PhD in Writing and Rhetoric

Become a Mason Graduate Student

All applicants for graduate study at George Mason University must meet the admission standards specified in the Admission chapter of the University Catalog.

You are responsible for submitting all required application materials by the posted deadline. Review your program's Admissions Requirements and Deadlines before you begin your application. You can also visit our Grad Admissions page for helpful hints on how best to prepare your transcripts and other Admissions materials.

Step 1: Complete and submit the online Graduate Admissions application. George Mason University requires all graduate applicants to upload all possible required supplementary materials, such as unofficial transcripts, goals statement and writing sample, at the same time you submit your application. Online applications require a non-refundable $75 application processing fee.

Step 2: Within a few days of submitting your online application, you will receive an email with your Mason G number (G#). This is a tracking number provided to all applicants that allows us to match your supporting documentation to your completed application.

Step 3: Check your application status and requirements checklist in your application portal. Initial processing takes 3 to 5 business days from the date of submission. You can use your application log-in and password to access your information throughout the application process. Graduate Admissions may send updates or notify you of issues with your application through your admissions portal, so it is best to log in periodically to monitor your application status.

Step 4: For newly admitted students, refer to the CHSS New Graduate Student webpage for tips on confirming enrollment, submitting official transcripts, registering for class and more.

The fall graduate degree seeking application opens September 15.

Program Specific Requirements

College Transcripts Goals Statement GRE Portfolio Recommendation Letters Resume Writing Sample

Additional Information

Applicants to the PhD in writing and rhetoric must already have earned a master's degree in a relevant field before being admitted to the program.

The Goals statement should focus on your current and future research interests. Keep in mind that the PhD is a research degree, and while you don't need to begin the program with a specific dissertation project in mind, you should have a sense of what area of writing studies research you want to contribute to. Be sure to articulate why this particular program is a good fit for your goals. Our PhD program does not include support for creative writing or literary studies, so if your primary interest is in one of those areas, you should apply to programs specifically in those fields.

The writing sample should be academic — e.g., an excerpt from an MA thesis or graduate capstone project, an exemplary research paper, conference paper, or published article. The writing sample should be no longer than 20 pages and a brief (100-word) statement should provide information about the context and audience of the writing sample.

Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline: February 01

All applicants are strongly advised to submit all supporting documents by the program's posted deadline date. 

Additional Requirements for