English Language and Literature
Nina Levine, Chair
The Department of English offers programs leading to the M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees with areas of emphasis in English and American literature (M.A. and Ph.D.), composition and rhetoric (M.A. and Ph.D.), and speech communication (M.A.). The department also offers joint master’s degrees with the School of Library and Information Science (M.A./M.L.I.S.) and the Moore School of Business (M.A./M.S.) (see Graduate Dual Degree Programs). The M.A.T. degree in English is offered in cooperation with the College of Education. Interdisciplinary affiliations with African American Studies, Southern Studies, and Women’s Studies increase the range of course options and research opportunities within degree programs.
As the number and variety of degree programs suggest, our graduates pursue careers in many fields, including college- and university-level teaching, public and private secondary education, librarianship, publishing, creative and technical writing, journalism, public relations, and business administration. Graduates of our doctoral programs are especially well qualified for academic careers, and they enter tenure-track positions upon graduation at a rate consistently higher than the national average.
Residence and other basic requirements for degrees in English are established by The Graduate School. Special requirements established by the department are outlined below.
Graduate credit for degree candidates in English normally is restricted to courses numbered 700 or above. Qualified graduate students may enroll in courses numbered 500-699 with the approval of the department’s director of graduate studies and may receive graduate credit by doing such additional work as required by the department and the instructor. The chair of the department may authorize students in other departments or schools to obtain graduate credit in most English courses numbered 500-699.
Applicants for admission to the M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D. degree programs in the Department of English must have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours of upper-division undergraduate courses in English or an appropriate related discipline, with grades indicating ability for successful graduate work in the department. Applicants for all degrees must submit all application forms required by The Graduate School, a sample of academic writing, a statement of purpose, and at least two satisfactory letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their academic achievement.
To particularly well-qualified candidates, the Department offers the chance to apply for Direct Admission to the Ph.D. Program. All those applying for direct admission will also be considered for regular admission to the M.A. program.
An applicant who lacks adequate undergraduate course work may have to take up to 12 credit hours of 400-level literature or communication courses (depending on the degree emphasis sought) before the application will be considered.
The application deadline is January 1 for those wishing to be considered for graduate assistantships and fellowships. For all others the deadline is April 15.