Application Instructions

When to Apply: Applications can be submitted any time after July 15. Admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis from December 10, 2018 through May 10, 2019; applicants will receive notification of decisions within two working weeks of submitting a complete application during this admissions period. Some campuses fill sooner than others, and an early application will increase your chances for acceptance at your first-choice campus and for enrollment in your top-choice courses. It is also in your best interest to apply early if you plan to apply for financial aid.

Course registration for returning and newly admitted students begins in mid-February. Students admitted after the regular registration period will register for courses as soon as they are accepted. Admitted students will receive course registration information with their admission letters, or in separate e-mails.

STEP ONE: Completing the Application Form (online or hard copy)

Read the instructions below carefully and answer all of the questions. All applicants must assemble and send the supporting materials described in "Step Two."

  • CAMPUS CHOICE:  You can apply to any one of the three Bread Loaf campuses, and you can attend different campuses in subsequent summers. The sole residency requirement is that students pursuing a degree must spend at least one summer in Vermont. You may not apply to more than one campus at a time. If you are accepted to Bread Loaf but the campus for which you have applied is full, you will be offered the choice of a place on the wait list or immediate admission to another campus at which there is room.
  • DEGREE OR NON-DEGREE (CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM): Check the category that best describes your situa­tion. If you are unsure at this point whether or not you will complete a degree at Bread Loaf, just let us know your probable intent; checking one box or the other will not commit you irrevocably to either status.

MLITT APPLICANTS: Choose "MLitt" when you apply online, or download an MLitt application from this webpage: The difference between an MA and MLitt is explained in the Bread Loaf catalog and on our website. The most important distinction between the two degrees is that you must already have an MA in English in order to be eligible to begin an MLitt.  

  • FINANCIAL AID:  Find information, forms, and the online application at: You may submit an application for aid at any time, but the application will be considered only after you have been admitted to Bread Loaf (though your application cannot be considered if you are on the waitlist). Since our financial aid budget is limited, we recommend an early application. Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services by calling 802.443.5158 or by e-mail at:

SPECIAL FELLOWSHIPS:  Bread Loaf usually offers some special fellowships, made possible by grants and gifts; they will have their own additional application forms with special requirements and deadlines. Descriptions of any fellowships will be posted on the financial aid page of the Bread Loaf website, if and when they become available.

  • RACE AND ETHNICITY:  Please note that we are required by the Federal government to ask the race and ethnicity questions that appear on the application, but responding is optional for you.

STEP TWO:  Submitting Required Additional Application Materials (required for everyone)

You must submit the items listed below to complete your application. Please note that the online application allows uploading of the statement of purpose and writing sample, but that these documents may alternatively be submitted separately via email or postal mail.

Please note: You may send the statement of purpose and the writing sample by e-mail to Letters of recommendation may also be sent by the reference via email, with some restrictions (see below). Transcripts must come by regular mail OR through an official, secure-source electronic delivery system such as e-script. The online application allows applicants to upload a resume, but this document is optional. 

  • A NON-REFUNDABLE $75 APPLICATION FEE, payable to Middlebury College. Note: This fee is waived for Middlebury undergraduates and alumni (including the Monterey Institute and Language Schools), and for anyone who has applied to Bread Loaf and paid the fee in past years.
  • TRANSCRIPTS. Official transcripts for undergraduate work and any graduate work you have completed must be sent directly to Bread Loaf, or they can be sent to you in a sealed envelope for transmission to us (still in the sealed envelopes). We also accept official electronic transcripts delivered via a secure source (please arrange for delivery to Foreign transcripts submitted by applicants to Bread Loaf’s MA or MLitt programs must be accompanied by a degree-verification international credential evaluation report, performed by a certified educational credential evaluation service.
  • LETTERS OF REFERENCE. We require two letters of reference, using the Bread Loaf reference form. If possible, at least one of your referees should be able to address directly your capacity for graduate work in literature; letters from former instructors are most useful. Please read the reference forms carefully and print your name at the top of each. If you waive your right to inspect material in your file, you should sign your name in the space marked "Signature of Applicant" and date it. Both letters, with forms, must then be signed and dated by the referees and placed in sealed envelopes before being returned to you (letters may also be mailed directly to the Bread Loaf office). We will accept letters of recommendation sent by e-mail, ONLY if they are sent by the person writing the letter, from an institutional e-mail address (school or college or place of business), preferably on institutional letterhead and in pdf format. E-mailed letters should be accompanied by the waiver form. Additional letters are permitted.
  • STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. We ask that you write a brief statement telling us your reasons for wanting to attend the Bread Loaf School of English. You might include an outline of professional or personal goals, a description of your academic background or current interests, or any other information that will help us assess your candidacy.
  • PROPOSED FIELD OF STUDY (MLitt Applicants Only). You must submit a preliminary description of your proposed field of study. The proposal should be designed with an eye to the kinds of courses Bread Loaf actually offers (there are catalogs from the past several years on the "Students" page of our website), and it should describe how you see those courses fitting together within a concentration. We are also interested in learning why you wish to pursue this project at Bread Loaf. (Once accepted to the MLitt program, and after their first summer in the program, students will be asked to submit a longer, more detailed field proposal.)
  • WRITING SAMPLE. We require a 7-10 page writing sample. Most frequently (and most helpfully) these are literary-critical essays, usually papers written for past college courses. Other writings from candidates have included book reviews, newspaper articles, journal excerpts, extended lesson plans, and pieces of creative writing. Applicants are welcome to rewrite an older piece. 

MLITT APPLICANTS ONLY:  MLitt applicants must submit a 12-15 page sample of recent graduate-level writing. Your essay(s) should evidence your skill in analyzing texts as well as in confronting critical/secondary literature. Students hoping to pursue a concentration in the creative arts may submit a portion of a creative portfolio.

You may submit your completed application in one packet, or you may send in the various pieces separately. Please send any hard-copy application materials to:                          

Melissa Nicklaw
Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English
75 Franklin Street
Middlebury VT 05753 

We cannot review your application until all materials have been submiited and therefore advise confirming that your application is complete. You may monitor the arrival of your application materials (including the receipt of your $75 application fee by the Bread Loaf office) within the application site by using the login ID and PIN that you created when you applied. Click on "Apply Now" and log back into your application by clicking on it under Submitted Applications. Once your application has been processed, we will update or modify this list as required. Please allow up to two weeks for submitted materials to be logged on the checklist.

If you have questions about any part of the admissions process or about the Bread Loaf program, please don't hesitate to get in touch us. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you through the application process.

Dana Olsen
Director of Admissions

Melissa Nicklaw
Administrative Associate