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Graduate Certificate Program in English


Application procedures:

Applicants follow the standard procedures for applying to the ESU English Graduate Program. Applications are submitted online through the ESU Graduate School at  The statement of purpose and writing sample are waived for applicants who do not intend to pursue the full master’s degree. (At 12 hours non-degree-seeking participants who decide they wish to pursue the MA must provide any application materials not already received.)

Requirements for admission:

Candidates for the Graduate Certificate in English should have earned at least a 2.75 overall grade-point average or a 3.0 in the major.

Time limit:

At present, there is no time limit for completion of the Certificate program. There is a 7-year time limit for completion of the master’s degree.


Courses must be at the 700 level or above (six hours of coursework at the 500 level may be applied toward the certificate) and must include the following:

            Core: Literature before 1830 — 3 hours

            Core: Literature after 1830 — 3 hours

            Core: Language/Rhetoric/Theory/Pedagogy — 6 hours

            English electives: 6 hours


No grade lower than a B- may be counted toward the 18-hour Certificate-program requirement.

Transfer Credit:

Up to six (6) hours of English credit may be transferred from an approved/accredited institution of recognized standing if a grade of B or higher was earned in those credits and if the credit was applicable toward a graduate degree at the university at which the course was taken.

Post-Certificate master’s work:

For those who wish to continue, the 18 hours of coursework for the Certificate will be automatically credited toward the 30-hour (thesis option) or 33-hour (non-thesis option) MA requirement. Non-degree-seeking participants who decide to seek a master’s may apply toward that degree only 12 hours of credit earned before acceptance, so the full MA application should be completed by that point. Complete information about the ESU master’s degree can be found and downloaded here.