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Information for Applicants

Online Application

Information for Applicants

The Vanderbilt Department of English admits and trains doctoral students across a broad span of literary and cultural studies. Members of our graduate faculty specialize in areas that range from the European Renaissance to contemporary world literatures, from antebellum American print culture to African American, Asian American, and Latina/o literatures and cultures, from film and digital studies through global Anglophone literatures to hemispheric American and Caribbean literatures and cultures. The work of our graduate students reflects this diverse array of resources: current students focus on early modern European literatures (sixteenth through eighteenth centuries), Victorian literature, global modernism, early American literature, literatures of the Americas, literatures of the African diaspora, and Latin American literatures of the 19th and 20th centuries. Methodological approaches are similarly diverse and often cross more traditional categories of period, genre, and nationality. We have students who frame their dissertations through the history of medicine, theories of gender and sexuality, hemispheric studies, intersections of law and literature, postcolonial studies, performance theory, and digital media.

The Vanderbilt University Department of English offers the following degrees:

* The Vanderbilt English Department does not typically offer a terminal M.A. degree.  For exceptions, please see: 


The application deadline for Fall 2020 admission is December 15, 2019.

Critical components of the completed electronic application for the Ph.D. Program include:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Writing Sample (maximum length - 25 pages) - no Creative Writing
  • Three letters of recommendation (up to five letters permitted)
  • Unofficial college transcript(s) uploaded to the application. Official transcripts are required if you are admitted.
  • For International Students whose native language is not English:  we accept both TOEFL and IELTS scores.  For more information, visit the Graduate School's Language Proficiency page.
  • For Fee Waiver information, visit the Graduate School's website.

Note: The GRE test is no longer required by the Department of English.

Transcripts: Transcripts can be sent either via the postal service or via secure electronic delivery. In order to be considered official, transcripts and other documents must come directly from the institution attended. Some institutions provide secure electronic delivery of transcripts. These submissions may be made to  Transcripts sent via the postal service should be addressed as follows:

CDM-College of Arts & Science
PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Vera Kutzinski if you have any questions about the application process.