M.A. English – Apply

Required Application Materials

All applicants to the Masters in English program must submit the following to the Office of Admissions:

  • Online application: a quarter-specific, graduate application form (most students apply to begin in fall quarter), including a personal statement
  • Application fee: a $55 nonrefundable application fee (see the online application form)
  • Transcripts: certified (original, sealed) transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended

Please forward your transcripts to:

Cal Poly Admissions Office
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407.

Other required materials

Applicants are also required to submit the following materials through the M.A. English program's Interfolio link, - create a free account and upload undergraduate transcripts (unofficial or official) and the followin materials:

  • Letters of recommendation: three confidential letters of recommendation from university faculty or others familiar with your academic background and potential to succeed in a rigorous, literature-based M.A. program. Letters should be signed, sealed, and either mailed by the faculty members themselves or forwarded by a university placement service.
  • writing sample demonstrating your skills at literary analysis. Please do not send a piece of creative writing or journalistic article.

Please note: Submitting documents by Interfolio is required by Cal Poly Graduate Education. GRE scores are not required, and will not be considered in the review process. You may also post letters of recommendation directly to the Program Director:

Paul Dustin Stegner
1 Grand Avenue
Faculty Offices North
Building 47, Room 35N
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0320

Application Deadlines 

The application deadlines for Fall, Winter, and Spring Term admissions are available from Cal Poly Admissions.


Competitive Applications

  • GPA Requirements: Graduates with an English concentration and at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Conditional Admissions: Accomplished students and professionals who have not earned a B.A. in English from an undergraduate program with a strong literature component may be considered for conditional admission. Conditionally-admitted students usually take six 300- and 400-level literature courses, as recommended by the Program Director, during their first year. Such students will require two additional quarters (beyond the normal two years) to complete the M.A. degree. 
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Beginning for applications for Fall 2017, the GRE General Test will be required. Please note, current Cal Poly undergraduate students are not required to take the GRE.

Tuition and Residency Status

Cal Poly Admissions determines the residency status of all new and returning students for nonresident tuition purposes. For additional information about the application process, view the Cal Poly Catalog.


Financial Aid 

Students interested in applying for federal aid, state aid and Cal Poly Scholarships must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. For more information, go to Cal Poly Financial Aid.

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