students in classroom


Brandeis University offers three graduate programs in English, a Master of Arts, a PhD and a Joint Master of Arts program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. To learn more about these programs, please visit the English department website. Application instructions can be found below.

Apply Financial Aid Program Site

How to Apply

Application Deadlines

  • PhD: January 5
  • MA (full-time and part-time) and Joint MA with Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (full-time and part-time): February 1

Application Requirements

To apply for all programs, you need to submit:

  • An online application

  • An application fee

  • Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Two letters of recommendation, submitted electronically

  • curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé, which should include your educational history, employment experience, skills, and other relevant information.

  • A 750- word statement of purpose in essay form, indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In this statement, please describe your qualifications for the program, your objectives in undertaking this program and the potential social and cultural impact of your work. You should also outline your research, teaching and other interests and how Brandeis’s graduate program might support them.

  • A writing sample of approximately 20 pages. This can be an academic essay or a text written for a more
    general audience; the 20-page maximum may consist of a single text or two shorter texts of approximately equal length.

  • Applicants should also be prepared to answer the following program question: The Brandeis graduate programs in English are designed to prepare students for a range of careers. In no more than one paragraph, please describe three careers you might be interested in pursuing after graduation. Briefly describe how you think your degree would prepare you to pursue these different goals. If applicable, please also describe any previous experience relevant to your career goals.
  • The Department of English will no longer require or take into consideration Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores as part of its admissions process. Please do not send your scores to Brandeis. Those that are sent will not be included in the application materials for review.
  • Additional Requirements for International Applicants: Score report from one of the following English language proficiency exams: TOEFL iBT, TOEFL Revised Paper-delivered Test, TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution, IELTS Academic, PTE Academic, or Duolingo English Test. You can arrange for the delivery of your TOEFL iBT or Revised Paper-delivered Test score report by providing ETS with our institution code, 3261 (no department code is necessary); please note that we do not accept TOEFL Essentials score reports or MyBest™ scores from ETS. Delivery of your TOEFL ITP Plus scores can be arranged via your Vericant account, delivery of your Duolingo scores can be arranged via your Duolingo account, and delivery of your PTE Academic scores can be arranged via your Pearson account. Further information about this requirement can be found on the International Students page.

 For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Student Spotlight

Brenden O'Donnell

Brenden O’Donnell’s dissertation, Queer Temperance: Recovery as Critical Mourning, examines representations of addiction and recovery in LGBT literature and fills a large void present in current Queer Studies literature.