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Dana Nelson teaches a graduate English class as students sit around a table in the department library

Ph.D. Admissions

The Ph.D. in English

Our Ph.D. program is shaped by commitments to individual mentoring and intellectual community. We invite applications from scholars who hope to pursue their most urgent analytical and ethical priorities, and who wish to sharpen those priorities through engagements with diverse methodologies, disciplines, histories, and geographies. We take it as our goal to foster the development of flexible, focused, and ambitious thinkers as they become experts in their fields. We sustain this ethos by admitting small cohorts of doctoral candidates, who pursue intensive, strongly individuated work with the support of their mentors and colleagues.

Applying to the Program

The application for Fall 2023 admission is now open. The deadline to submit your application is December 15. For more information and to start your application, visit the Graduate School Website. For questions about the Ph.D. Program or the application process, please see our Frequently Asked Questions Page or contact the English Ph.D. Program Coordinator: Connor Abram

  • Statement of Purpose: No more than 1,500 words.
  • Writing Sample: No more than 25 pages. No creative writing. If uploading more than one piece, please combine into one PDF file.
  • Three letters of recommendation and up to five letters permitted.
  • Unofficial college transcript(s) uploaded to the application, with official transcript required upon admittance. Upon admittance, official transcripts may be sent either via the postal service of 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 cdm@vanderbilt.edu. 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.
  • TOEFL and IELTS scores are accepted for International Students whose native language is not English. For more information, visit the Graduate School’s Language Proficiency Page.
  • For Fee Waiver information, visit the Graduate School’s website.
  • GRE scores are not required for admission.