The Department of English

Application Checklist

  • Submit application for the CSU graduate program online at Cal State Apply(opens in new window).

    • This application asks for a Statement of Purpose, which should “describe your reason(s) for pursuing graduate study and include any additional information concerning your preparation that is pertinent to the objective specified."
  • An acceptable baccalaureate from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Satisfactory grade point average; must have a 3.0 in the last 30 semester units attempted and a 2.75 in the last 60 (90 quarter) units attempted.
  •  Two letters of recommendation, preferably from English department faculty who know the student’s work, to the departmental Graduate Coordinator. Also include the department letter of recommendation Access Waiver Form (PDF).
  • For all applicants who have not completed a baccalaureate degree (or three years of full-time academic study at the post-secondary level) in Australia, Great Britain, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United States, completion of one of the following:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum paper-based score of 580 or Internet-based score of 92; or
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 7.0; or
    • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 65.
    • Further, a significantly low score on any part of these required exams will require that a student enroll in remedial courses appropriate to the area of weakness as specified by the Graduate Advisor.
  • Submission, with application, of a writing sample demonstrating critical and analytical skills. Creative writing students should also submit a sample of creative work. Students should submit their writing sample(s) and a separate copy of the Statement of Purpose (already included in the application at Cal State Apply) (1) by mail to Graduate Coordinator, Department of English, California State University, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0830, (2) to Dr. Erin Kelly’s campus mailbox in ARTS 231, or (3) by email as PDF attachments to

Once all materials have been received, the Graduate Committee will make assessments of the applicant’s complete record, balancing GPA, letters of recommendation, writing samples, and any other material in the application package.