English, PHD

Chairperson: Gerry Canavan, Ph.D.
Department of English website

Degree Offered

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

To study English is to explore the world through texts. Students of English learn how literary and cultural forms interact with history, politics and ideology to create meaning; participate in the most important conversations of our day through reflective, argumentative and creative writing; and discover their own voices as writers.

In the doctorate program in English, students of literature pursue a rigorous plan of course work that culminates in a major research-based dissertation project under the guidance of a faculty supervisor and committee. Doctoral students develop comprehensive and intensive knowledge of British, American and/or Anglophone literature; facility with textual, editorial, and critical backgrounds of major texts and authors; training in the basic tools and methods of literary research; and practical experience in the pedagogy of literature, rhetoric and composition. The program’s new focus on personal and professional formation guides students to consider the Ph.D. as preparation for a diversity of careers. Doctoral graduates have gone on to work in universities in tenure-track, administrative and teaching positions; in public health; in government; in publishing; in educational administration; in the nonprofit sector; and elsewhere.  

Teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis.