Please submit applications directly to the Graduate School via their online application.

The new application system for the Graduate School and for Graduate Departments, Apply Yourself, will begin accepting applications on September 1. For the 2017-2018 admissions season, the PhD application deadline is FOR 2018-2019 is DECEMBER 11th, 2018.

You must submit all application materials through the Graduate School application site, Apply Yourself. The Graduate School will not accept materials from organizations such as Interfolio.

DO NOT SEND HARD COPY TRANSCRIPTS, LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION, or OTHER APPLICATION MATERIALS to the Department.  Doing so will delay matching these documents to your online application.  FOLLOW THE APPLICATION INSTRUCTONS BELOW:

On the Graduate School Application, you do not need to list the names of faculty with whom you would like to work. You may list the names if you wish. If there are specific faculty with whom you would like to work, you can include that information in your Statement of Purpose. English and Comparative Literature faculty encourage you to contact them regarding your interest in our programs and their work.

Consult our Application FAQ if you have additional questions.

Required Documents

1. The online application

This is your official application. Once you have completed it and paid your application fee you will be able to track the status of your application online. Be sure to provide accurate contact information (phone numbers, and especially email address) so we and the Graduate School can reach you. Update this information as necessary. For information from the Graduate School, read  the page for prospective students; for the application itself, click "Graduate School online application" on the application instructions page. The first time you click the application link you will be taken to a page which allows you to create an identity for the purposes of making and tracking your application.
Detailed information from the Graduate School on the admissions process can be found here.

2. $85 Application fee

You can pay this by credit card online or by mailing a check. When your online form is completed and your application fee has been processed, you may obtain a PID (Personal Identification number). (Fee: Online or mail to Graduate School; you may obtain your Person IDentification number here.)

3. GRE test scores

Only the General Aptitude test, and not the Subject test in English, is required for applicants to the doctoral program in English.  These scores must be sent officially from ETS, and should be sent directly to the Graduate School.  Since ETS is often delayed in the reporting of scores, applicants should complete all GRE exams by the end of October to ensure timely receipt of test scores.  When sending your score report to UNC, please use the institutional code number 5816.  There is no separate code for the Department of English.  Do not send photocopies of your GRE exam scores; our Graduate School must receive “official” test score reports directly from ETS.

4. Official Transcripts (complete, not selected courses)

One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. Please do not mail transcripts as that will significantly delay the processing of your application. If offered admission, one paper official transcript for each university attended will be required at a later date.
Please note that you must upload transcripts for all courses taken that count towards the degree(s) you claim as the basis for admission to graduate school, including courses at community or junior colleges, summer school, and study abroad programs.  If you are currently pursuing, or have received an M.A. degree, you must upload transcripts of all courses counting towards the B.A. and the M.A.; if applying with only a B.A. (whether in progress or completed) you must upload transcripts of all courses counting towards your B.A. degree.

5. Critical Writing Sample

Your writing sample should be a representative essay of 10-20 pages in length. It should be analytical rather than creative in content. Readers will look for the lucidity of your thought and expression, your ability to analyze texts closely and in a sophisticated manner, your ability to incorporate and enlarge upon previous critical work, and your demonstration of research skills.

6. Intellectual Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should be 2-3 pages (maximum 1,000 words) in length. It should provide readers of your application with a strong sense of your skill in, and commitment to, advanced graduate study in English. Your statement should not offer general biographical details; instead, include relevant details about your academic experience, background, qualifications, or goals not already evident in other portions of your application. If you have had the opportunity to pursue independent research at an advanced level, either inside or outside of an academic setting, you should describe the nature of this work as well as its relation to future scholarly and professional aims.

7. Three Letters of Recommendation (with form

The online application will ask you to provide the names and email address of three referees. We recommend referees who are familiar with your academic work, whether in English Literature or in related fields; for applicants who have had experience in the college classroom, we welcome references from faculty members who have mentored you or who have observed you teach.
You will not be able to submit your online application until you have provided contact information for at least three referees. Once you have provided the names and email address of all referees, you will be allowed to choose a notification date for those referees to be emailed by our online admission system.
The online application will also permit you to upload documents such as a Curriculum Vitae (optional for all applicants).

8. Evidence of Teaching Training or Experience (Optional)

Ph.D. candidates may be funded as teaching fellows in their first year if they have had pedagogical training or experience. Applicants interested in seeking such funding should also include the following materials: 

  1. a one-page teaching statement, indicating their educational background, pedagogical training, and teaching experience
  2. an additional confidential letter of recommendation (if possible) testifying to their experience and potential as a teacher. 

Teaching statements should uploaded with the rest of the application.


9. Comparative Literature Applicants Only: Tape or CD of Foreign Language Fluency 

Applicants to the Program in Comparative Literature who are interested in securing a teaching fellowship in the Department of Romance Languages (French, Spanish, Italian, and/or Portuguese) should send with their application a tape or CD of themselves speaking in the language they wish to teach.