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Graduate School admissions for English Literarure?

tessjane77tessjane77 Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
Hi everyone! So, this is a bit early to post, maybe, because I’m currently an undergrad junior, but I have decided that I really want to study Lit at a higher level, probably for a Masters degree. I have three English professors who will write GREAT recommendations, and everything points to my doing very, very well on the GRE (though I don’t want to count on that and am continuing to study and prepare for it very seriously). I also have lots and lots of demonstrated interest and skill on the field. However...my GPA isn’t great. I had a health issue my freshman year here and took longer than I would have liked to get back on track grade-wise, so I have a 3.2 right now. If I get the grades I am on track for during the next semesters before graduating, I should be able to bring it up to a 3.4-3.5. I have a high-ish amount of experience interning, working, etc. in relevant fields over summers and such.
I of course would like to get into the best school I can for grad, but am wondering what that might look like? I keep kicking myself for the GPA thing. I do have very strong connections at a Top-10 program but feel iffy both realistically and morally about trying to work that into admissions. What is the right sort of school to work towards, and what can I do to make my application as strong as possible?

If it helps, I currently attend a small but very highly ranked school that is notorious in the surrounding areas for giving lower grades than elsewhere. But that reputation does not extend beyond a few states (as fast as I can tell).

Thank you for reading, and good luck with your own grad school experiences!

Replies to: Graduate School admissions for English Literarure?

  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,483 Super Moderator
    First of all, a 3.2 isn't too low for an MA in English literature, and a 3.4-3.5 certainly isn't, especially if you have an otherwise strong application. What's your major GPA? It helps if your English GPA is higher than your cumulative GPA.

    Second of all, definitely don't feel morally wrong about trying to work your connections at a top program. Honestly, this is how MANY graduate students get admitted. There's nothing unethical or immoral about that - knowing a student ahead of time helps professors gauge students' interests, work ethic, and skill level in the field, and they can make a more confident statement of support that a student is likely to succeed. (It's different if the connection is more a family relationship or something, but even then, use what you got.)

    The best people to ask about what level you should aim for are your English professors at your college. They know your skills and abilities and they're best able to recommend schools that go along with your interests and level of competitiveness.
  • tessjane77tessjane77 Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    Thanks for the advice, @julliet !
  • tessjane77tessjane77 Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    Also: when you realize your post about English has not one but TWO grammatical errors... /:
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