Ph.D. in English Literature

The PhD program in English at Duquesne University provides comprehensive training in advanced literary research and postsecondary teaching of writing and literature. In our small department, graduate students work closely with faculty mentors, preparing themselves to be teacher-scholars or for careers outside the academy.

While the department supports doctoral students in all fields and periods of literary and cultural studies, we have particular strengths in women's and gender studies, poetry and poetics, modernist studies, and American literary studies. Other current areas of scholarly and teaching activity include narrative studies, environmental literature and ecocriticism, performance studies, 19th century literary studies, religion and literature, print culture and book history, transatlantic/world, and digital humanities. In recent years faculty and doctoral students have coauthored articles and grants, published together in edited collections, team-taught classes, and jointly organized service-learning projects.

All doctoral students are guaranteed four years of funding and the opportunity to teach several different undergraduate courses in writing and literature and train as a writing center consultant. Fifth-year fellowships are also available. For graduate students new to the classroom, our teacher training includes a semester-long practicum class and team-teaching with a mentor. Graduate students receive funding to attend conferences, and summer research-travel support is also available. The English Graduate Organization also regularly organizes its own regional conferences at Duquesne. By the time our students complete their program, all have presented at multiple conferences and many are published or have had work accepted for publication.

The outstanding training we offer our Ph.D. students has had results. Recent graduates have gone on to jobs at Oberlin College, Roger Williams University, Central Penn College, Spring Hill College, Rocky Mountain College, College Misericordia, and Southeastern University. They have published books with Palgrave Macmillan, the University of Alabama Press, and the University Press of Mississippi, and articles in South Atlantic Review, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, and African American Review. Two recent Ph.D. students have won the prestigious national K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award from the American Association of Colleges and Universities, while on campus our students regularly win the Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the Distinguished Dissertation Prize, and (for the last thirteen consecutive years) the Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching.

We invite you to look through our web pages to learn more about how our doctoral program can prepare you for a rewarding career. Please also contact Dr. Tom Kinnahan, our Graduate Studies Director, for more information.

Degree Requirements

Application Information