Students in the literature program have the extraordinary opportunity to hear and meet a wide variety of writers. Most authors stay for a few days, giving readings, attending receptions, visiting classes, and meeting with graduate students. Other major writers join the faculty for two-year terms.
“Reading books is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised.ˮ
— Wisława Szymborska
Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:
“The program has been a source of support for me well beyond my time at Texas State.”
— Karen Royall, Associate Professor, Austin Community College
Class sizes range from five to 15 students, providing ample opportunity for interaction with faculty. Students select courses from a wide range of topics, periods, and genres. Regular offerings range from Anglo-Saxon literature to contemporary poetry, drama, fiction, and film. Students may choose a minor from a variety of other graduate programs, or they may choose an area of emphasis from a number of specialties. In addition to more traditional literary studies, specialties include, among many others, women’s studies, African American literature, Chicano/Chicana literature, critical theory, children’s literature, composition theory and practice, technical communication, and studies in the American Southwest.
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Visiting writers have included Margaret Atwood, Allen Ginsberg, Ocean Vuong, and Coulson Whitehead. Alkek Library holds the papers of such writers as Cormac McCarthy, Sandra Cisneros, and Sam Shepard.
Faculty in the Department of English teach, conduct research in and advance the discipline of English studies, including rhetoric and composition, creative writing, technical communication, film and media studies, literature, and language. They prepare undergraduate and graduate students to pursue further education and/or careers; to think, write, and speak clearly; to produce authoritative scholarship and inspiring creative work; to read with pleasure, skill, and understanding; and to appreciate the power and subtlety of discourse in various media.
The graduate faculty’s diverse interests include medieval literature and cultural studies; Renaissance literature and drama; American and British literature of many periods; children’s and adolescent literature; Beat poetry; Jewish American literature; Latinx and Chicanx literature; African American literature; Southwestern literature; film and media studies; graphic novels and comics; science fiction and fantasy literature; postcolonial literature and film. Professors have received many teaching and research awards and published hundreds of scholarly books and articles.
Many literature graduates go into teaching, whether on the secondary, community college, or university level. Those seeking university teaching have been admitted to more than 50 doctoral programs, and many now hold tenure-track and tenured positions. Many others have gone into related fields, such as professional writing, editing, and publishing, while some are in other careers that call for outstanding critical thinking and verbal expression.
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding. Read additional information about departmental funding opportunities below.
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.
The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.
Transcripts & GPA
- baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
- a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
- minimum 2.75 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
- minimum 3.25 GPA in a minimum of 24 hours of undergraduate English, including at least 12 advanced hours. Read additional information about background course work.
If your English GPA falls between 3.0 and 3.25, official GRE (general test only) scores and additional documents are required. Read additional information below.
Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.
TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS Scores
Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.
- official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
- official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
- official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
- minimum individual module scores of 6.0
This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.
Review important information about official test scores.
Background Course Work
You will be required to take leveling courses if you lack sufficient background course work. Any required leveling course work must be completed with grades of B or better prior to admission.
GPA and Additional Requirements
If your English GPA falls between 3.0 and 3.25, please submit the following items in order to be considered for conditional admission*:
- official GRE (general test only) required with competitive scores in the verbal reasoning section
- two letters of recommendation
- writing sample of non-fiction prose, preferably literary analysis
*Conditional admission is not available to applicants who require "F" or "J" visas.
If you are applying for a departmental graduate assistantship (IA/TA), you must submit required materials for both the literature program and the IA/TA position by January 15 for the following academic year.