PhD in English

student on benchThe English PhD program is designed as preparation for the teaching, publishing, and administrative service required of a career in academia. Concentrations are offered in areas such as literary history and critical theory, as well as interdisciplinary areas such as book studies, cultural studies and the digital humanities.


PhD Graduate Student Handbook — This handbook provides details about the various stages and requirements of the PhD program, including commencing study; distribution, seminar, and foreign language requirements; qualifications; the comprehensive exam; and the dissertation.

Program Requirements

The PhD in English requires a minimum of 72 semester hours of graduate credit, a comprehensive examination, dissertation, and dissertation examination. With the exception of the Introduction to Graduate Study course for PhD students, no specific course or sequence of courses is required of students. Instead, all students are encouraged to design a program that combines the breadth they will need to teach survey courses with the focus that will enable them to make significant scholarly contributions to their areas of specialization even before they complete the degree.  In planning your course of study, it is important to remember that in the past decade economic constraints have led many colleges and universities to seek broadly trained, critically informed job candidates who are prepared to teach and publish in amply defined fields of study.