Ph.D. Application Instructions

Application Deadlines

A complete application includes a personal statement, 3 letters of reference, a critical writing sample, a GTA application and official transcripts. Applications must be complete by the deadline:

January 5 - Application with GTA application for Fall admission only

Application Materials

Complete applications include the following materials:

  1. Application for graduate admission (including fee). Online application: APPLY NOW
  2. A written statement no more than 1,000 words detailing the applicant's professional goals in the field of Rhetoric and Composition
  3. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the admissions office from the previous institution. For electronic transcripts, please send to All documents that are not in English must have verbatim notarized in English translation. 
  4. Three academic letters of recommendation. Letters from employers and personal references are not acceptable. The reference should speak to the prospective student's ability to succeed at graduate studies. Discursive letters must be attached to the PDF form. 
  5. A critical writing sample of at least 15 pages. This writing sample should demonstrate your skills in critical thinking and analytical writing. For example, this can be a substantial analysis paper or research paper written for an (under)graduate course, a chapter from a B.A., Honors, or M.A. thesis, or a published journal article. 

Special Note: We do not require GRE test scores.

All applicants must send these materials to:

Office of Graduate Admissions

105 Houchens Building

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40292


English Proficiency (TOEFL)

All applicants for whom English is a second language must submit official TOEFL scores of 213 or higher on the computer based test, 550 or higher on the paper based test or 79 or higher on the internet-based test. English proficiency can also be met by submitting official IELTS scores of at least 6.5 overall band score from the academic module exam. Applicants holding a bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited U.S. institution may be exempt from this requirement. 

GTA Application (due January 5th)

To apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) position, complete the GTA Application Form. Please note that your entire application for graduate study must be complete by January 5th. The GTA application should be sent directly to the department:

English Department Graduate Studies

315 Bingham Humanities Building

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40292

Electronic Options:

1. Email to: