Are you interested in our master’s or doctoral programs?

Admission to our graduate program means you need to meet the criteria of and apply to both Ball State’s Graduate School and the department itself.

How to Apply

Grad School

Complete the Application

You will need to determine if your program is delivered online or on campus. Please contact your program director to determine your delivery mode.

If you will be an online student and you live outside Indiana, this information regarding State Regulatory Authorizations might apply to you.

Application Deadlines

Master's Programs

  • Fall admission: July 7
  • Spring admission: November 11

Doctoral Programs

Fall admission: January 15

Graduate Certificates

  • Fall admission: July 7
  • Spring admission: November 11
  • Summer admission: April 15

Graduate Assistants

If you are applying for a graduate assistantship, apply to the program by January 15 to receive full consideration.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and have an undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0. Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Non-native speakers of English may submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores in place of GRE scores. Non-native speakers of English must have a TOEFL score of at least 79 for MA programs, and 81 for PhD programs.

Applicants applying for the Teaching Writing Graduate Certificate must submit two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Applicants for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Graduate Certificate need not fulfill additional requirements.

International Applicants

International Applicants must fulfill additional requirements. Please click here and view Step 1: Apply Online under the Graduate tab to view additional application requirements.


In addition, submit the following:

Detail your academic and intellectual biography and your purpose in seeking a graduate degree at Ball State University.

Preferably, provide a paper written for a class. The writing sample should exemplify your best work.

The writing sample can be a revised class paper or a section from an undergraduate or master’s thesis. It should reflect your ability to write well, analyze, and engage with scholarly debates and research.

If you do not have a sample of academic work, write a new paper on a subject related to the previous or proposed field of study.

MA Creative Writing applicants should submit a creative writing sample in either fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or some combination of genres (8-15 pp double-spaced; poetry can be single-spaced, of course).

Page Length Requirements

  • All master’s programs: 8–15 pp double-spaced for all MA applicants
  • English PhD in Literature: 15-20 pp double-spaced
  • Rhetoric and Composition and Applied Linguistics: 15-25 pp double-spaced

Frequently Asked Questions

We notify applicants about admission decisions as quickly as possible. Those taking advantage of rolling admission can reasonably expect to get news within 4-6 weeks after the application is complete; similarly, those applying by the January 15 deadline can expect to get a decision mid- to late March.

For all programs, departmental approval for admission is based upon evaluation of our application materials.

No incomplete files are considered. You are responsible for ensuring that your admission file is complete.

Apply early—transcripts and test scores take weeks, often months, to arrive.

Status Updates

While we cannot routinely contact you about missing items, you may check on the status of your file by:

  • visiting the English graduate office (Robert Bell Building, room 2115)
  • emailing
  • calling us at 765-285-8415

International applicants should contact the Rinker Center for International Programs at 765-285-5422 or by email.

The English Department does not offer conditional admission to any applicants.

No. Applications are reviewed by discipline-specific faculty committees and the director of graduate studies does not serve on these individual committees.

Please contact us if you have any questions.