Literature and Criticism PhD students in a classroom

The Literature and Criticism PhD Program at IUP accepts applications throughout the year, but reviews applications three times per year: November 15, January 15, and March 15, with March 15 being a late application deadline. Decisions are made within four weeks of those dates.

Applications received by November 15 or January 15 can be considered for financial aid in the next academic year. If you are seeking financial aid for the regular academic year, please apply before January 15 for the following fall semester in order to be considered for a graduate assistantship. Applications received between January 16 and March 15 for the following fall semester will be considered only as funding is available.

Please note that you cannot transfer credits into this program.

Application Requirements

To be accepted to the program, you must meet all minimum application requirements for graduate studies at IUP.

  • A bachelor's and master's degree from an accredited university:
    • Official transcripts from all universities you attended.
    • A minimum grade point average of 2.6 or equivalent for your bachelor's degree
    • A master's degree in English or a related area.
  • A three to six page written goal statement that answers these questions:
    • Who you are as a thinker, scholar, and writer?
    • What experiences have prepared you for doctoral studies?
    • How you define your personal and professional goals?
    • Why do you want to join the program?
  • Two letters of recommendation that discuss academic performance and your potential for doctoral studies.
  • A resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  • A 15 to 25 page writing sample of previous academic work.
  • GRE scores are optional, but please submit them if you feel they help your application.

For International Students

If you are looking to join IUP from a different country, you will need the following to apply as a student in the Literature and Criticism PhD program:

  • Official TOEFL scores (minimum score of 540) or IELTS scores (minimum score of 6.0), if applicable.
  • An international student preliminary application form:
    • Evidence of financial resources to meet the cost of living in Indiana, Pennsylvania, including
      • the cost of travel to and from your native country
      • the cost of the graduate education at IUP.

Please work directly with IUP's Office of International Education on your application:

Office of International Education
Delaney Hall, Suite B25
920 Grant Street
Indiana, PA 15705
Phone: +1-724-357-2295

Through our Office of International Education, you will work with an international student advisor to receive the information you need, including documentation for a visa.

Application Deadlines and Process

We consider applications throughout the year for the PhD program. We strongly recommend early applications to secure your spot and begin your English doctoral studies in your preferred time frame. Some deadlines to consider include:

  • January 15 (priority deadline)
  • March 15 (secondary deadline)

Please apply online by creating your IUP Admissions Profile, and submit all required documents electronically through your profile. For any questions about the process, contact our Admissions office at 724-357-2222 or

After we receive your completed application, the English Department's Graduate Literature Admissions Committee will review it and make an admissions recommendation. Our Admissions Office will then notify you of the decision.