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The Doctoral Program in English Literature

Applying to the Doctoral program

Look for Program Code E25PH when searching for the PhD program in the online application system

Application information FOR

matriculation in Fall 2025

Applications for doctoral study are considered for Fall admission only. Prospective students must submit all application materials by the deadline listed above. The English Department admissions process occurs once a year and ends in early February.

When reviewing applications, we look for evidence of keen intellectual ability, skill in literary analysis, scholarly potential, and a strong sense of academic purpose. We do not emphasize any single factor, but pay close attention to written work and to applicants' competency in one or more foreign languages. We typically expect to receive between 200 and 300 applications for admission to the doctoral program, with a target class size of between 6 and 8 students.

Notification of the admissions committee's decisions will most likely occur in early February. Once our offers of admissions have been made, we will invite those prospective students to campus for a Visiting Weekend around the beginning of March. This is a chance for you to meet with faculty and current graduate students, discuss future projects, and hear about current doctoral work, tour the department and the campus, sit in on graduate seminars, and to look at some of the many advantages that Evanston and Chicago have to offer.


All supplemental application materials must be submitted through The Graduate School's application system. Please do not send, or have sent, paper copies of any documents. If you or your recommenders are having difficulty submitting any component of the application online, and the application system's online help is unable to resolve your problem, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.  Never have any application materials sent directly to The Graduate School or their Office of Admission.

In all cases, our department's specifics regarding supplemental application materials supersede those listed on The Graduate School's website, as well as any listed in the application itself. 

Supplemental Application Materials

The English Department requires that the following documents be submitted as part of the online application for the PhD program (program code E25PH).