Admissions Information & Financial Aid

Applications

Graduate Admissions Forms

Applications to both the M.A. and the Ph.D. programs must be submitted via the University-wide Graduate Admissions Office, where applicants’ file materials are gathered until they are complete and then forwarded to the English Department. More information and application forms can be found at the Graduate Admissions website.

Ph.D. Applications

In addition to the Graduate Admissions forms, applications to the Ph.D. program should include:

  • All undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
  • Graduate Record Examination general scores (Note: the English Subject Test is not required.);
  • At least three letters of recommendation;
  • A statement of purpose (1-2 pages);
  • A critical writing sample (15-20 pages); and
  • A creative writing sample (15-20 pages) for applicants interested in pursuing creative writing

Applicants from countries other than the U.S. should also include:

  • TOEFL scores
  • A statement of finances (form provided by Graduate Admissions)

Students are admitted to the Ph.D. program for the Fall semester only. All applicants should have completed applications to the Office of Graduate Admissions by January 15. Those students who plan to pursue the degree parttime or who for any other reasons do not wish to be considered for doctoral funding in the form of a Teaching Assistantship, should clearly indicate your willingness to waive consideration for assistantship funding in the application.

M.A. Applications

In addition to the Graduate Admissions forms, applications to the M.A. program should include:

  • All undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
  • Graduate Record Examination general scores (Note: the English Subject Test is not required.);
  • At least three letters of recommendation;
  • A statement of purpose (1-2 pages);
  • A critical writing sample; and
  • A creative writing sample for applicants interested in pursuing creative writing

Applicants from countries other than the U.S. should also include:

  • TOEFL scores;
  • A statement of finances (form provided by Graduate Admissions)

Students wishing to start in the Fall semester should submit complete applications by August 1st; those who wish start in the Spring semester should submit complete applications by November 1st.

Non-Degree Applications

In addition to the Graduate Admissions forms, applications to the non-degree program should include:

  • All undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
  • A statement of purpose (1-2pages);
  • A critical writing sample; and
  • A creative writing sample for applicants interested in pursuing creative writing

Applicants from countries other than the U.S. should also include:

  • TOEFL scores;
  • A statement of finances (form provided by Graduate Admissions)
  • Students who wish to apply for non-degree status must submit complete applications no later than 30 days before the beginning of the semester when they wish start studies.

Financial Aid

Teaching Assistantships

Each year, the graduate program awards teaching assistantships to six to ten incoming Ph.D. students. Assistantship stipends for incoming students are $15,000; in addition, assistants have the benefit of a 12-credit, full-time tuition waiver, and health coverage. Assistants are also eligible to apply to the GSEU for professional development grants, which are periodically offered to cover expenses such as textbooks, computer software, and travel to conferences or research archives.

Doctoral students who enter with an M.A. receive a three-year assistantship; those entering with a B.A. receive a four-year assistantship, after which a student may apply for an additional year of funding which is contingent upon the student's successful completion of doctoral exams and admission into doctoral candidacy and University budgets. At the end of assistantship funding, those students making good progress toward their degrees are eligible to apply to continue to teach as part-line instructors in the English Department, with health coverage and other benefits. The Department has consistently been able to assist all its Ph.D. students in this way while they complete the last stages of their studies.

Due to limited university funding, assistantship support is rarely available for M.A. English students, but when support is available, an announcement is sent to students who have been accepted or are already enrolled in the M.A. program. See also “Other Funding Opportunities” below.

Conference Travel Grants

Twice a year, the English Department’s Graduate Committee awards grants to doctoral students who apply for funding in order to participate in conferences or colloquia both in the U.S. and abroad. The aim is to defray at least partially the cost of travel, room, board, and conference fees. Travel funding is also available from the University’s Graduate Student Organization (GSO), which regularly awards grants to graduate students going to make presentations at conferences. Students who are teaching assistants can also apply for professional development grants from the GSEU (see above, under “Teaching Assistantships”).

Richard Thorns Dissertation Fellowships

The English Department awards one or more Richard Thorns Fellowships each year to doctoral students who are within one year of completing their dissertation projects. Supported by the estate of Richard Thorns, an Albany English alumnus, the fellowship offers a summer stipend that aims to give students the ability to concentrate on their research and writing.

Other Funding Opportunities

Students may also compete for diversity fellowships and assistantships, as well as assistantships, fellowships, and awards from other divisions of the University. Some of these awards offer higher stipends than those in the English Department. Whenever possible, the program’s graduate director can assist students who are interested in seeking such funding, while also making general announcements regarding opportunities for funding that may arise.

Some examples:

Initiatives for Women (IFW) is a program based at the University with the aim of fostering Albany students’ research and community projects related to women. English graduate students have been frequently successful in applying for IFW fellowships and other awards.

The New York State Writers Institute has offered an annual graduate assistantship for students interested in working on the visiting writer series, editorial projects, and other Institute events. Historically, English graduate students have been the most successful applicants in the University when an opening for this position is announced.

The Center for Humanities, Arts, and TechnoSciences (CHATS) is a graduate research center at Albany that produces university-wide theme semesters, conferences, and symposia in the areas of the humanities and arts. It also works closely with the Institute on Critical Climate Change and the Department of English to integrate the University's programs with other regional, national, and international initiatives in the humanities. The Center has offered an annual graduate assistantship with responsibilities including website maintenance, event planning, publicity, grant writing, and liaison work with faculty and the community.