To apply to the graduate program in Book Publishing at Portland State University, you must submit an electronic application through the Office of Graduate Studies. This link will walk you through the application process step by step. You will be prompted to pay a $65 non-refundable application fee.
Here is a handy list of supplementary materials you will need to collect before you finish your application:
- Personal introduction: This is a brief (3–5 double-spaced pages) opportunity for you to describe the ways in which your background and experiences make you a strong prospective student for the graduate program in Book Publishing, to share the reasons you are interested in the program, and to state your goals and the things you hope to achieve with your degree.
- Writing sample: This is made up of 15–30 pages of writing that demonstrates your potential as a publishing professional. Previously published work is welcome, and your sample can consist of multiple pieces, so long as they do not exceed the page limit. Your sample can be of a professional, academic, or artistic nature (or a mixture of the three). Indeed, a diversity of materials is oftentimes most effective at demonstrating your strengths as a prospective student for the graduate program in Book Publishing. If you have editing or design experience, samples of this work are welcome, but in these instances, please be sure to include a brief cover letter that details your role in these projects. With editing samples, it’s particularly important that we can actually see the editing you’ve done; one way to achieve this is to submit both pre- and post-editing versions, another is to submit a document with your copyediting marks handwritten on it, and yet another is to submit a document with track changes. This writing sample, like all other application materials, is meant be submitted digitally through the online application system, but if it’s necessary to submit hard copies of any documents as part of the writing sample, contact the Director of Publishing, Dr. Rachel Noorda, at email@example.com.
- Transcripts: Submit unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary institution you have attended. These unofficial transcripts may be scans of official transcripts issued to you, or they may be printouts of your academic record from the Registrar’s website at your institution. If you are accepted into the program and decide to attend, you must submit official transcripts to the Office of Graduate Studies before you can register for classes for your first term in the program.
- Three letters of recommendation: These should be letters of high praise from professional or academic references that can attest to your skills as they pertain to the academic study of publishing. It is important to recognize, however, that these skills can be defined either narrowly (e.g. editing, marketing, design) or broadly (e.g. work ethic, attention to detail). The collection and submission of these letters is done online. As you go through the online application process using the above links, you will eventually come to a portion that says “Submit Recommendation Request.” You will be prompted to enter the full name and email address for each letter-writer, and the online system will send them a request. Please inform and prepare your references and make sure they are looking out for this email.
- Optional application statement for graduate assistantships: The graduate program in Book Publishing offers two graduate assistantships that are available only to second-year students, as well as one graduate assistantship that is available to an incoming student. Graduate assistants receive a stipend and a 9-credit tuition remission in fall, winter, and spring terms. The second-year graduate assistants are appointed for only one year, while the incoming-student graduate assistant is appointed for two years, contingent on satisfactory academic progress and available funding. The incoming-student graduate assistant will, in his/her first year, typically tutor in the Writing Center for one quarter, and teach WR 115: Introduction to College Writing or WR 121: College Writing for two quarters. In his/her second year, the incoming-student graduate assistant will typically teach each quarter, though he/she may opt to spend a quarter in the Writing Center. Applicants who would like to be considered for the Book Publishing program’s incoming-student graduate assistantship should submit a short statement (three double-spaced pages, maximum) about why they are a good fit for this position.
The graduate program in Book Publishing allows prospective students to begin courses during the Fall, Winter, or Spring terms. This means there are three possible application deadlines, each corresponding to an academic term (click here for PSU’s academic calendar). The deadlines are as follows:
- For Fall term admission: April 1 of the current year
- For Winter term admission: September 1 of the current year
- For Spring term admission: November 1 of the previous year
Any applicant whose native language is not English and who has not received a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalently accredited non-U.S. institution with instruction exclusively in English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 (100 on the internet-based test or 250 on the computer-based test). The International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS) may be substituted for the TOEFL; the minimum acceptable score is 7.5.
Students who do not enroll in the term to which they were admitted will automatically be dropped from the program. However, students may request a deferment of their admission for three terms within the academic year in which they were admitted (for example, from Fall 2015 to Summer 2016, but not for a full calendar year from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016). To request deferment, a Graduate Application Information Change Request form must be completed. The form must be filled out, signed, and forwarded to the English Department Graduate Coordinator (Matt Swetnam, NH 405, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Additional FAQs About Applying to the Graduate Program in Book Publishing
- You might notice that the graduate program in Book Publishing offers two degree options. Graduates can receive either an M.A. or an M.S. To receive an M.A., students must satisfy a foreign language requirement. However, this foreign language requirement may be satisfied by previous language study at the undergraduate level. Students pursuing an M.S. are not subject to the foreign language requirement.
- Speaking of your degree, please remember that the official degree from the graduate program in Book Publishing is an M.A./M.S. in Writing with a specialization in Book Publishing. Knowing this will make navigating the PSU system a little easier.
- A 3.25 GPA in an applicant’s undergraduate work is the minimum required GPA, though students with a lower GPA can be admitted on a conditional basis. Applicants for whom this is relevant should use their personal introduction to explain their GPA and provide satisfactory evidence of preparedness to undertake advanced work.
- GRE scores are not required for admission to the graduate program in Book Publishing.
Impatient to get started? Students can take courses in the graduate program in Book Publishing prior to their formal admission into the program. You can have your pre-admission or transfer credits applied to your Master’s degree.