Admissions Guidelines

Applicants for the Ph.D. in Literature should have an M.A. in English or an equivalent. Admission to the doctoral program is based on a research-based writing sample, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and previous academic work. All applications received by the priority deadline (January 15) will be considered for a Teaching Fellowship.

Program Requirements:

  • M.A. in English or equivalent

  • 3.00 overall GPA

  • 3.00 in previous English courses

Application Procedure 

Applications must be complete by January 15 (priority deadline) to be considered for a Teaching Fellowship or by the final deadline for Fall or Spring admission (see below). The Statement of Purpose should address the applicant's "fit" with this program. Kent State University is now processing all applications online. Below is the general procedure for all applications:

Complete the Kent State University Online Application:

  1. Start at the Kent State Admissions Application site: Apply Online
  2. At this page scroll down to and click on Graduate Admissions if you are an international student, click on "International Admissions."
  3. At this page ("Step 1"), select the degree program type you are applying to: i.e. masters or doctoral.
  4. Read and follow the instructions under "Step 2".
  5. Proceed to Step 3 which is apply now. Follow the instructions on the subsequent pages. (You may complete part of the application and return later to complete it if you need to do so: information will be  saved.)

Addresses for Application Submission

Domestic student applications are processed through "Graduate Studies (GS)" and all required materials should be sent directly to these addresses:

Graduate Studies (GS)

Cartwright Hall 650
Hilltop Drive
Kent State University
Kent OH 44242-0001

International student applications are all processed through the Office of Global Education (OGE):

Office of Global Education (OGE)
Terrace Hall
125 Terrace Drive
Kent State University
Kent OH 44242-0001
E-mail to

Required Application Materials

Your application will require these materials, attached to online application, or emailed or forwarded in print form to Graduate Studies (GS) or the Office of Global Education (OGE) if an international applicant:

  • Statement of Focus or Goals (200-500 words), attached to online application, or sent to GS or OGE. Attach to application or send materials electronically when possible. Because printed materials, if sent to the physical mailing address, will be scanned for review, send well in advance of the application deadlines.
  • Writing sample, ordinarily a critical essay of 8-20 pages from an undergraduate or graduate class, attached to online application, or sent to GS or OGE.
  • 3 letters of recommendation (referees reply to email request, or send letters directly)
  • Transcripts from all colleges attended (sent directly by your registrar). Transcripts must be sent directly by your current institution's Registrar to the appropriate address above.
  • Application Fee (Submit online)  

Review Application Status: After you have submitted your application, you can always go back to Apply Online  to view the status of your application to view which materials have been received and what is still missing from your application. Only completed applications will be considered for admission and/or assistantships.

Application Deadlines:

  • PhD applicants seeking Teaching Fellowships: January 15th. The priority deadline is for receipt of all application materials. Please note that application materials, especially those submitted by other parties than the applicant, such as transcripts, and letters of recommendation, can take 2 to 3 weeks to reach and be processed by Graduate Studies or the Office of Global Education. Applicants who wish to be eligible for funding are strongly encouraged to begin the application process well in advance of the deadline. 
  • Applicants NOT seeking Fellowship are considered year-round. However, the program faculty must have adequate time before the start of the next term to read and evaluate applications. For Ph.D. in English, applications should be completed six weeks before the academic term begins. As the start of academic terms shifts slightly each academic year, the deadline of 6 weeks shall be understood as the following:
    • before the end of the first full week of December for admission in the following Spring term,
    • before the end of the first  full week of July for admission in the following Fall term.

Graduate Application Contact Information

  • Graduate Coordinator: Mark Bracher 330-672-2665
  • Graduate Secretary: Bee Viton  330-672-1708
  • Graduate Studies GS 330-672-2661
  • Office of Global Education OGE 330-672-7980