How long should the writing sample be?
For the PhD, the writing sample should be between 15 and 20 typed, double spaced pages of academic writing. For the MA, the writing sample should be between 8 and 12 typed, double spaced pages of academic writing.
Do I need to send in official transcripts with the application?
When you are applying, you only need to send in unofficial transcripts. If you are admitted and plan to attend USC, you will need to send in official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended. More information about transcripts can be found on the Graduate School’s website.
Do I need to take the GRE?
You do not have to take the GRE general or subject test to apply to our programs.
What should I include in my statement of purpose?
Your statement of purpose should include your academic and professional goals, along with a consideration of how USC’s program can help you achieve those goals. You are welcome to include some personal information, but the bulk of the statement should be about your areas of interest, your potential research pursuits, and why you think you’d be a good fit for USC English.
When will admission decisions be announced?
We aim to release our first round of PhD admissions decisions in mid-February. For MA applications, we aim to release decisions by mid- to late- March. All applicants will be notified of their decision by April at the latest.
Is there an online option for the PhD or MA?
No. Our programs are completed in person.
Will I be automatically awarded funding?
We try to admit only as many students as we can fund. If you submit your application by January 1 of the admission year, then you will be considered for funding.
What is the funding package?
For the regular-admit PhD (PhD applicants with an MA), students receive a full tuition abatement, fully subsidized healthcare insurance, and an annual stipend of $20,000 for five years. Each year, students teach a total of three courses in the department as a First-Year English instructor.
For the direct-admit PhD (PhD applicants with no MA), students receive a full tuition abatement, fully subsidized healthcare insurance, and an annual stipend of $20,000 for six years. In the first year, students work either as a Writing Center tutor or as a teaching assistant in a large lecture course; and in years 2-6, students teach three courses per year as a First-Year English instructor.
In the first year of the MA program, students receive a 50-percent reduction of the in-state tuition rate, fully subsidized health insurance, and a stipend of $8,125, while working in the department (as a Writing Center tutor or a teaching assistant in a large lecture course). In the second year, students receive a full tuition abatement, fully subsidized health insurance, and a stipend of $12,800, while working in the department as a First-Year English instructor (teaching three courses over the course of that year).
Enrolled students are responsible for paying the university fees and purchasing/having access to any books they’ll need for class. Fees tend to be between $200 and $400 per semester. More information about fees can be found on the Bursar’s website.
Is there an application fee?
The Graduate School has waived the application fee for the 2023 – 2024 admissions cycle.
What if I have more questions?
You are welcome to email Jamison Lancaster, the Graduate Program Coordinator, at JLL14@mailbox.sc.edu.