Prospective Students: Frequently Asked Questions

Am I qualified to apply to one of the programs?

Entry requirements: The English Department requires a B.A. grade average of 85 as a minimum for students who wish to be accepted into an M.A. program.

Prerequisite studies: Students applying for admission to the Literature M.A. programs are expected to have completed an undergraduate program in English literature. Creative writing applications will be received from students with any B.A. degree or equivalent. The nature of the undergraduate degree (discipline, institution, date of graduation) will determine whether prerequisite courses (hashlamot) must be completed before enrollment in the program.

If you have a BED degree in English, or an undergraduate major other than English, you are probably going to need to take a set of survey courses in English and American literature chosen from the undergraduate literature program.

Prerequisite course programs (hashlamot) are made up individually in consultation between the candidate and the graduate coordinator, according to a student's needs and interests, and they must be approved by the University M.A. Committee. Students doing prerequisite courses must normally earn a grade of 85 for Thesis Track students, or 80 for Extended Studies Track students, in these courses in order to be accepted to the Department as a regular student in the M.A. program.

We suggest that students who need these extra courses enroll in them as Auditors (“shomeah hofshi”) and then apply for admission to one of the regular M.A. programs after they have finished the make-up work. This, however, is on the condition that they need less than eight yearly hours of courses. If eight yearly hours or more are needed, students may apply officially  for a year of hashlamot, which does not then count as part of the program. Note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the Department. Each application is considered on its own merits.
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How long does it take to complete an M.A.?

The University assumes that it takes two years to finish an M.A. degree (Thesis Track or Extended Studies Track), although a third year is usually allowed on the recommendation of the Department. It is our experience that most of our students, as they are usually working while studying, do in fact take the full three years to finish. As you plan your MA studies, we recommend keeping the following in mind:

  • If after consultation with one of the graduate advisors you find you are required to make up for missing background in your earlier education, take the required prerequisite courses before applying for admission, on the basis of auditing (“shomeah hofshi”) before the clock starts ticking, as it were. However, if you have to make up eight yearly hours or more, this is not necessary, as this year of make up courses will not count towards the years of study for your degree.
  • Consider how you might rearrange or even reduce your hours at work on the basis of the schedule of courses. The Department tries to schedule its graduate courses on two days of the week; almost all literature classes are offered on Monday and Wednesday. These days should be kept clear for coursework. Teachers entitled to sabbatical leave should take the sabbatical during the second year of the M.A. program.

Recognize before you commit yourself to the program that the due dates for course obligations must be taken seriously. You won't be allowed to let overdue seminar papers pile up on the assumption that you can do them "later." Although the Department tries to be understanding, the University may not to let you enroll for a second year if you haven't completed your first year's obligations.
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Is there any scholarship aid?

There are a limited number of scholarships and grants administered by the University M.A. Scholarships Committee. Funding is allocated on the basis of financial need as well as merit. Sometimes, a lecturer in the Department may hire an assistant for their funded research. Note that even if you receive financial aid from the University, you will not be informed of this until the school year has begun, after the first payment is already due.

A loan of up to $1000 is available through the office of the Dean of Students.

Fliers describing scholarships are periodically posted on the bulletin board outside of Shleiffer 304.

New immigrant students, depending on age and date of aliyah, may be eligible for scholarship aid from the Student Admininstration (Minhal Hastudentim). Ask your aliyah shaliach.
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Can I talk to someone about what's best for me?

The graduate coordinators will be happy to talk to you about your individual needs. You are encouraged to come to the Bar-Ilan campus, talk to the coordinator and students, and sit in on a class or two.
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How do I apply?

Applicants may purchase the official application forms at Bar-Ilan's bookstore (Academon) or at many branches of Steimatzky book stores. Full instructions are included in the packet.

Applicants might find it easier to find the application forms online (online application forms and on-line application fee). Follow instructions, and send them with the proof of payment of application fees and required documents (original documents) to:

M.A. Committee
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 5290002
Israel

Along with your official application for admission, all applicants (except those interested in the creative writing program) must send the English Department a sample of academic writing – for example, a paper written for an undergraduate class. Attach a note with your name and address and let us know that you have submitted an application. Send the paper to:

English Department
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 5290002
Israel

Or send it as a Word attachment to depteng (at) mail.biu.ac.il

Applicants to the Creative Writing program should see the CW admission pages.

If you are applying from outside of Israel, or if you have any difficulty with the procedures as described on the website, please contact the English Dept. and we will gladly assist you through the M.A. application process.
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