Graduate Application Materials & Timeline

Needed Materials and Timeline, Fall 2025 Applications

(NB: We do not require GRE General or Subject Test scores, and you do not need a faculty sponsor to apply. Advisors are arranged after matriculation as needed.)

Fall tasks:

  • Have official undergraduate transcript(s) sent to the UMaine Graduate School.
  • Ask three people to write letters of recommendation. Referees are customarily faculty members who have directly supervised the candidate’s scholarship and creative activity during their undergraduate degree (although a letter from a previous or current employer can provide helpful additional context, especially for those applying for a TAship). General character-references are welcome, but effective letters of recommendation are specific to a candidate’s application, offering additional insights into their development as a scholar and their readiness for postgraduate work in English Studies that are not already evident from the rest of their application materials.
  • Revise and polish your writing sample(s)
  • Craft a ~750 word Statement of Purpose in response to the following prompt:

This Statement is an opportunity to let the Graduate Studies Committee learn more about your aspirations for graduate-level work in a program that emphasizes a broad-based approach to “English Studies.” Although you may need to refer to other parts of your application (prior coursework, for example), this essay ideally will supplement and expand on your materials rather than simply reiterate or underscore what the committee already can learn from the rest of your application.

In this essay try to give us a more three-dimensional picture of your candidacy, which might include addressing topics like: what interests you about our program specifically; what draws you to Northern New England; what subject areas you’re hoping to explore while studying here; specific graduate faculty you might wish to work with and why; what other campus initiatives, centers, institutes, programs, etc., you could envision getting involved with; and/or other aspects of your personality, history, and/or interests that would not be evident from your transcripts, letters, and writing sample(s).

This list of possible topics is neither exclusive nor exhaustive; feel free to take your essay in other directions as you see fit. And as explained further below, there is a separate application for those seeking funding through our teaching assistantship program, so you needn’t address teaching in this essay unless you wish to.

January 15:

Your complete dossier must be on file with the Graduate School if you wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship, a Trustee Tuition Scholarship, or other funding for the next academic year.

This includes:

      • Completed application form and fee
      • Undergraduate transcript(s)
      • Three letters of recommendation
      • Statement of Purpose
      • For all applicants, a 10-20 page sample of analytical scholarship from advanced coursework in your major (typically this would be a senior seminar, capstone, or internship project)
      • Applicants intending to pursue the creative writing concentration should also include a 10-20 page sample of poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction

Once your dossier is complete, the Grad School will notify the English Department. At that time, if you have indicated interest in applying for a teaching assistantship, you will be sent the prompt for an exercise that asks you to compare a small set of instructor comments on a student essay. Please return your response to this prompt by January 31st, 2025.

Mid February: Graduate Studies Committee completes its review of applications and begins to make decisions on admission.

March 1: Last date to file FAFSA to determine eligibility for federal financial aid, including work-study assistantships.

Mid March: Graduate Studies completes its review of assistantship applications and begins making offers of funding to admitted students. Notification of wait-list status for applicants not receiving first round offers may begin at this time.

April 15: Deadline to accept first round offer of assistantship. Second-round offers are made if and when spaces become available.

Early May: Most assistantships for the following fall will have been assigned, although occasionally spaces open up over the summer.

Summer: We periodically review applications and admit qualified applicants during the summer. However, late applicants are unlikely to receive funding.