Ph.D. in English

English - Ph.D.

The Ph.D. degree in English permits students to focus on literary traditions and literary theory. Doctoral students identify, investigate and theorize the social functions of texts in a variety of contexts both within and outside the academy, doing work that crosses the increasingly fluid boundaries that have begun to characterize the profession of literary and cultural studies. The program provides sustained focus on the social functions of all categories of texts (both literary and non-literary), including the conditions of their production, distribution and consequent use.

Contact Us

Apply Now
Request Information
Schedule a visit

Program Information

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate effective teaching skills and knowledge of appropriate teaching theories.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to read and interpret research in their field.
  3. Write coherently and clearly about research topics and other topics.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of how disciplines are interconnected.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to think critically and creatively about topics both inside and outside academia.
  6. Apply appropriate research methods to objects of study.

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 GPA on a 4.000-point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Goal statement
  • Writing sample (8-15 pages) relevant to the field of study
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions to waive) by earning one of the following:1
    • Minimum 94 TOEFL iBT score
    • Minimum 7.0 IELTS score
    • Minimum 65 PTE score
    • Minimum 120 DET score

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores may be considered for conditional admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Funding deadline: January 15
      Applications must be submitted by this deadline to be considered for an assistantship or any other funded position.
  • Spring Semester
    • Rolling admissions

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
Focus Requirement, choose from the following:27
Literary Traditions Focus
Literary Traditions courses (12)
Literary Criticism and Theory course (3)
Electives (12)
Theory and Criticism Focus
Literary Criticism and Theory courses (12)
Literary Traditions courses (6)
Electives (9)
Culminating Requirement
Minimum Total Credit Hours:60

Each doctoral candidate, upon admission to candidacy, must register for ENG 89199 for a total of 30 credit hours. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for ENG 89199, and thereafter ENG 89299, each semester, until all requirements for the degree have been met.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
- 3.000
  • Students on appointment who have not had college teaching experience are required to take ENG 61094. The master's-level course cannot be applied toward the doctoral degree.
  • Students are required to pass a foreign language requirement for the degree.

Candidacy for the Degree

Doctoral students must pass two written examinations in two distinct areas of English studies before being admitted to candidacy. They must also defend a dissertation prospectus.

Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

English language and literature teachers, postsecondary


slower than the average


number of jobs


potential earnings

Proofreaders and copy markers




number of jobs


potential earnings

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education


about as fast as the average


number of jobs


potential earnings

Additional Careers
  • Authors and writers
Notice: Career Information Source
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.