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The Department of English office will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00am through 12:00pm. If you need to contact us when the office is closed, please leave a message at (352) 392-6650.


Please click on the questions below, and if you have any questions not answered here, please contact our Graduate Program Assistant, Peggy Lowenstein at or 352-294-2876.

When is your application deadline?

January 15, 2021.

Under ‘Program of Study’ on the Application, I am asked to select a term; what term do I select?

Fall term

Are there any online classes?

The PhD program is residency-based; you cannot earn the degree online.

Does the English Department accept paper applications?

All applications should be submitted through the UF Online application portal.

When will a decision be made?

Usually by the first weekend in March, though waitlist decisions may be delayed until after April 15.

What about GRE scores?

We have no specific thresholds for GRE and GPA scores; they are taken into consideration as part of a holistic evaluation. A candidate with a clear and focused statement of purpose, a significant writing sample, excellent supporting letters, and slightly lower GRE scores will likely be more successful than one with exceptionally high scores and a weak, unfocused, or overly general statement, a short or unscholarly writing sample, and tepid letters.

What is the Statement of Purpose?

Your statement should at the minimum make clear: that your previous studies have prepared you for graduate degree work; your future research and professional goals; and the reasons why you have applied to our programs in particular, including the faculty with whom you might be interested in working. Our program has specific and unique strengths, and our most successful candidates apply with a full awareness of these. Finally, you should use your statement of purpose to make clear any special preparation you have – presentations, publications, teaching experiences, and so forth – or to explain any special circumstances that might on the surface appear to work against your application. Please note: this is not a “personal statement” about your past experiences or desires as some applications (like undergraduate applications, for instance) may request. Instead, you should approach writing this statement by thinking of it as a response to the questions, “What are my specific reasons for enrolling in UF’s PhD in English, and how am I qualified for that program?“

What is the purpose of the writing sample, and how long should it be?

Your writing sample should demonstrate skills necessary for engaging and producing the independent and original scholarship required in an advanced field of study. Everyone in our program is considered a scholar as much as a student and teacher. Your writing sample is the best place to demonstrate your preparation to produce this caliber of work. Although you may send shorter samples, many of our most successful candidates send samples that are excerpted from longer project, such as honors theses, masters’ theses, or faculty mentored independent research projects. These kinds of samples best demonstrate your facility as a writer, the quality of your critical intellect, and your abilities to independently conduct research. Moreover, while we do not require that you send a writing sample directly connected to your proposed field(s) of study, doing so is definitely beneficial as it enables the admissions committee to most effectively evaluate your scholarly potential in your proposed field(s).

How do I upload my writing sample to the application?

On the UF Application for Graduate Admissions page, just under the Statement of Purpose section, is a section entitled Resume/Other. Upload your writing sample to the Other Upload area and, where it says Other Upload Description, enter Writing Sample.

What are the foreign language requirements?

The English PhD program no longer has a language requirement.

Are there any special instructions for International Applicants? 

Yes. You can find that information here.

May I visit before applying to the program?

You are welcome to call the Graduate Coordinator to discuss the possibility of a campus visit.  Admitted PhD students will also be invited to a visiting day, held sometime between March 15 and April 10.

Should I contact faculty with whom I’d like to work before applying to the program?

Admissions decisions are made by a departmental graduate admission committee, not by individual faculty members. Feel free to peruse recent course listings, read faculty bios, and/or possibly note in your application statement any faculty whose work you respect and with whom you might be interested in taking courses from. You are also welcome to write to faculty members and let them know of your interests, but you should NOT seek a faculty advisor or faculty research sponsor ahead of applying. (We encourage our admitted students to take courses and work with a range of faculty before choosing directors and committees.) Please note that admitted PhD students will also have an opportunity to speak with individual faculty in their fields of interest before the final date to accept or decline any offer of admission.

How long will it take to get a PhD?

Students who enter the program with a Master’s degree are required to take seven seminars; they receive four years of funding through teaching and research assistantships.  Students who enter with a Bachelor’s degree take 12 seminars; they receive six years of funding through teaching and research assistantships. A significant majority of our doctorates complete their degrees in four to six years of doctoral work.

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