Graduate Program

Welcome to the University of Chicago's Graduate Program in English Language and Literature

Graduate students in the PhD program of the University of Chicago’s Department of English join a vibrant intellectual community. We welcome each student’s participation in the many ongoing conversations that define our work as a collaborative as well as an individual enterprise. The student with a strong commitment to the British literary canon engages with the student mapping the terrain of new media studies; the student fascinated by the shifting borders of global literature works closely with the student who focuses on particular literary and cultural temporalities and regionalisms; and the student committed to the richness of an archive shares her work with the student whose commitments are centrally theoretical or conceptual. All join in a department that fosters foundational scholarship, conceptual innovation, and interpretive sophistication.

In the structure of our program and in our individual teaching and research commitments, we keep in view our students’ ambition for professional careers in the academy. Through coursework, workshops, mentorships, and job preparation exercises, our students enter the job market well-prepared for the thinking, writing, teaching, and program-building that characterizes a career as a professor of English. We are proud to see our students move into academic positions, and their training as intellectuals and teachers will sustain literary study for future generations.

—Director of Graduate Studies Mark Miller

About the Program

The PhD Program in English at the University of Chicago prepares students for independent work as teachers, scholars, and critics by developing their abilities to pose and investigate problems in the advanced study of literatures in English. The program consists of four main components: course work, the preparation of oral fields examinations, the PhD dissertation, and teaching. Together, these components introduce students to a variety of textual modes, critical methodologies, and historical/cultural problems; provide extensive practice in research, discussion, argument, and writing; and develop pedagogical skills.

Each student who is admitted to the PhD program receives a five-year fellowship, which includes a tuition waiver, a generous living stipend, two summer research grants, and basic health insurance. The program also provides students with many different opportunities to gain teaching experience, including serving as a course assistant in faculty-taught courses and teaching a self-designed or core introductory course in the departmental undergraduate curriculum. The program requirements are designed to lead to the doctorate in five years after the BA degree.

The Department of English does not offer a terminal MA degree. We recommend that students interested in master's-level work consider applying to the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH). Directed by senior faculty in the Humanities, MAPH provides students with strong pedagogical support, including a core course in interpretive theory and master's thesis workshops.

For more information on the graduate program in English Language and Literature, please click on the subpages in this section of the website or feel free to e-mail Graduate Program Assistant Samah Rizvi.

For more information on graduate faculty and their fields of interest, please click on Faculty.

For a list of recent job placements from the PhD program in English, please click on Recent Job Placements.

For a list of recent publications by current graduate students in the PhD program in English (and also recent alumni and alumnae), please click on Recent Faculty and Student News.