Graduate – Prospective – FAQ

  • The Program
  • GRE
  • Documents
  • Application Review

I wish to only complete a master’s degree at UCLA. Is this possible?

We offer only the PhD in English literature. We do not offer a terminal master’s degree.

Do you offer specializations in Rhetoric, Composition, or Creative Writing?

We do not offer these specializations at this time.

How many students apply? How many are admitted?

We receive approximately 200 applications. Our target is a class size of 8-12 new students on average per year.

Does the department welcome visits from prospective students?

Yes. Please contact the Graduate Assistant for more information. We also invite all students who are offered admission to visit us during our Welcome Week activities, usually held in March.

For the 2022 admission cycle, the GRE requirement has been waived, due to limited testing availability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please disregard language to the contrary on this website.

What are the GRE requirements to apply for admission?

We normally require the GRE general exam.  Our deadline for receipt of all application materials is Monday of the first week in December (or Dec. 8 in years where the first Monday falls on Dec. 1).  We guarantee review of all applications received by this date. In cases of delayed GRE test reports, we will always make a good faith effort to accommodate the applicant.  However, reports not received by early January can can cause an application not to be reviewed.

What are the department’s minimum scores for the GRE general and subject test in Literature?

There is no minimum score requirement. A score above 160 for the verbal portion of the exam is considered competitive.

Where can I get more information about the GRE general and subject tests?

Go to for test dates and registration information.

What are the requirements for the statement of purpose?

UCLA Graduate Division has provided specific prompts and length recommendations through the online application portal. You do not need to follow a specific format in regards to spacing or margins.

Must my letters of recommendation be sent from me along with my other supporting materials?

Recommenders whom you list in your online application may electronically upload letters of recommendation directly to the application website. If issues arise, contact our office, and we will work with you to resolve them.

Can I submit two short papers instead of one 15-25 page writing sample? OR My sample is longer than 25 pages. Will this be a problem?

It is recommended that you submit one 15-25 page writing sample. This length provides for a substantial critical analysis of literature, yet is not burdensome for the reader to review. Ultimately, it is your decision how to best showcase your preparation and potential.

As an international applicant, what additional documentation must I provide?

International students whose first language is not English must submit a TOEFL score.

How are applications reviewed?

Review starts in early January. The process begins with five two-member teams which together review all completed applications.  A three-member committee then reviews applications forwarded by the review teams. This committee recommends a list of applicants for admission, and the full admissions committee reconvenes to finalize the selection process. Admissions offers are sent via email in February.