Doctoral Program FAQs
No. We no longer require nor recommend the GRE or any other standardized test for admission, and we do not weigh any scores submitted.
Yes. We expect either a degree in English or a closely related field, or else 6 courses in English or a closely related field.
Students arrive in our doctoral program with A.B.'s, B.A.'s, and Master's degrees. A M.A. is not required.
Since we don't have a "credit based" program for our doctorate in English, you aren't transferring course work. But having a solid background of graduate courses will enable you to move more quickly, perhaps, towards planning your sequence of oral examinations. If you have taken a course in Composition Theory or the teaching of Writing, that will normally allow you to not take our required course. And of course foreign language tests are credited towards your requirement here. Usually one language is transferable.
Students who apply to the Ph.D. program who do not already have an M.A. are automatically considered for the M.A. program as well.
We of course welcome M.A. applicants from our own program, and several have enrolled in recent years. But all applicants are placed in the same pool for admissions purposes.
Since students do need to pass language examinations or complete translation courses here at B.C., strong language preparation is highly recommended.
No, while we have many excellent faculty members who are creative writers, and occasionally offer workshops in this area, we do not offer a Creative Writing concentration.
We much prefer having a critical, interpretive essay. If you must submit a portion of your M.A. or undergraduate thesis, please keep the length under 20 pages, and offer a page or paragraph which puts the sample in context.
We try to make decisions about the doctoral program by the first week of March. Admitted students then have until mid-April to make their decision whether or not to enroll. Thus, the wait list process extends through mid-April, and sometimes shortly beyond that. We do our best to keep everyone informed of their status.
The application deadline for the Ph.D. program is January 2. Application forms should be accompanied by a personal statement, a writing sample (a critical essay) of not more than 20 pages, transcripts and three letters of recommendation, preferably from teachers who know the applicant's work. Requests for application to the graduate program should be sent to the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences at email@example.com. Alternatively, you can write to the following address:
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions Office
140 Commonwealth Ave.
Gasson Hall 108
Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02460
We received around 100-150 applications per year, and we aim to matriculate a class of 3-5 candidates.
Yes, in addition to the stipend, guaranteed for five years, the department and various other units across campus offer graduate assistantships and research assistantships by application. The graduate school and the Irish Studies program offer sixth-year (or beyond) funding on a competitive basis at the same level of support as the stipend for years 1-5. The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy also offers short-term and long-term doctoral fellowships that can supplement income.
Most candidates complete the program via full-time study; the funding structure presumes full-time study. However, part-time arrangements are possible.
We have had success placing a large majority of graduates into full-time academic work. Others have pursued fulfilling careers in related sectors such as library science and publishing. Our placement record going back many years is published here.