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How to Apply to the PhD Program in Composition and TESOL

  • We welcome applications from those who have a master’s degree in a language-, communication-, or education-related field such as composition, English, literature, TESOL, applied linguistics, or communication.

    One or more years of teaching at a secondary, two-year, or four-year school, college, or university is recommended.

    Doctoral Program Admission

    Students entering the program must have a master’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 (3.5 to be competitive) in a language arts or education-related field such as composition, English, TESOL, applied linguistics, literature, or communication. A minimum of one year of teaching at the secondary, two-year, or four-year college/university level is also recommended. Students who do not meet these prerequisites may have to successfully complete (with a 3.5 GPA or better) one or more designated pre-courses in the spring or summer sessions before being fully admitted to the PhD program.

    All students must begin the program in either the fall semester or first summer session. Graduate assistantship information (there is no longer a separate application, it is part of the application process), and a graduate catalog are available from the IUP School of Graduate Studies and Research website. Applicants should send completed admissions material directly to graduate admissions. IUP’s School of Graduate Studies and Research notifies applicants of the admissions decision based on the recommendation of the Composition and TESOL Program Director and the Composition and TESOL Admission Committee. Once admitted, each student is responsible for registering for classes on a first-come, first-served basis; once all seats are full in the beginning classes, newly admitted students may be wait-listed or deferred to a later semester before they can begin the program. A graduate student is expected to assume full responsibility for knowing and fulfilling graduate program and university procedures and regulations.

    Application to the doctoral program in Composition and TESOL also includes:

    • An official transcript of all undergraduate coursework for which credit has been awarded with a minimum quality-point average of 2.6 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited institution of higher learning; a 3.0 is needed to be competitive with other applicants

    • An official transcript of graduate level coursework for which a master’s degree in English or a related area has been awarded with a minimum quality-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited institution of higher learning; a 3.5 is needed to be competitive with other applicants

    • Two detailed letters of recommendation (three preferred) from individuals qualified to assess the student’s academic performance and potential for doctoral studies in the Composition and TESOL program.

    • A statement of goals. This should be well written and explain the applicant’s research interests and how he or she hopes to pursue these interests through doctoral studies.

    • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language, and IELTS, International English Language Testing System, scores are not required for students from countries where the first language is English (principally the United States, Canada, England and the British Isles, and Australia), or when an applicant has earned a master’s degree from a college or university in the United States. All other international applicants or applicants who are speakers of English as a second language are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS taken no more than one year prior to the expected date of enrollment. IUP’s School of Graduate Studies and Research will not process applications lacking TOEFL or IELTS scores.

      • We look for a minimum TOEFL score of 600 paper-based (PBT), or 100 internet-based (iBT), and a minimum TWE (Test of Written English) score of 5.5. For the IELTS, we look for a score at least 6.5 to be considered and a 7.0 to be competitive.

      • The linguistic proficiency of international students is assessed by examining all application materials: the TOEFL or IELTS scores, recommendation letters, goal statement, and the presence of content courses in English on the applicant’s transcripts.

    • GRE scores are not necessary for the application process.

    International Applicants

    In addition to the academic prerequisites and procedures for admission given above, international students must complete an international student preliminary application form and present evidence to IUP’s School of Graduate Studies and Research of having financial resources sufficient to meet the cost of living in Indiana, Pennsylvania, the cost of travel to and from the student’s native country, and the cost of graduate tuition and fees at IUP. Such evidence should be sent with the application packet directly to Graduate Admissions. More information on applying can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.

    IUP’s School of Graduate Studies and Research gives notification to the university’s foreign student advisor of international student admissions; the foreign student advisor mails general information about the university, issues certificates of eligibility such as I20s, IAP-66s and related documents to admitted students. For more information for international students, please visit IUP’s Office of International Education website.

    We do not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students may begin the program in the fall semester or first summer session only. We do not begin students in the spring.

    The graduate application form can be completed online. Directions are on the Graduate Admissions website.

    The graduate application will have a place for applicants to indicate that they would like to be considered for a graduate assistantship. More information about financial aid or assistantships is available on the Graduate Admissions website.

    The Graduate Catalog can be found online.

    The graduate application form, graduate assistantship application, and graduate catalog are also available by contacting:

    School of Graduate Studies and Research
    101 Stright Hall
    210 South 10th Street
    Indiana, PA 15705

    Do not send application materials to the Composition and TESOL program or the English Department. All application materials can be uploaded as part of your application process or sent to Graduate Admissions. Only after your application is complete will it be released to the Composition and TESOL program for consideration by the application committee.

    Questions about applying? Please contact graduate-admissions@iup.edu.