The Department of English

Application Checklist

Application Requirements:

  • Submit application for the CSU graduate program and upload supporting materials online at Cal State Apply.
    • (1) Statement of Purpose: identify your chosen pattern, describe your reason(s) for pursuing graduate study, and include any additional information concerning your preparation that is pertinent to the objective specified.
    • (2) Writing Sample: demonstrate your critical and analytical skills in a chosen piece of your writing.
    • (3) Essay: creative writing applicants should use this section to upload a second writing sample of creative work.
  • Within Cal State Apply, request two letters of recommendation, preferably from English department faculty who know the student’s work. Recommenders will directly upload their letters to the system.
    • If letter writers need to submit hard copies, then letters must be accompanied by the department letter of recommendation Access Waiver Form (PDF) (PDF). See address below.
  • If applicants have issues submitting supporting materials electronically through Cal State Apply, they can submit those materials (Statement of Purpose, Writing Sample, and Creative Writing Sample) (1) by mail to Graduate Coordinator, Department of English, California State University, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0830, (2) to Dr. Laura Sparks campus mailbox in ARTS 231, or (3) by email as PDF attachments to

Minimum Requirements for Admission:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.