Application: MA in English (Online)


Go to the online application in order to submit all required application materials, including statement of purpose, writing sample(s), transcripts, and test scores. The online application is where you will also request letters of recommendation and pay the application fee.

On the "Academic Interest" page of the online application, choose "Degree Type: Master's," then the correct Program of Study:

  • English: English Teaching Specialization - MA (Online Program)
  • English: Individualized Track - MA (Online Program)
  • English: Professional Writing and Rhetoric Specialization (Online Program)

Please take time and care in preparing your application, following the guidelines described in the What We Require tab, above.

The English Department at BGSU does not make admissions decisions based on any single portion of the application, but looks carefully at an entire application. We are most invested in ensuring student success; we seek candidates for admission who are prepared for graduate work and whose interests and goals will be met by one of our programs.

Application terms and deadlines

See below for application deadlines.


Final deadline: July 15 before the August in which you hope to begin graduate study.


Priority deadline: September 1 before the January in which you hope to begin graduate study.

Final deadline: November 1 before the January in which you hope to begin graduate study.


Priority deadline: January 1 before the May in which you hope to begin graduate study.

Final deadline: April 1 before the May in which you hope to begin graduate study.


Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should be roughly two pages (double-spaced) and should describe your academic and career background, your preparation for graduate study in your particular field, your areas of academic interest(s) within English studies, and your motivation for pursuing the specific MA program to which you are applying. It should indicate that you understand how the degree will help you achieve your goals and that you are prepared to dedicate the time necessary to complete your degree successfully.

At the top of the first page of your statement of purpose, list your name and the title of the program to which you are applying:

  • MA in English with a specialization in English Teaching
  • MA in English with a specialization in Professional Writing and Rhetoric
  • MA in English, individualized track 

Critical Writing Sample

Our Master of Arts in English programs both demand and  develop your writing skills through formal academic projects and through writing on discussion boards and other online spaces in which coursework takes place.  

The critical writing sample portion of your application should demonstrate your abilities as a writer and your preparation for graduate-level academic writing. The critical writing sample should be roughly 15 page (12-20 pages is a workable range), but if you do not have a single writing sample of that length, your writing sample can consist of two or more shorter pieces that total 12-20 pages.

The writing that makes up your writing sample can come from a variety of sources, including academic writing from your undergraduate career, academic writing from other graduate courses, technical writing, or professional writing from your field.

If you are currently a teacher or instructor, a range of writing you have undertaken as a teacher might be useful. This type of writing could include academic plans, reports, a teaching philosophy, discussion of teaching methods, proposals for courses or other work, etc.

You will be best served if you choose writing that demonstrates your current abilities as a writer and demonstrates your preparation for graduate study. Revise and copyedit your writing before you submit the writing sample so that it represents your best work.

Three letters of Recommendation

In the online application system, you will input contact information for three academic or professional references who can attest to your academic ability, your critical thinking skills, your academic and/or professional writing abilities, your responsibility, etc. These might come from former professors, from supervisors or those who have observed your professional work, etc. They should not come from people who are primarily friends or from fellow students from a previous or current educational institution.

Please confirm ahead of time that your three recommenders are willing and able to write letters of recommendation in advance of the application due date. Please let each know that they should expect an emailed request for a letter of recommendation from BGSU; it should be sent to their professional/academic email address, which you will need to input within the online application system. If a recommender is professional rather than academic, you might point them to the information here about letters of recommendation. As opposed to many professional references, the most effective graduate school letters of recommendation tend to be 1-2 single-spaced pages, relatively detailed, and should speak as much as possible to your preparation for graduate study.

GPA and Transcripts

Please follow the steps in the online application system to submit transcripts; when applying, an unofficial transcript is required from each college or university where you took classes. Upon admission, an official transcript is required from each college or university from which a degree was earned. To be eligible for admission to any MA in English (online) program, candidates are ordinarily expected to have an overall GPA of at least 2.7 and a GPA in their major of 3.0. However, lower GPAs will be considered; we will take into account the entirety of the application.

Standardized Test Scores

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a U.S. 4.0 scale (or its equivalent) and applicants with a previous graduate degree from an accredited university are not required to submit standardized test scores.

For applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement or who do not have a previous graduate degree, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test is the preferred test for our programs, but the MA in English (online programs) can accept one of the exams listed below instead of the GRE.

Test type Test Code / Name Expected scores
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
General Test (or revised General Test)
Verbal score of roughly 159 (around 80th percentile or better), Writing score of roughly 4.5.
Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE)
020 English Language Arts exam Passing score for Ohio.
Praxis Subject Assessments 5039 English Language Arts: Content and Analysis
Average state passing score.
Praxis Subject Assessments 5047 Middle School English Language Arts Average state passing score.
Praxis Core

5712 Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading*

5722 Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing*

Average state passing score.
Praxis II** 0041 or 5041 English Language, Literature, and Composition Average state passing score.
Praxis II** 0049 or 5049 Middle School English Language Arts Average state passing score.
Praxis II** 0044 or 5044 English Language, Literature, and Composition: Content and Analysis Average state passing score.

* If submitting Praxis Core, both the Reading and Writing test scores are required.

** Praxis II are older exams and can no longer be taken. If the score is still current and reportable by the testing service (usually if within 10 years of when it was taken), we can accept these exam scores.

In certain situations, we can accept a passing or strong passing score on certain other state-approved teacher licensure exam in the English or Language Arts field, with approval of the English Department Graduate Coordinator. If you would like to inquire about another test, please carefully review the Applying tab on our Frequently Asked Questions page. It will guide you through the information required.

TOEFL or IELTS scores

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores are required only for students whose first language is not English. If your first language is English you do not need to submit these scores. If your first language is not English but you attended an undergraduate institution in which all instruction (save foreign language instruction) was conducted in English, you might not need to submit these scores. Check with BGSU's Graduate Admissions if you have any questions.


For questions about submitting your application or what is required, please contact BGSU Graduate College Admissions:

Toll-free: 1-866-246-6732
Phone: 419-372-2478
Fax: 419-372-6955

Office of Admissions
ATTN: Graduate Admissions
120 McFall Center
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0083

For questions about the decision about your application, please contact:

Graduate Office, Dept. of English

211 East Hall

Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green OH 43403 

For questions about any of the degree programs, please contact:

Dr. Rachel Walsh, Graduate Coordinator

Updated: 07/14/2023 09:52AM