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How to Apply

The application deadline for best consideration for Fall admission is March 15th. The application period for Fall Admission remains open until the end of the Academic Year, June 30th. The Literature and Writing Studies Graduate Program is currently unable to accept Spring Semester applicants.

The application fee must be submitted to the Admissions Office by this deadline.

Applicants for Fall admission will be notified of their status of application by June 1st.

Download the LTWR Application form (read/write PDF format).

Application to the University

Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree, preferably in English, literature and writing studies, comparative literature, rhetoric, linguistics, or a comparable program. Applicants with such a bachelor's degree must have taken at least 5 upper-division courses of 3-4 units each in literature or writing from an accredited university. Admission decisions will be influenced by the breadth and appropriateness of undergraduate course work.

Applicants must have maintained a grade-point average of not less than 3.0 in the last 60 units of undergraduate study, and a 3.3 average in upper-division literature and writing courses. When applications are strong otherwise, students with lower grade-point averages may be admitted to the program on a conditional basis pending their performance in their first semester.

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Although the minimum cut-off scores may vary from year to year, it is unlikely that students will be admitted with a verbal score of less than 153 and an Analytical Writing Score of less than 4.  

ALL graduate and postbaccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a post-secondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants taking the Computer-Based Test of English as a Foreign Language must present a score of 80 or above.

A complete application includes:

  • A completed application form for admission to the University, to be sent directly to University Admissions.
  • A completed Departmental application, which should be sent directly to Johnna Norris, Administrative Support Coordinator of LTWR.
  • Two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, with indication of graduation.
  • A 750-1000 word "Statement of Purpose." This statement should address educational and career goals, relevant educational background and research experience.
  • A writing sample. This should be an analytical essay of no less than five pages on a literary topic. The essay should not be written for the purpose of admission, but instead provide a sample of the applicant's best undergraduate work.
  • GRE (and TOEFL, if appropriate) score reports.
  • Three letters of recommendation. (Note: letters are not required of CSUSM graduates who list recommending professors currently on faculty.)

Information on how to obtain a booklet and on the alternative method of applying on-line is available through CSU Mentor. Should you have difficulty obtaining any of the application material or have questions about the status of your application, please contact the Department Administrative Support Coordinator:

Johnna Norris
(760) 750-4147
Fax: (760)750-4111
Markstein Hall 137

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