The MA and the PhD in English-Literary Studies are awarded by the Graduate College. Instruction is offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The MA is offered with or without a thesis.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the Admission Requirements of the Graduate College and the department offering the degree program (review the department's web site or the General Catalog for departmental requirements).

Estimated Cost of Attendance

Tuition and fees vary by degree program and the type of student you are.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester—December 14, 4:00 p.m. CST.
  • Spring Semester—not offered
  • Summer Session—not offered

Application Procedures

The graduate application process has two steps

  • You must first submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  • Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an email instructing you on how to upload your supporting documents and submit letters of recommendation.  A few programs require materials be sent directly to them. However, almost all supplemental material can and should be uploaded from your Admissions Profile in MyUI, our online service center for applicants and students.  You can only access this AFTER you have submitted your application.

Degree Program Supplemental Materials
(all supplemental materials must arrive by the posted application deadline)

  • A brief statement of purpose (1-2 pages) explaining your intellectual interests, qualifications, and reasons for choosing Iowa's MA or PhD program
  • A writing sample with Cover Sheet
  • A résumé or curriculum vitae


The application requirement section of your Profile includes an electronic letter of recommendation feature. If your program of study requires letters of recommendation, you will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders including their email on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email giving them instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Letters of Recommendation may be submitted through a dossier service (such as Interfolio), please inform the service to submit the letters via email to

Materials to send to Admissions

  • A set of your unofficial academic records/transcripts uploaded on your Admissions Profile. If you are admitted, official transcripts will be required before your enrollment. For international records, all records should bear the original stamp or seal of the institution and the signature of a school official.  Documents not in English must be accompanied by a complete, literal, English translation, certified by the issuing institution.
  • International students must send their TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo scores to comply with the university's English language proficiency requirements (the University's institutional code is 6681; the English departmental code is 2504). The minimum TOEFL score required for a teaching assistant's Speaking subsection is 26. The department will accept scores on the IELTS as an alternative to the TOEFL. A total IELTS score of 7.5 or above with no sub score lower than 7.0 is required.
  • Once recommended for admission, international students must send a Financial Statement.


Apply Online, the $60 application fee ($100 for international students) is payable by Discover, MasterCard, or Visa.

Contact Information

Office of Graduate Studies
Department of English

The University of Iowa
308 English-Philosophy Building
Iowa City, IA 52242

Office of Admissions
The University of Iowa
108 Calvin Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1396