Department of English

Graduate Programs in English

The English Department at The University of Texas at Austin offers a stimulating graduate curriculum and intellectual community. With a diverse, engaged, and accomplished faculty, this ninety-person department covers a rich array of traditional fields of literary and rhetorical study and also reflects contemporary theoretical and cultural approaches that cut across these fields.

We offer a Ph.D. program in fifteen fields of study: American Literature; Medieval Literary Studies; Renaissance Literature; 18th-Century British Literature; 19th-Century British Literature; Modern British Literature; Bibliography and Textual Studies; Digital Literacies and Literatures; Drama; Ethnic and Third-World Literature; Language and Linguistics; Poetry and Poetics; Popular Culture and Cultural Studies; Rhetoric; Women, Gender, and Literature.

We also offer an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.

As these programs suggest, the department is engaged not only in meeting but in helping to shape the challenges of a complex, rapidly changing academic discipline. Increasingly, graduate courses have examined relationships between writing and other cultural practices and have explored the social, historical, and rhetorical processes by which literature is constituted.

About the Program

Graduate English at UT is a doctoral program.  About 40% of each class enters with an M.A. in English.  The 60% who enter with a B.A. earn the M.A. in two years en route to the doctorate.  Admitted students are considered ready for early-level doctoral work upon arrival.  In general, their dossiers display a disciplinary sophistication – an understanding of and talent for inquiry formation within the context of a disciplinary subfield – that is decisively beyond the level typically attained as an English major. We are able to accept roughly one in every twenty qualified applicants.  All admitted students are offered full funding – a combination of teaching support and fellowship – for their doctoral studies. 

We do not have a terminal M.A. program, although we do have special Master’s Degree arrangements with sister disciplines at our University.  

We choose students in reference to our sense of the program as a whole.  Although the collective interests of each entering class will in principle cover the entirety of the contemporary discipline’s terrain, and although we will provisionally envision each student in a broadly imagined context of faculty resources, we do not recruit individual students to work with specific members of the faculty.  

Students are admitted because, in addition to their readiness and promise for doctoral work, we believe that their academic interests and collegiality will enhance the professional energy of the active graduate faculty and resident graduate students.  For this reason, all graduate faculty are invited to participate in the admissions process. Every faculty member is, in principle, a resource for every graduate student. The Department’s recognition of the exciting intellectual horizons emerges anew each year as part of the admissions process itself.  

Our educational setting, academic requirements, mentoring processes, teacher training, administrative/editorial/special projects opportunities, and funding procedures are organized to promote the ample academic professionalism necessary to secure a job in the professoriate.  

There are many good reasons to undertake doctoral study.  However, Graduate English at UT exists explicitly to launch academic careers in colleges and universities.    

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  • Department of English

    University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street B5000
    Calhoun Hall, Room 226
    Austin, Texas 78712-1164