Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. Program in English is determined by careful review of the applicants’ prior academic performance, writing sample,  letters of recommendation, and personal statement. The GRE section of the application should be left blank, as it is not a requirement for admission. The application and supporting documents (transcripts, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation) are required by the deadline.

Since admission to the graduate programs is competitive, it is recommended that prospective applicants consider carefully the following information:
  • Writing Sample: One of the most important components of an application is the writing sample. This should be a critically oriented piece that illustrates an applicant's ability to do scholarly research and interpret literary or cultural texts. It is helpful if the writing sample is relevant to your proposed field of study, although this is not a requirement. Only one writing sample should be submitted (i.e. one single essay; not several shorter pieces), and it should not exceed 20 pages. Please note: the Writing Sample and the Statement of Purpose (part of the university's online electronic application) are two separate essays, and both are required for the Ph.D. application. The Statement of Purpose is generally 1-2 pages, and is more of an academic statement. The Personal History, also part of the on-line application, is not required but is highly recommended, especially for those applicants who think they may be eligible for a diversity fellowship.
  • GRE Scores: The GRE section of the application should be left blank, as it is not a requirement for admission.
  • Grades: A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.50 in the last two years of undergraduate study is recommended to be competitive.
Prospective International Applicants
All prospective international applicants should be aware of additional University-wide admissions requirements. Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English for admission consideration. A student may receive a waiver (for admissions purposes only) to the requirement for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-based Test (iBT) or a paper-based test (PBT) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if they have earned an undergraduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction according to the World Higher Education Database (WHED). Please see WHED's instructions on how to search for your institution.

Official TOEFL scores must be sent directly from ETS to UCI, using institution code 4859. Test results that are two years old or older are not accepted. The minimum score for admissions consideration is 80, IELTS minimum overall score is 7, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module. Teaching Assistantships and fellowships are limited and provide only partial funding. While the department makes every effort to provide a multi-year funding package via fellowship and/or guaranteed employment, these funding packages do not include moving expenses and are not guaranteed to cover cost of living expenses. If English is not the sole language of instruction listed or if no language is listed at all, the waiver does not apply and the applicant is required to take and pass an approved English proficiency test.
Applicants must use the university's electronic application process. 

Ph.D. Programs Application Checklist:
  • The electronic application, filled out completely (including the required Statement of Purpose and the optional but highly recommended Personal Narrative).
  • An uploaded Writing Sample of no more than 20 pages. 
  • $120 (for U.S. Citizens and lawful U.S. Permanent Residents) or $140 (for all other applicants) non-refundable application fee is required for each University of California campus to which an applicant applies. Applicants applying electronically may use a Visa or MasterCard to pay the application fee.
  • Transcripts: For application review purposes only, scan and upload copies of transcripts for all institutions attended since high school. In the online application, you will be prompted to upload your scanned documents. Please upload both the front and back sides of the transcript. Uploaded transcripts should be recent and include the following: your name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits and grading legend. UCI reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found. Official transcripts will be requested if and when you are admitted and decide to attend UCI. Do not send official transcripts until this time, unless you are requested to do so.
  • The GRE section of the application should be left blank, as it is not a requirement for admission.
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted via electronic application.

For the Ph.D. Program in English: January 5 (for the following Fall). Applications lacking transcripts, writing sample, three letters of recommendation, or the statement of purpose after the January 5 deadline will be considered incomplete.