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PhD in English Literary Studies

Harry Stecopoulos teaching

The 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 cultural studies and the digital humanities. The department just approved an exciting streamlined version of the PhD that incorporates Book Studies, including a Certificate from the University of Iowa Center for the Book. For more information on a PhD with specialization in Book Studies, click on this link: Book Studies

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.

Also available is the "career guide" that can be found here:  UI English Graduate Career Guide

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.  All doctoral candidates are strongly advised to gain teaching experience, preferably in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Rhetoric and in GE CLAS Core literature courses.