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New Mexico State University
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of English

Application Process

Fall in Las Cruces
The Classroom Experience

Applicants who wish to be competitive should complete the following application procedure by January 15 for Fall admission and by October 1 for Spring admission. Ph.D. and MFA students and MA students in the emphasis in Creative Writing are only admitted for the Fall semester.

Applications for Graduate Assistantships (GA) are due each January 15, typically as part of the initial application for admission. Continuing students applying for a GA should consult the application instructions listed here.

The combined application for admission to the NMSU Graduate School and the Department of English is online at:
http://prospective.nmsu.edu/graduate/apply

International students should consult the additional information available at: http://prospective.nmsu.edu/international/index.html

Using the Online Application:
Please note that on the first page of the application, candidates are asked to identify an "Intended Major." The answer to this question generates a list of eligible degrees. Applicants to the PhD program in Rhetoric and Professional Communication should select "Rhetoric and Professional Communication" from the drop-down menu. Applicants to the MFA program in Creative Writing should select "Creative Writing." All applicants to the four MA programs should select "English" as their intended major regardless of their emphasis, which will be specified later in the application.


Application Requirements

The following components are submitted via the online application platform:

  1. Undergraduate and graduate transcripts

  2. Graduate School application

  3. English Department Application

  4. Statement of Purpose. This letter of application should address your goals for your graduate studies and describe your personal, academic, and professional interests and experience. This statement should also indicate how our program is appropriate for your research/creative interests and career goals.

  5. Statement of Teaching Interest (for those applying for a Graduate Assistantship). This statement should include discussion of your relevant experience and qualifications.

  6. Curriculum vitae or professional resume

  7. Writing sample(s). Work whose authorship is either shared or unspecified should be accompanied by a brief statement clarifying your role in the project.
    • MA (Rhetoric and Professional Communication and English Studies for Teachers):
      • Please submit two or more samples that include academic work that reflects strong research potential. These may also include work done as a professional communicator or educator, such as grant proposals, research reports, manuals, program evaluations, or brochures.
    • MA (Literature):
      • Please submit a sample of your academic writing in the discipline that includes secondary research.
    • MA (Creative Writing):
      • Please submit 6-8 poems or 15-25 pages of fiction.
    • MA (English Studies for Teachers):
      • Please submit a sample(s) of your academic or professional writing that reflect(s) strong research potential. The sample(s) may also include work done as a professional communicator, such as grant proposals, research reports, manuals, program evaluations, or brochures.
    • MFA (Creative Writing):
      • Please submit a portfolio (10 poems; 20-25 pages of fiction) of creative work.
    • PhD (Rhetoric and Professional Communication):
      • Please submit samples of writing that include academic work that reflects strong research potential. Samples may also include work done as a professional communicator, such as grant proposals, research reports, manuals, program evaluations, or brochures.

  1. Three letters of recommendation
    • MA (Rhetoric and Professional Communication and English Studies for Teachers): Three letters of recommendation are required from professors, employers, or others qualified to evaluate potential for graduate work, along with a completed recommendation form. If applying for a graduate teaching assistantship, these letters should also address experience or potential as a teacher.

    • MA (Creative Writing and Literature) and MFA (Creative Writing): Three letters of recommendation are required from individuals familiar with the applicant's work. Those writing letters of recommendation are customarily former or current professors of the student; however, people who know the applicant in other capacities are also appropriate. Students applying for an assistantship should consider asking someone who has observed their teaching (if this is possible) or someone who has supervised their work.

    • PhD (Rhetoric and Professional Communication): Three letters of recommendation are required from professors, employers, or others qualified to evaluate potential for graduate work, along with a completed recommendation form. If applying for a graduate teaching assistantship, these letters should also address experience or potential as a teacher.



Note: Although the Graduate School and the English Department do not require applicants to submit scores on psychometric examinations (e.g., the Graduate Record Examination), applicants are encouraged to submit scores to the English Department if they have already taken the exams.

Note: An application cannot be considered until all items are received. We also encourage applicants to submit a FAFSA to the Graduate School.