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Application Materials for the Master's of Arts in English Program

To be considered for admission to the MA program in English, please submit the online application. Attach the following materials to the "Department Information" section of the application as Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), pdf, or Rich Text (.rtf) documents. Make sure to include your name on all pages of the Personal Statement and Writing Sample.

I. Personal Statement (500-750 words): You should upload your Personal Statement to the “Personal Statement” section on the “Department Information” page of the application.  In your statement, please describe your goals and interests in pursuing graduate work in English and the educational and work experiences that contributed to that sense of purpose. A successful statement of purpose will focus on specific examples rather than generalities. Tell us about specific historical periods, literary works, or cultural issues and why they have piqued your interest, or describe to us successful papers or projects that you have completed in the past that helped to shape your academic interests. You can view a successful personal statement here. Note: If you do not meet the Admission Requirements and are applying for special student status, please include a paragraph at the end of your Personal Statement that explains the shortcomings in your academic record and/or describes the special conditions, educational experiences, or work experiences that have contributed to your preparedness for graduate work.

II. Writing Sample (2000-3000 words): You should upload your writing sample to the section of the online application entitled Additional Department Information and Questions,” which is on the “Department Information” page. This sample should be one of the following: (1) Your best analytical essay from a literature course; (2) A comparable essay from an upper-level course in your field if your degree was not in English or if you did not take an upper-level English course; (3) An analytical essay on a work of literature that you write for this application. The ideal writing sample will offer an interpretation of a literary text, support that interpretation through close readings of specific passages, and engage with some secondary source materials.

III. Three letters of recommendation: When you enter the information for a recommender, he or she will receive an email that requests a letter, states whether you have waived your right to examine it, and includes a link for uploading the letter.  We are primarily interested in letters that can speak to your analytical abilities, intellectual accomplishments, and overall performance as a student. Consequently, the best letter writers are your former professors. If you are unable to procure letters from professors, you should next turn to employers or colleagues. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION FROM FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. It is standard practice in the field for applicants to waive their right to see their recommendations.

IV. The application fee of $40: At the bottom of the “Application Information” page, you will be asked if you have previously paid a graduate application fee.  If you click “no,” you will be asked on the final page of the application to submit a credit card payment. If you have already paid an application fee for an IUSB graduate program in the past, you do not need to pay the fee again.  Just click “yes,” and the application will not ask for payment.

V. Transcripts: In addition to these materials, The M.A. Program requires official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and/or graduate coursework that you completed at institutions other than Indiana University. These cannot be uploaded to the online application.  Please arrange to have them sent to:

Director of Graduate Studies
English Department
Indiana University South Bend
1700 Mishawaka Ave.
P.O. Box 7111
South Bend, IN 46634-7111

VI. International Applicants Only: in addition to the above materials, applicants from non-English speaking countries must include official TOEFL scores.  Such applicants must achieve a minimum score of 600 on the written test or 100 on the computer test to be considered for admission. If the applicant has not taken the TOEFL and is seeking conditional admission, he or she will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English through a Skype interview with the graduate director. Conditional admission will not be granted without this interview.