How to Apply

Admission Requirements

All applicants for the Literacy Studies Ph.D. Program must submit the following materials to the The College of Graduate Studies (MTSU P.O. Box 42):

  1. a completed application form (;
  2. a non-refundable application fee (required of all applicants) should accompany the application;
  3. official transcripts certifying coursework from each college or university attended; minimum GPA of 3.5 in master's coursework required for admission to program;
  4. a current curriculum vitae showing at least three (3) years of documented professional experience;
  5. a 700 - 1,000 word essay explaining how their background and objectives relate to the program's purpose;
  6. three (3) letters of recommendation from professionals who can address the applicant's interest in literacy and potential for successfully completing a doctoral program;
  7. recent GRE scores (within the last five years); preferred minimum scores are Verbal 156 (current scale) or 550 (former scale), Quantitative 144 (current scale) or 500 (former scale), and 4.5 on Analytical Writing.

Applicants must ensure that all materials are sent to the College of Graduate Studies before the stated deadlines for submission. It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that their files are complete by the deadline. Typically, applicants with incomplete files will not be considered for admission. However, exceptions may be made if extenuating circumstances are documented.


Currently, the program admits students in Fall semester only.
February 1 is the deadline for priority consideration for admission and graduate assistantships.
General application for fall admission must be submitted by June 1.

Admission Process

The program faculty committee will conduct an initial screening of applicants. Individuals will remain in the applicant pool if they meet the minimum required GPA and GRE scores, have positive letters of recommendation, and have written a personal statement that is judged to be satisfactory by the program coordinating committee.  Applicants receiving sufficiently high ratings for submitted documents will then be scheduled to participate in an interview. Admission decisions are based on a combination of factors including academic qualifications, prior work experience, career goals, and abilities to communicate orally and in writing.

Graduate Assistantship Applications

Applications for a graduate assistantship should be sent directly to the Director of the Literacy Studies Ph.D. Program (MTSU Box 402).

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