Application Process

The Department of English is no longer accepting applications for admission for fall 2016. The application deadline was December 15th.

Applying for admission is a two-step process. Applicants from the U.S. submit half of their materials to the UWM Graduate School, and the other half directly to the Department of English. The Graduate School and the Department of English use different application systems, so you may find that you need to enter some information twice.

The Graduate School’s online application system will collect information about your educational background, transcripts, a personal statement and an application fee.

International applicants also have a two-step process. They submit half their materials by following the instructions from UWM’s Center for International Education. They should then submit the other half of their materials directly to the Department of English, by following the instructions that follow.

The online application for the Department of English (links to each concentration below) will collect information about your educational background, letters of recommendation, writing samples, a personal statement, and an application for a teaching assistantship, if you choose to apply for one.

The online application for the Department of English uses Interfolio, a popular online service for managing letters of recommendation and academic hiring and admissions decisions. To begin your application, click on the link below for the concentration to which you wish to apply. This will take you to Interfolio, where you’ll be invited to create your own personal Interfolio account for free, or to log into your personal account if you already have one. Through your personal Interfolio account, you’ll be able to request letters of recommendation from your recommenders, and submit them to our application confidentially. When you request a letter of recommendation through Interfolio, your recommender receives an email with a link to upload his or her letter for you. You can then submit that letter to us or to anyone else, but cannot read it yourself.

If you feel you might qualify for an Advanced Opportunity Fellowship and plan to apply for one that would begin in the 2016-2017 academic year, please contact the plan coordinator by November 15. See the first page of the Interfolio application for the plan coordinator’s contact information.

To begin your application, click on the appropriate link below.

Literature and Cultural Theory (Plan A)

Rhetoric and Composition (Plan B)

Creative Writing (Plan C)

Professional Writing (Plan G)

Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies (Plan H)

Once you do have an Interfolio account set up, you can click the blue button labeled “My Account.”

You must request letters of recommendation through your personal Interfolio account before you can submit them to UWM. As soon as you have requested the letter, you can tell Interfolio to submit it to our application system. Once your recommender uploads the letter, it will automatically be forwarded to us.

The table below is a guide to the admissions process. Each column represents one of the two applications to be completed. For the Department of English application, please consult the specific application instructions for each concentration, which appear on the first page of the online application.

Graduate School Application

Department of English Application

Apply to the UWM Graduate School by completing the Graduate School Degree Application. A summary of the documents required for submission to the Graduate School appears in the column below.

Apply to the Department of English by selecting ONE of its five concentrations. Click on the appropriate link below to begin:

Literature and Cultural Theory (Plan A)

Rhetoric and Composition (Plan B)

Creative Writing (Plan C)

Professional Writing (Plan G)

Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies (Plan H)

Specific application instructions for each concentration appear on the first page of the on-line Interfolio application. You may want to print that page as you complete the application. A general summary of the application requirements appears in the column below.

1. Reasons Statement
This can be the same as the “Personal Statement” you submit to the English Department.2. Official Transcripts
Send an official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended to:UW–Milwaukee Graduate School
P.O. Box 340
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0340

This includes official transcripts from universities and community colleges that transferred credits or granted dual credit for high school courses.

3. GRE Scores
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (only the General Test is required). Info: Scores must be no more than 5 years old at the beginning of your planned semester of entry. Report your scores using these codes: Institution code: R1473. Program code: 2501. Choose the Graduate Institution (GI) option. Scores must be received by the application deadline.

4. Application Fee
You can pay the fee online with a credit card.


1. Personal Statement
This can be the same as the “Reasons Statement” you submit to the Graduate School. Even though it is called a “Personal Statement,” it should be a substantive outline of your research interests, qualifications, and plans for graduate study.

2. Three Letters of Recommendation
Three separate letters are required. For those applying for teaching positions, note that some plans request that at least one letter speak to your experience or potential as a teacher. Details for each plan can be found under “Application Instructions” on the first Interfolio application page.

Please note that letters must be submitted confidentially through Interfolio. When completing your application, you will be prompted to enter your recommenders’ names. Once they submit their letters to your confidential account, the letter will be forwarded to the Department of English.

3. Writing Sample
Follow the instructions in each concentration’s Interfolio application regarding writing samples.
If you are applying for a Teaching Assistantship your program may require an additional writing sample.


Please enter your current or most recent educational institution.


Enter your information carefully and completely.

You can return to your application at any time to complete it or to edit it.

Be sure to click the “Submit Application” button when finished.

Questions or problems? Please contact Alessandra Gillen in the English Graduate Studies Office:

Non-Degree Admissions

In some circumstances, students can apply for Non-Degree Candidate Admission to take courses for graduate credit without pursuing a degree. For example, students who need to demonstrate the ability to perform graduate level work or who need to remedy a course deficiency may apply for non-degree admission. Students applying for non-degree admissions should complete the Graduate School Application, and should indicate in their application’s Reasons Statement which particular course or courses they intend to take and a justification for why they need to take each one. Applicants are encouraged to contact course instructors as early as possible to discuss the possibility of enrolling in the course.

In addition, non-degree applicants should provide additional materials to the Department of English: unofficial copies of transcripts (scans or copies) from previous colleges or universities, and a ten-page writing sample of work relevant to the proposed area of study. After submitting your Graduate School Application, email these materials to Alessandra Gillen in the Department of English at Non-Degree applicants do NOT complete the Interfolio application for the Department of English.