department menu

Future Students

Future Students: Admissions


For best consideration, applications are due by March 1, 2018.

How to Apply:  

Step 1: Apply to the University Graduate School
  • You must apply to the University and pay the application fee online through CSU Apply.
  • You must send the University official GRE scores (and TOEFL, when appropriate).  Please select “English” instead of Literature & Writing Studies when requesting scores be sent to CSUSM.
  • If you did not attend CSUSM as an undergraduate, you must send the University official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended at the following address: Graduate Admissions, CSU San Marcos, CA 92096.
  • If you did attend CSUSM as an undergraduate, you do not need to send official transcripts to the University (but you do need to provide unofficial transcripts to the department, as indicated below).
Step 2: Apply to the Literature & Writing Studies M.A. Program

Once you have completed your application in CSU Mentor (and paid the fee), you will receive an email in your CSUSM email account with a Supplemental Application for the Literature & Writing Studies Department. Please note that this email may take 7-10 days to arrive.  Please click the link on that email to complete your Department application. 

The LTWR Departmental Application asks you to provide the following: 

  1. Unofficial transcripts from all universities/colleges attended.
  2. A statement of purpose (750-1000 words; should address relevant educational background and research experience as well as educational and career goals)
  3. A writing sample (an analytical essay of no less than 5 pages on a literary topic)
  4. Unofficial GRE scores (and TOEFL, when appropriate)
  5. 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 Supplemental Departmental Application.

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 applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Although the minimum cut-off scores may vary from year to year, it is unlikely that students will be admitted with a verbal score of less than 153 and an Analytical Writing Score of less than 4. 
  • 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.