Graduate FAQ

Admissions/Application Information

How do I apply to the PhD program?

Please see our Graduate Admissions page.

Are the GRE and GRE subject tests required to apply?

They are optional, not required. The English department faculty does not weigh the GRE general test or subject test scores as decisive measures for admission because they have not been shown to satisfactorily predict student capacity to complete doctoral degrees.

What is a competitive GRE score?

We do not have benchmark GRE or GRE subject test scores. Rather, we focus more heavily on the statement of purpose, writing sample, and letters of recommendation.

What if I cannot take the GRE subject test before the application deadline?

Submitting these scores is not required for admission. You may submit your application without these scores.

I have a Master’s degree from another institution; can these credits be applied to the coursework?

We do not accept transfer credits; all students in our program complete all of the program requirements regardless of background.

Can I apply for just a Master’s program?

We do not offer a terminal Master’s degree; students earn a Master’s degree in the process of completing their PhD.

What is the application review process?

Once the application deadline has passed, faculty begin reviewing applicants. Rather than having a small subset of faculty to serve as our Admissions Committee, we are distinctive in that all faculty meet to review applications. This means that, if you are accepted to the Hopkins English department, all of us are eager to welcome you here. Acceptance letters are typically sent out some time in mid-February.

May I come for an interview?

Interviews are offered after one is accepted to the program. It is possible to arrange to come visit the English department and speak with faculty and spend some time with a current graduate student.

Program Information

What fields of study are available?

Our faculty have a wide range of interests, which can be viewed on our faculty page; so, too, do our graduate students. We facilitate the energetic exploration of these interests inside and outside the English department. Students regularly take courses in Anthropology, Women and Gender Studies, Comparative Thought and Literature, Modern Languages and Literature, Political Science, History, and Classics. The resulting interdisciplinary exchange is a hallmark of Hopkins work. You may review students’ current research interests on our graduate student page.

Who will my adviser be?

The Director of Graduate Studies is the adviser for the first three years. Having taken courses and gotten to know our faculty, students will decide on a field and an adviser who becomes their dissertation director in the third year. Students then also choose a second reader for their dissertation. But, students also regularly consult with other faculty members both during coursework and while writing their dissertations.

Do you offer graduate housing?

No, most graduate students live in apartments in the surrounding neighborhoods, including Charles Village and Hampden. Please see the Off-Campus Housing Office website for assistance.

What does fully funded mean?

It means that a graduate student currently receives five years of tuition remission and an annual stipend for living expenses as long as the student is in good standing within the department.

Is funding available beyond the fifth year?

In January of the fifth year, students may apply for funding and teaching for the sixth year. This funding is not guaranteed.

Are there opportunities to teach during the PhD program?

Yes, three of the five years are teaching years. The second year is a teaching assistant year, and the third and fifth years are Expository Writing Program years. One also has the opportunity to propose one’s own English courses in the later years of one’s program.

What is the Expository Writing Program?

This is the freshman academic writing program. Many of the sections are staffed by English graduate students who design their own topic-based courses in the third and fifth years of the program. If you would like more information, please visit the EWP website.

What sort of assistance will there be with finding a job? How have Hopkins graduates fared on the job market in recent years?

Assistance begins when a student arrives. The University has recently invested deeply in mentoring graduate students for their post-Hopkins careers; the new Phutures office welcomes students for individual counseling and offers a remarkable number of talks and workshops to help students prepare for both academic and non-academic positions. The department itself offers a placement workshop open to all students, though directed towards those in the advanced years. We also a dossier service. Job materials (application letter, CV, abstract, letters of recommendation) are typically reviewed by both one’s adviser and the placement officer before being mailed out. Both mock interviews and mock teaching experiences are offered. Please see our Job Placement page for more information.

I have only studied one foreign language. Would I have to study another?

We require that you pass one or two translation exams before you take your orals. Graduate students must pass at least one translation exam at the level of fluency, or two at the level of competency. It is possible to take language courses here at Hopkins or, with permission, during the summer at other institutions.

What kinds of evaluations are there during the PhD program?

Twice a year the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) writes a letter of evaluation to each student in years 1-3. The DGS writes once a year to each student in the fourth year and beyond, highlighting the adviser’s annual evaluation of the progress on the dissertation.

When does a graduate student take oral exams?

They are normally scheduled in the middle of the third year. All graduate seminars and both language exams must be completed before orals can be taken. In the second year, and in consultation with two faculty members, student develop reading lists in two fields; these lists then serve as the basis of the exam.

Still have questions? Please contact:

Tracy Glink, Senior Academic Program Coordinator

tglink1@jhu.edu

410-516-4311