English majors who are particularly committed and interested in pursuing graduate-level work may apply to "submatriculate" and work toward the B.A. and M.A. degree in English at the same time. Students interested in submatriculation should consult with three people: your College Office advisor (listed in Path@Penn as your College Contact), the undergraduate chair of English, and the graduate chair of English. All three of these people need to approve your candidacy for submatriculation before your application. Students must then complete an application for admission to the M.A. program in English, through the online application portal. This application will be evaluated by the graduate chair of English and the graduate admissions committee. Students should look at the application early in the process so they know what is required, as the application may change from year to year. The number of submatriculants accepted may also change from year to year.
Additional information about submatriculation can be found on the College website.
The requirements for the master's degree in English are: eight courses, including at least one 7000-level course, and the graduate language requirement (to be satisfied by passing a translation exam administered by the graduate program in English). Graduate courses taken in other departments may count towards the M.A. degree, with the approval of the graduate chair of English.
While it is possible to submatriculate by spending your senior year taking four graduate courses per semester, we do not encourage it because the schedule can be very demanding. Instead, we strongly advise taking a graduate class in the fall or spring of junior year as a way to test whether you truly want to submatriculate. While undergraduates cannot enroll in 7000-level courses prior to the official process of submatriculating, they can enroll in 5000-level courses with the permission of the instructor.
The submatriculant should consult with the undergraduate chair to ensure that all undergraduate requirements are satisfied, since submatriculants must still fulfill all the requirements of the English major. Up to four graduate courses taken as a submatriculant may be counted toward the undergraduate major, either in the Core or as advanced seminars.
Applicants should have already taken at least three 2000-level courses in the English Department at Penn before applying. The standards for acceptance include strong evidence that the student is capable of withstanding the rigors of taking multiple graduate courses per semester. The strict minimum Major GPA for submatriculation is 3.50.
The application will require one letter of recommendation from a member of the standing faculty in the English Department at Penn; a personal statement (about 600 words) that explains the reasons, both intellectual and professional, why you want to submatriculate; 3) a writing sample or samples of 10-20 pages total; an official transcript. The GRE exam is not required.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis from November 1 until February 12th of the junior year. Applications submitted after February 12th will not be considered.
We traditionally hold an orientation session for admitted submatriculants in April of the junior year.