MA Application

All applications to the MA program must be submitted via the VCU admissions portal.

No paper applications will be accepted. The admissions portal contains most of the information you need on application requirements, applying for in-state tuition, application fees (and waivers), and much more. Below are application details specific to MA in English applicants.

Financial Support

For the fall 2024 admissions cycle, the MA program will consider all full-time applicants for a limited number of possible stipend-only graduate teaching assistantship positions and for the Craig Sirles MA in English Scholarship.

Visit our Financial Support page for more information.


Spring Summer Fall
November 15 March 1 March 1

Writing Sample

In addition to the application requirements listed in the VCU admissions portal, the Department of English requests applicants to submit a PDF or Word doc file of an academic writing sample ranging from 10-20 double-spaced pages. Longer writing samples should be edited to conform to the 20 page maximum. The writing sample should demonstrate mastery of research conventions (introduction and citation of sources) common in the discipline of English. Ideally, this writing sample should reflect the interests discussed in your personal statement. Creative works (fiction, poetry) will not be accepted.

Letters of Reference

Three letters of reference are required. These letters should be from people who are qualified to give information concerning your probable success in graduate school. At least two of these should be from academics or former professors who can specifically address your academic potential. Upon completion of the online application (where you supply names and email address of references), your references will be notified by email of the reference request.

It is strongly recommended that your references use the online portal to submit their letters, if necessary however, they may email their letters to Emailed references must include your full name and the program you are applying to in the subject line in order to be included with your application materials for review by your desired program. Once you have saved an electronic evaluation, an email request will automatically be sent to the evaluator on your behalf. Please advise your evaluator to look for this email in their in box, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out.

Test Scores

Please note that official scores for the GRE General Test are no longer required but can still be submitted if desired. We also do not require applicants to take the subject test.