English (PHD, MA)

Program Overview

The graduate program in literature at Binghamton University has had a history of distinguished faculty and outstanding graduates in a variety of fields. The English Department offers opportunities for study in all major areas of British and American literatures, with strengths in American studies, British modernities, critical theory, gender and sexualities, medieval studies, early modern and Renaissance studies, postcolonial studies, race, empire, and global diasporas, rhetorical discourse, ethnic studies, cultural studies/science studies and creative writing.

Degrees Offered

  • PHD in English
  • MA in English

Internships, research opportunities and more

Through their thesis and dissertation projects, students become well-versed in theoretical approaches, research and bibliography. These skills prepare a student for continued success in academia, and our distinguished faculty also provides close guidance for those seeking publication. The department publishes its own literary journal, Harpur Palate, which is edited by graduate students and enjoys both domestic and international circulation. Such editorial experiences are instrumental for those wishing to pursue positions in periodical review or journalism. The University also hosts conferences and workshops for creative writers, such as the popular Readers' Series, that provide a chance to interact with visiting professionals in a variety of writing fields.

After You Graduate

Recent alumni of the program have pursued a range of different careers, as well as further graduate study. Destinations include many faculty positions across the country, from New York University to UC Irvine. Meanwhile, other graduates have found their skills to be desired in publishing companies or in journalism. Courses of study are highly individualized, but faculty advisors will help students choose a path that develops strengths and interests while also achieving a diverse cross-section of abilities. The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development helps students to arrange resumes, prepare for interviews and be informed about opportunities and openings in their chosen fields.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
    • MA Applicants: An undergraduate major in English or a related field is desirable for admission.
    • PhD Applicants: A master's degree in English or a closely related field is required for admission.
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
  • Writing sample
    • All applicants: Critical writing sample of 10 to 20 pages
    • Creative writing applicants: Portfolio of creative writing not more than 40 pages of fiction or 20 pages of verse

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic scores)

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.

Class Profile

Total Enrollment: 91
International / Non-Citizen Enrollment: 47%


GPA: 3.68


GPA: 3.47

*Score(s) represent the AVERAGE for the most recently admitted class. Scoring lower will not result in automatic rejection of your application, and scoring higher does not guarantee acceptance.


Degree Fall Spring
PHD in EnglishJanuary 27N/A
MA in EnglishJanuary 27November 15