English, Ph.D., Literary Studies

The Ph.D. program in Literary Studies fosters an environment of critical engagement with the most pressing questions in contemporary literary and cultural studies. Students work with some of the profession’s most talented and productive teachers, scholars and theorists in American, British and world literatures, cultural studies and folklore.

Students in the doctoral program:

  • Undertake coursework that exposes them to the breadth of literature in English from the Middle Ages to the present and to the methods and theories that have shaped literary criticism and scholarship
  • Become specialists in an area of literary studies, cultural studies or folklore and learn to develop a research agenda in their area of specialization
  • Regularly deliver papers at international, national and regional conferences and publish essays in reviews in a variety of prestigious academic journals
  • Gain valuable professional and organizational experience through participation in the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, an organization of teachers and scholars in modern languages and literatures that is headquartered in the department
  • Work as editorial assistants with the department’s academic journals, Studies in the Literary Imagination and Eudora Welty Review
  • Receive pedagogical, leadership and mentoring experience while serving as instructors of record in the Lower Division Studies program

English, Ph.D., Literary Studies

College of Arts & Sciences


  • Three hours in Bibliography and Research Methods
  • Three hours in English language study
  • Three hours in literary theory/critical methodology/cultural studies
  • An additional three hours in areas 2 or 3 above
  • Nine hours in literature before 1800
  • Nine hours in literature after 1800

For a list of degree requirements, see the graduate catalog.

From 2003 to 2017, the Department of English has tracked employment data on 129 graduates of our Ph.D. program:

77% of these graduates have faculty and/or administrative appointments at a 2- or 4-year college or university

9% are employed in private business or industry

6% are secondary or middle school teachers

5% have postdoctoral fellowships

1% are self-employed or work for the government or nonprofit organization