Admissions & Financial Support

Please note: the Ph.D. in Literature Program at the University of Notre Dame is no longer admitting new students.


The Program in Literature admits only students intending to pursue the doctorate. Students who have already completed the MA degree in a relevant literary field or in a related nonliterary field (such as anthropology, history, theology, philosophy, etc.) are encouraged to apply. Work completed at another institution may, upon determination by the Program’s administrative board, be credited toward the Ph.D. degree. An advanced level of preparation in the languages relevant to a student’s proposed course of study is requisite for all applicants to the program and indispensable for students in the program.  (Note: This is not the English Ph.D. If you would like to apply to English, please click here.)


The full range of financial assistance, including fellowships such as University Presidential Fellowships, first-year fellowships, ethnic minority fellowships, and others such as private and national fellowships, teaching assistantships, and tuition scholarships, described in the general Graduate Studies brochure is available to students in the Ph.D. in Literature Program. All admitted doctoral students are eligible for funding up to five years with stipends and are eligible for up to 8 years of tuition scholarships. Stipends will come in the form of teaching fellowships, research fellowships, and graduate fellowships.

The Ph.D. in Literature emphasizes the development of linguistic expertise as well as training in criticism, theory, and research. To this end, the Program will either provide directly or facilitate the acquisition of grants, fellowships, or other forms of funding through various agencies to support advanced students in a research-oriented summer, semester, or year abroad. For more information please email the Ph.D. in Literature Program



How to Apply

Incoming students begin studies in the fall semester. Students applying to enter in the fall should have complete dossiers on file with Notre Dame’s Office of Graduate Admissions no later than February 1.

Dossiers should include:

1. Complete and electronically submit the online application form

2. Submit the application fee ($75) by credit card, check, or money order using the payment system associated with the online application. You may be eligible for a fee waiver, please contact Professor Laura Betz

3. Transcripts are to be uploaded in the application system.

4. Arrange for three letters of recommendation to be submitted through the online recommendation system associated with the online application.

5. Arrange for submission of official Graduate Record examination (GRE) General Test scores (University Code 1841 and Foreign Language Code 2602) (students may temporarily submit 2 unofficial photocopies)

6. Submit a curriculum vitae/resume through the online application.

7. Submit through the online application. Two writing samples that demonstrate the applicant’s skills in writing, analysis, literary research, and proficiency in foreign language(s):

A) English paper (literary theory or criticism);

B) Foreign language paper demonstrating facility in examining literature in an untranslated text.

8. Submit a Statement of Intent through the online application system
In the Statement of Intent, applicants should describe their areas of interest, the fields they intend to specialize in, foreign language(s) they intend to study, and preferably the faculty they would like to work.

9. International/Non-native English Speakers:

  • If you are taking the TOEFL IBT, then the minimum score is a total of 80 points, with a minimum of 23 on the Speaking section.
  • If you are taking the IELTS, the minimum score is 7.0.




Please direct inquiries about application procedures and academic matters to Professor Laura Betz (

Frequently Asked Questions