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Suggested Timeline for Students Interested in Graduate Study in English

The following timeline is a suggestion only. We realize that students may declare their major after their second year or develop an interest in graduate school shortly before they graduate. All students with an interest in graduate study in English should consult their advisors.

Spring of first year: Students interested in majoring in English are advised to enroll in English 201, 202, or 203 for the fall of their second year. These courses fulfill one of the college’s general education requirements for English and also serve as prerequisites for English majors. English 200 meets one of the college’s general education requirements, but does not serve as a prerequisite for the English major. Students are expected to complete a 200-level English course before enrolling in 300-level courses.

During the second year: Students are advised to declare their major by the end of their second year. When you declare your major with the chair of the department, you will be matched with an advisor within the major and consult with that faculty member during registration.

  • Develop a tentative plan that allows you to fulfill 200-level prerequisites and anticipate those courses that most interest you or are especially useful to students interested in graduate study.
  • Refer to the department’s “Course Distribution Table” and “Upper Level Course Sequence” to better determine the appropriate semester for study abroad or the like.

During the third year: The third year is a critical one for those who would like to enter graduate school immediately after graduating from college.

  • Research programs. In addition to information from department websites, look for information from other online sources, from faculty members, and from Wofford alumni.
  • Determine whether you are a good candidate for local, state, or national scholarships by consulting the college’s “Scholarship Opportunities” page.
  • Consult the Educational Testing Service website for information regarding any required standardized tests.
  • Apply for opportunities such as Community of Scholars (typically due in late February) or an Honors Course (typically due mid-April); consider relevant interdisciplinary programs; engage in relevant extracurricular programs.
  • Develop a course of study for any required standardized tests. Some students improve their scores through multiple attempts.
  • Attend Graduate Study in English interest meetings.
  • Identify faculty members you would like to write recommendation letters for you.
  • Anticipate the costs of application: the combination of standardized tests and application fees can be significant.

During the fourth year: Because applications for many graduate schools are due at the end of December or the beginning of January, the fall of your fourth year is the last opportunity to make an impression on admissions committees with your transcript.  

  • Enroll in a seminar class or consider an in-course honors option to provide you with one final opportunity to secure a glowing recommendation letter and develop an impressive writing sample.
  • Workshop application materials at the Writing Center, Career Services, with other applicants, or your advisor.
  • Alert recommenders to details regarding the submission of letters, such as the addressee and deadline.
  • Consider other options that might let you gain valuable and relevant experience should you need to reapply during the following year.