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Frequently Asked Questions


As there may be difficulty in accessing GRE testing sites during the Covid-19 pandemic, the GRE General Test is optional for our Literature PhD Program Fall 2021 admissions applications. Please contact us as at litgrad@ucsd.edu if you have any questions.

When are applications available online and what is the online application deadline?

We admit once a year only. Each year, online applications are available at the beginning of September and the deadline to submit the application electronically is at the beginning of December.  The specific deadline for the current application cycle can be found on the application website: https://grad.ucsd.edu/apply/. 

You say you cannot answer individual inquiries, but I have low grades and I want to know if someone can tell me if I should apply or not. I want to know what the chances are that I will be accepted into the program.

If you have low grades/GPA or GRE, we cannot predict whether or not you will be admitted to the program. However, we can tell you that your file will be carefully considered. The Admissions Committee will read all the files. The Admissions Committee considers all the different components of your file, not just scores or grades. Please note we cannot review transcripts prior to the admissions process. We encourage you to apply and to submit a strong application.

How do I know your program is the right one for me?

We strongly encourage you to visit our Faculty Profile Pages. Click on the names of our faculty members to learn about their interests and to find out what they have published. If you find faculty whose work is of interest to you, you should apply to UCSD. Tell us in your Statement of Purpose why the work of our professors is important to your own work. Let our faculty know you are serious about working with them. Serious applicants read our faculty's publications carefully.

Do I need a BA in Literature or MA to apply to the PhD program?

You do not need a BA in Literature, but most of our students have a strong background in Literature, Theory, and/or Cultural Studies. It would be to your advantage to take classes in Literature before you apply. You may apply to the PhD program without having an MA degree. Please note that successful applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution in the U.S. or from a recognized university-level academic institution abroad and at least a B average (3.0 gpa) or its equivalent by the time they enroll.

If I already have an MA degree, will my courses count toward the PhD requirements?

A student in our program who comes with an MA degree may petition after their first year in the PhD program to apply up to six graduate courses from their MA to satisfy PhD course requirements.

How much does it cost to apply?

The non-refundable application fee schedule is as follows: $105.00 for US Citizens and Permanent Resident Applicants, $125.00 for International Applicants. The application fee is the last step of the online application process. Applicants pay the application fee under the section titled "Begin Submit Process." You must pay by using a major credit card: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover, or JCB Card.

Should I apply online or should I fill out a paper application? Is it ok to fill out the online application, print it, and mail it without submitting electronically?

All applicants must use the online application called GradApply. We cannot consider applications which have been printed but not submitted electronically.  Please do not send any hard copies of application materials to the Department.  No hard copies of documents are required until a student is admitted to the program and should not be submitted before then.

What if I am a current or former graduate student at UCSD?

If you have ever registered/enrolled as a graduate student at UCSD, you will not be able to fully complete the application online.  Please contact the Literature Department for the application procedure.

Is the GRE subject test required? How much weight do you give to the GRE scores?

We do not require the GRE subject test. The admissions committee will look at all the documents we require. Your entire file is considered, not just a particular requirement.

What is the college code I would use to submit my GRE scores?

UCSD's college code is 4836.

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Director of Doctoral Studies
Daisuke Miyao

PhD Program Advising
(858) 534-3217

Accepting Applications:
Apply Online!
9/9/2020 - 1/6/2021 (for Fall 2021 admissions)

PhD Program Handbook

Always refer to the PhD Handbook for the official department policies and procedures.  If you do not find the answer to your question(s) there, please contact PhD advising (litgrad@ucsd.edu) for guidance.