The department places the most importance on a candidate's personal statement and writing sample.
- These pieces of writing must show, first of all, that the applicant would like to be a part of and is capable of succeeding in a graduate program whose goal is to train students to be professional literary scholars. We look for applicants who are asking provocative and potentially productive literary questions and who are interested in exploring such questions in a rigorous intellectual environment.
- The personal statement and writing sample must also demonstrate that the candidate would fit in well with our program's strengths.
- Third, they must show that the candidate has the skills and abilities required for those who are to be trained in literary studies.
Of course, a candidate's undergraduate and—if applicable—graduate record as well as letters of recommendation are integral to determining admission.