Graduate School Advice

Below is some general advice about graduate school and the application process.  Students considering graduate study in English are also encouraged to meet with an English Department faculty member to discuss their specific goals and options.  

 Consider your school choices carefully.

 School reputation is important, but it isn't everything.

 Location, faculty interests, student culture and the availability of financial aid are also very important.

 Learn about the availability of grants, tuition waivers and teaching or research assistant work. Apply for all of it. Avoid going into debt if you can help it.

 Look at the schedule and learn which faculty are actually teaching graduate classes each semester. Sometimes famous professors are busy with research and never teach.  Try to mention faculty research or specific courses in your application letter.  This will help demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have done your homework and see a place for yourself in the program.

Application Process

You will be asked to provide letters of recommendation from professors (usually 3 – 5)

 If you are thinking of possibly attending graduate school in the future, keep in touch with HPU faculty and let us know your plans.

 SAVE your writing

 Be prepared to give your letter writers a copy of your current resume and a draft of your personal statement when you ask them to write a letter.

 Give your letter writers at least four weeks to write the letter.

Personal Statements

 You will also be asked to write a personal statement (sometimes called a personal essay).

 This should provide an account of your experiences, your current research interests, your plans for further study (try to mention specific courses or professors) and brief explanation of your career goals.

 Avoid personal accounts of your love of literature and your passion for reading. This will not make you stand out from the other applicants.