful applicants also have a strong record of academic achievement. When applying to our programs, you must declare whether you plan on earning your master’s or doctorate. However, PhD students may choose to stop at the master’s degree.

We strongly encourage PhD applicants to have the MA in English by the time they enroll.  We do on occasion accept PhD applicants who only have the BA, but it generally takes a year or two longer to complete the degree.  Students taking the MA degree at Temple may apply to the PhD program and all credits are transferable. Otherwise, students entering with an MA from another institution may transfer up to 15 credits (5 courses).

The Graduate School has a minimum requirement of 3.0 (out of 4) for admission, and a minimum of 3.25 to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship. But given the competitive nature of admission and awards, it is more typical for admitted students to have around a 3.5 GPA in English and above 160 in GRE scores.

Applicants to the Creative Writing MFA program should follow these application 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.

How to Apply

Submit the following application materials for admission consideration.  There are three ways to submit your supporting materials – email, Interfolio and mail. The details are listed further down.

1. Graduate School Application: Begin by applying online to the Temple University Graduate School.  Track your application using the nine digit TUid and PIN number issued to you after you finish your submission.  Use your TUid and PIN to log into the system.

2. Test Scores: Please make sure you schedule the GRE and LITERATURE subject exam (for PhD and MA in Literature) as soon as possible so that we receive your scores 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 the date of the test.

Foreign applicants: TOEFL scores (minimum score 620).  Admission is not based exclusively on GRE scores, but the typical range for admitted students is 153 to 166 in verbal reasoning (500 to 700 in the old version of GRE).  Teaching Assistantships and Fellowships are competitive and are based on GRE and GPA scores.

3. Official Transcripts:  Submit two copies of your transcripts, one official copy by mail, and one unofficial copy electronically.  Request that your official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended (including Temple, as well as institutions from which you did not receive a degree) are mailed to the Temple University Department of English.

4. Three Letters of Recommendation: Former and current professors are in the best position to evaluate your past work, as well as your ability to do well on graduate-level 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.  We suggest you waive the right to see the letter.

5. Personal Statement: Send a copy of the Personal Statement from your online application through Interfolio, or include it in your PDF or mailed application.  Discuss your academic and research interests and achievements (if applicable), your career goals and your interest in the English graduate program at Temple University.

6. Writing Sample: We require literature applicants submit a sample essay in literary criticism or rhetorical analysis. Again, submission via Interfolio, PDF or US mail.

6.  Curriculum Vitae:  Include a copy of your current resume or cv.

7. Transfer Credits: If you have graduate credits or a Master’s degree from another institution, you can transfer a maximum of 15 credits toward the course work requirement for the PhD. Transfer credit applications are received after you arrive on campus, although you are welcome to inquire about transfer credit eligibility during the application process.

8. Other Information: A personal interview is not required, but we might request it. Students admitted who do not meet all our criteria are sometimes admitted with the provision that one or more classes be taken in addition to our normal requirements. Invitations to apply again are not extended to students who receive a rejection.

Submission of Supporting Materials

Submit your supporting materials through the following ways.

Interfolio: http://www.interfolio.com (See note below on using Interfolio).

Email: Submit in a single PDF file attached to an email to eng1grad@temple.edu.

Mail: Mail a 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

How to Use Interfolio

1. Create or log in to your Interfolio Dossier account.

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.  Search for the Temple University Department of English by entering “Temple English” in Step 1 of the “Add Delivery” process.  Select the program you are applying to from the two options: “English MA Temple University”; “English PhD Program-Temple University” (DO NOT select the option “Email your documents to Temple English” further down on the page.  Instead, proceed with electronic delivery by choosing one of the two program options listed above.

5. Select and order all the required documents.

6. Check out and complete the electronic delivery.

Types of Temple Graduate School Funding

Temple has several financial aid packages available to eligible candidates, including University Fellowships, Future Faculty Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships. If you are admitted to the PhD  program, you are automatically considered for a teaching assistantship or fellowship. University and Future Faculty Fellows do not have to teach in their first year; however, they must serve as teaching assistants in their second year (and their stipends are reduced accordingly). The Department of English determines nomination for fellowships. Nominations are then decided by the Graduate School, which usually looks at traditional markers of academic excellence, (i.e., GPA, GRE scores).

Teaching Assistantships
Assistantships require some form of instructional activity — usually teaching a composition course.  A maximum of 20 hours of service per week is required. The teaching assistantship awards for 2017–18 include a stipend of $17,308, health benefits and a tuition waiver. Conditions of the award are determined by the graduate student union contract with Temple. For further details, consult the Temple University Graduate Student Association’s TUGSA.  We try to fund all students admitted to the program, and successful applicants generally have a minimum GPA in their undergraduate and graduate classes of 3.5.

University Fellowships
Fellowships are awarded to outstanding incoming graduate students, both domestic and international. These awards are intended to support students who demonstrate potential for success in their chosen fields. University Fellowships will include a stipend of approximately $26,000 along with health benefits and tuition remission.  In general, a minimum GPA of 3.5 as an undergraduate is required for these fellowships.

Future Faculty Fellowships
These fellowships are intended to diversify the professoriate by attracting outstanding domestic students from underrepresented groups.  Candidates are newly admitted graduate students who show exceptional leadership and/or have overcome significant obstacles in pursuing an academic career. Future Faculty Fellowships will include a stipend of approximately $26,000, along with health benefits and tuition remission. In general, a minimum GPA of 3.5 as an undergraduate is required for these fellowships.

Federal Loan and Work-Study Programs
Students who do not receive funding often work off-campus jobs and/or take out federal loans to attend the MFA program.  Classes are once a week; thus, it is possible to come to campus just twice a week as a full-time student (9 credits, or 3 classes, per semester). However, it is important to take note that class meetings are generally held during the day. Graduate students are eligible to receive education loans through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan programs.

At Temple University, unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available to full-time graduate students up to a maximum amount of $20,500 annually. There are also opportunities for Federal Work Study jobs. The first step to determine eligibility is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Temple University’s Federal School Code is 003371. The FAFSA deadline is March 1 for fall admission. Refer to Temple’s Student Financial Services office and to the Graduate School’s Financial Information page for additional information.