Students seeking admission to our English MA Program should create an application that includes:
- A distinguished undergraduate record with significant preparation in English, as evidenced in transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.
- Three recommendations, with at least two from former teachers familiar with the applicant's most recent academic work.
- A 2000-3000-word (approximately 7-10 pages) critical essay written in the last four years that demonstrates the applicant's ability to read and write critically about literary texts.
- A 1200-word personal statement that indicates your specific interests in the field of English. The essay should focus on your intellectual reasons for wishing to pursue the advanced study of English. A statement that explains academic experiences (such as selected courses taken, unique projects completed, or interesting skills developed) demonstrates the applicant's ability to succeed in graduate-level coursework. The standardized application form also asks for a short 300-word essay that describes your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate study; this part of the essay can be added into your longer essay. In other words, you can submit one personal essay.
- GREs are encouraged, but not required.
Application forms are requested from and submitted to UMass Boston's Graduate Admissions. Graduate Admissions handles all admissions for all of the university's graduate programs. For complete information and instructions, click here to go to our Graduate Admissions page.
The Graduate Admissions website features a page that allows you to check the arrival of your application materials and track the status of your application. Please use this function to make sure your application is complete.
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact us here in the English MA Program with any questions about our application requirements. We will help students understand the application process and track their application as it moves through that process. Please see our contact information below.
For fall semester admission, applications submitted by the "priority deadline" of March 1 are given priority and will be notified of a decision by the end of April. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis through the summer.
For spring semester admission, the application deadline is November 1. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis through December.
Application for Graduate Assistantships
Students seeking admission to our English MA program may also apply for Graduate Assistantships, which take the form of either Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships. Please see our information sheet on Teaching and Research Assistantships available here. Graduate Assistantships are awarded and administered by the English MA Program, not by Graduate Admissions. Interested applicants must fill out a short 1st-Year Graduate Assistantship Application, available here and on our "Handbooks and Forms" page, and submit it directly to the English MA Program. Assistantships allow students to enter into our carefully-sequenced, experience-based, coursework-supported teacher and researcher training programs; students work in small cohorts under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Assistantships also offer support in the form of tuition and partial fee remission and a small stipend.
Assistantships are awarded after a student's application to the English MA Program has been reviewed and the student has been accepted into the program. As a result, applicants will hear of Graduate Assistantship support after hearing of acceptance into our Program. We offer funding to as many students as possible, but can offer only a limited number of assistantships to qualified applicants.
Application for Non-degree Status
Students who are not seeking an English MA degree, but who would like to take an English MA course with us can apply to be a "non-degree" student. Non-degree students will be allowed to register if courses are available and if they submit materials showing their ability to succeed at MA-level work. Non-degree applicants must fill out a Non-Degree Student Application and submit it directly to the English MA Program.
The UMass Boston website provides several sites that may be helpful as you compile your admissions materials: