Application Requirements-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

Application Requirements

Applications for graduate programs are accepted online. You will create a User ID and password allowing you to access your application as often as you need to complete the process.  The site includes detailed instructions for entering data and uploading documents. Along with basic information entered directly into the system, you will need the following:

Statement of Interest: Up to 500 words that describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies, your educational and professional objectives, and any other information that you believe will aid our admission decision. (Upload in PDF format)

Resume or Curriculum Vita:
A current outline of your education, research experience, work experience, publications, scholarships awarded, prizes and honors received, society memberships, and extracurricular activities. (Upload in PDF format)

Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) letters, at least two of which should be from faculty or recent employers who can attest to the quality of your academic and professional abilities. Letters are requested by you from within the online system; recommenders receive an email with detailed instructions for uploading a letter directly to the system.

Transcripts: Official transcripts must be sent directly from all post-secondary schools attended. You will be asked to enter the institution names and upload unofficial transcripts at the time of submission (PDF format).

Writing Samples:  (Upload in PDF or MSWord format)

       MA in Professional Writing: 3-4 writing samples

       All Other Phd and MA Programs: 1 sample, 10 pages or less  (you may use an excerpt from a longer work)


GRE:  All applicants must take the basic GRE test within three years of the date of application.  We do not require any GRE subject area tests. We do not set requirements for minimum scores—GREs are evaluated in the context of the entire application.  You will be asked to enter test dates and unofficial scores on your application, but you need to also request direct mailing of official scores to Carnegie Mellon: Institution Code 2074, Department 2501

If you were educated in any country other than the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, or New Zealand, you must submit current TOEFL iBT scores.  We require a minimum score of 25 on each of the 4 subtests, for an overall minimum score of 100. You will be asked to enter test dates and unofficial scores on your application, but you need to also request direct mailing of official scores to Carnegie Mellon: Institution Code 2074
In addition, any Ph.D. applicant who is a Nonnative English speaker must submit current TOEFL IBT scores, where Nonnative English speakers are international or domestic students whose native language (first language/mother tongue) is not English. This can include:
  • Newly arrived international students
  • Students who attended all or part of high school or college in the U.S.
  • Students who attended an English speaking high school in another country
  • Students who are speakers of another variety of English (e.g. from India, Singapore, Hong Kong)


Basic Application Fee: $75

If you apply to more than one program, each additional application requires a separate statement of interest and an additional fee of $50.
Current CMU students, alumni, and staff do not pay a fee.

Applications for Fall 2016 admissions are now open.


  • Ph.D. Programs: December 15, 2015. Apply Online for PhD.
  • M.A. Programs: January 1, 2016. For full consideration for financial aid, you must apply by January 1. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed and candidates may be accepted on a rolling basis. Apply Online for MA.

For all programs, receipt of GRE scores (and TOEFL if applicable) match the application deadlines.

Contact Us

We welcome your questions about our programs and the application process.

Please email:
Asst. Director of Graduate Programs

Phone: (412) 268-9221