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Future Students

Grad School Info

Check out our video playlist hosted by Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Heidi Breuer, for details about our program!


For best consideration, applications are due by March 1, 2021.

How to Apply:  

The application is largely completed through CSU Apply (except for a few items that must be sent via mail).   All application fees are paid online via CSU Apply as well. 

 Send to University


  1. Official: You must send the University official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended besides CSUSM at the following address: Graduate Admissions, CSU San Marcos, CA 92096. 
  2. Unofficial: If you attended CSUSM, you do not need to send official transcripts to the University (but you do need to provide unofficial transcripts to the department, in the Program Materials section, as indicated below).

 Submit via CSU Apply (under Program Materials)

  1. Unofficial transcripts from all universities/colleges attended. [SUBMIT via “Unofficial Transcript” link—if you have other transcripts, they can go in “Additional Unofficial Transcript”]
  2. A statement of purpose (750-1000 words; should address relevant educational background and research experience as well as educational and career goals) [SUBMIT via “Supplemental Materials” link)
  3. A writing sample (an analytical essay of no less than 5 pages on a literary topic with secondary sources) [SUBMIT via “Writing Sample” link]
  4. Three letters of recommendation (NOTE: CSUSM students who list current LTWR faculty members as recommenders do not need letters of recommendation. Students using CSUSM faculty as recommenders must provide the faculty members' name and emails in the Recommendations section.)


Prerequisites for Admission into the LTWR M.A. Program:

  • Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree, preferably in English, literature and writing studies, comparative literature, rhetoric, linguistics, or a comparable program. Applicants with such a bachelor's degree must have taken at least 5 upper-division courses of 3-4 units each in literature or writing from an accredited university. Admission decisions will be influenced by the breadth and appropriateness of undergraduate course work.
  • Applicants must have maintained a grade-point average of not less than 3.0 in the last 60 units of undergraduate study, and a 3.3 average in upper-division literature and writing courses.
  • ALL graduate and postbaccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a post-secondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants taking the Computer-Based Test of English as a Foreign Language must present a score of 80 or above.

CSU Apply

Frequently Asked Questions

"I'm learning how to market my skills in critical thinking and writing. I've made a CV and cover letter as well as gotten some of my writing formatted for publication in literary journals. The Literature and Writing M.A. program at CSUSM is giving me real-world skills that I can take into any type of career."
-Vinnie Bernabeo, current M.A. student

"The Literature and Writing M.A. program is, so far, easily one of the highlights of my life. The sense of community within this program is amazing - despite the online shift of 2020, the faculty and student body in the department have made the educational experience fulfilling and exciting. Since I began my M.A program, I have felt miles more confident in my written voice; my process of pre-writing and revision has improved drastically, and I cannot stress enough how this has helped me in my tutoring of other students. This program not only builds your writing competency and understanding of literary material, but equips you with the tools you need to instruct others efficiently. I cannot recommend it enough."
-Aydan Lopez, current M.A. student