The Department of English offers three areas of emphasis within its Ph.D. program. Those emphases allow students to pursue research goals that align most closely with their personal interests.
The Ph.D. Literature emphasis is designed for people planning to pursue careers in scholarship and teaching at the college or university level. It is a rigorous but flexible emphasis in which individual programs of study are shaped through negotiation between the Ph.D. student and his or her advisory committee. Students in the program are strongly encouraged to participate in professional activities, including academic conferences.
The Ph.D. Rhetoric and Composition emphasis is intended for students planning to pursue careers in scholarship, teaching, and program administration at the college or university level. The emphasis offers a core of work in rhetoric and writing theory, coupled with focused study in other fields of English language and literature, with possibilities for interdisciplinary study as well.
Students in the program are active in professional activities of various kinds, e.g., publishing, participating in conferences, and serving as interns in community agencies, educational institutions, or businesses.