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Admissions

We appreciate your interest in the Graduate Program in the Department of English at the University of New Mexico. The following information should be useful to you as you prepare your application.

Our application process requires you to submit all materials to the UNM Office of Admissions. All materials must be submitted by January 15. Students wishing to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship or other Assistantship will also need to submit a Teaching Assistantship Application; more information is available on the Funding page.

Students wishing to apply should submit materials to the Office of Admissions.

International students wishing to apply should submit materials to the Office of International Admissions.

General Requirements

*The UNM English Department no longer requires the GRE for admission to our Graduate Programs*

GPA

All applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA in English or in a cognate discipline. Our graduate admissions committee evaluates all applications holistically, giving weight to the letter of intent, writing samples, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and GPA. Admission to all programs is competitive.

Transferring Non-Degree Credit into Graduate Programs

With the approval of the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, you may transfer up to 12 hours of credit from graduate-level courses taken at other accredited programs or at UNM while studying on a Non-Degree basis. General admission information is available at Graduate Studies.

Contact the Graduate Advisor to discuss whether your degree in a non-English field would be acceptable.

Required Enrollment

All graduate students in English must enroll for a minimum of 3 hours in English graduate courses per semester. Teaching Assistants must be enrolled for 6 hours of graduate credit per semester. In both cases, the summer session is excluded unless the student holds a summer Teaching Assistantship.

Program-Specific Requirements

MA and PhD Applicants

Applicants seeking an MA in Literature, Medieval Studies, or Rhetoric and Writing, as well as those seeking a PhD in Literature, Medieval Studies, or Rhetoric and Writing, will need to supply the following materials:

Letter of Intent

This is your opportunity to tell the English program faculty about yourself formally, including your areas of interest, previous relevant experience, and academic goals. Your letter, which should not exceed two pages, should also indicate how you envision yourself and your work within the strengths of the prospective program of study. As admission is granted to select candidates whom core faculty believe will best be served by UNM’s specific program, it will be helpful for faculty to know why you’re choosing UNM.

Writing Sample

A Writing Sample must also accompany your application. PhD applicants should submit a 20-page research paper that demonstrates analytical strengths and critical writing skills.  MA applicants may submit two 10-page research papers.

Letters of Recommendation (minimum 3)

A minimum of three Letters of Recommendation are required. You will be prompted in the online application screen to provide the names, email addresses, and affiliations of your three recommenders, who will then be requested electronically to provide your recommendations.

If your recommenders cannot upload your letter to our system for some reason, the persons who recommend you may choose to return the sealed recommendations to you or directly to the English Department. Because these letters need to be sent to the English Department (not the Office of Admissions), it will help if you provide your referees with a stamped envelope with the correct address, including the program to which you are applying.

GRE Scores

The MA and PhD do not have a GRE requirement.

Prior Study/Degree

Applicants for the MA program must hold a Bachelor's degree in English, or, in exceptional circumstances as approved by the Graduate Admissions Committee, in a cognate discipline such as Comparative Languages and Literature, Cultural Studies, American Studies, or Linguistics.

Applicants for the PhD program must hold a Master's degree in English, or, in exceptional circumstances as approved by the Graduate Admissions Committee, in a cognate discipline such as Comparative Languages and Literature, Cultural Studies, American Studies, or Linguistics.

Official Academic Transcripts

You must provide an Official Transcript from each academic institution you have attended (with the exception of the University of New Mexico). DO NOT SEND ANY TRANSCRIPTS DIRECTLY TO THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT! It is preferred that the institution send one copy of your transcript(s) directly to the Office of Admissions at the following address:

Office of Admissions

PO Box 4895

Albuquerque, NM  87196-4895

If you have the transcript(s) sent directly to you, do not open the transcript envelopes. Those that have been opened or tampered with will be considered unofficial and will delay the admissions process. Please order your transcripts early, so that you do not miss the departmental deadline!

MFA Applicants

Applicants seeking an MFA in Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, or Poetry will need to submit the following materials:

Letter of Intent

This is your opportunity to tell Creative Writing program faculty about yourself. Include relevant experience, both in and outside the classroom, literary influences, and goals. Prospective students are advised to research the MFA program before submitting an application. MFA students should also address literary influences, and goals. Prospective students are advised to research the MFA program before submitting an application. As admission is granted to select candidates whom core faculty believe will best be served by UNM’s specific program, it will be helpful for faculty to know why you’re choosing UNM’s MFA. Your letter, which should not exceed two pages, should indicate how you envision yourself and your work within the strengths of the program.

Writing Sample

A Writing Sample must accompany your application and provides the criteria that faculty refer to most often when discussing whom to admit. Applicants should submit their writing sample according to genre:

  1. a portfolio of ten to fifteen poems not to exceed 20 pages in length; or
  2. one or preferably two stories or a novel excerpt not to exceed a total of 7500 words; or
  3. 15-20 pages of non-fiction prose.

In all cases, your writing sample should represent your best work to date.

Letters of Recommendation (minimum 3)

A minimum of three Letters of Recommendation. You will be prompted in the on-line application screen to provide the names, email addresses, and affiliations of your three recommenders, who will then be requested electronically to provide your recommendations.

If your recommender cannot upload your letter to our system for some reason, the persons who recommend you may choose to return the sealed recommendations to you or directly to the English Department. Because these letters need to be sent to the English Department (not the Office of Admissions), it will help if you provide your referees with a stamped envelope with the correct address, including the program to which you are applying.

Creative writing program faculty pay close attention to the observations of college level teachers who are familiar with your writing and your work in the classroom. Of secondary interest are recommendations from people who you’ve worked with or for. Of lesser interest are recommendations from friends and family members.

GRE

The MFA does not have a GRE requirement.

Official Academic Transcripts

You must provide an Official Transcript from each academic institution you have attended (with the exception of the University of New Mexico). DO NOT SEND ANY TRANSCRIPTS DIRECTLY TO THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT! It is preferred that the institution send one copy of your transcript(s) directly to the Office of Admissions at the following address:

Office of Admissions

PO Box 4895

Albuquerque, NM 87196-4895

If you have the transcript(s) sent directly to you, do not open the transcript envelopes. Those that have been opened or tampered with will be considered unofficial and will delay the admissions process. Please order your transcripts early, so that you do not miss the departmental deadline!

Department of English Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Second Floor
MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021

english@unm.edu