You are here

Ph.D. in English

The Ph.D. program in English at ULL affords students close professional guidance from a diverse graduate faculty distinguished in its commitment to both teaching and research. All doctorates in English have a foundation in British and American language and literature, thus students receive a broad education in the discipline that prepares them to teach effectively at any college level and provides the background for advanced research in their areas of particular expertise. Students also receive training in preparation for career diversity.

Ph.D. students may choose from the following concentrations:

• Literary and Cultural Studies 
• Creative Writing
• Folklore 
• Linguistics
• Rhetoric & Composition

Ph.D. Exam Areas

Ph.D. students choose four of the following areas for their comprehensive exams:

• English Literature to c.1500
• English Literature of the Renaissance
• English Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
• British Literature of the Nineteenth Century
• British Literature from c.1900 to the Present
• American Literature to 1865 
• American Literature from 1865 to 1945
• American Literature from 1945 to the Present
• Literary Theory
• Rhetoric and Composition Studies
• Linguistics
• Open Topic
• Africana Literature and Theory
• Children’s Literature
• Creative Writing Studies
• Drama
• Feminist Theory and Criticism
• Narrative Film
• Southern Literary Studies
• Speculative Fiction
• Folklore Studies

Reach the top of your field with a PhD in English! Apply today »

Additional Application Materials

In addition to the general Graduate School Application Materials you must also submit the following materials:

  • Curriculum Vitae with relevant academic and professional experience
  • Critical Writing Sample with Academic Works Cited Page (10-20 pages)
  • Creative Writing Sample (10-20 pages)
              •   For candidates interested in the Creative Writing concentration only. The genre of the piece should reflect your intended focus area; specify either fiction, poetry, drama, or creative non-fiction. (This document should be uploaded as either a part of or alongside your critical writing sample in your application portal.)
  • GRE scores are optional, not required 
  • Statement of Purpose addressing the following points (1-2 pages):
    • Your chosen concentration
    • Your critical research interests and long-term plans for research
    • Your creative writing interests, if applying to creative writing concentration
    • Your alignment with faculty interests and/or University resources

If you are applying for funding, the Graduate Assistantship Application must be uploaded to your application portal or mailed directly to the Graduate School.

The following points are some other factors that the department looks for when making its admissions decisions. If possible, please discuss any of the following that apply:

  • Teaching experience or other work experiences that will contribute to your success 
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (in proposed research, service, teaching, work experience, or elsewhere)
  • Collaborative, community-building, or leadership experience
  • Evidence of perseverance, work ethic, or dedication

Application Deadlines

Priority review for admissions and assistantship decisions for the fall semester are due by January 15. Please note that assistantship positions are competitive and are primarily distributed to those who complete their application by January 15. For information about the assistantship application, visit the Graduate School's funding information page.

Applications for admission and assistantships for the spring semester are due by November 1.


Incoming Students

Dr. Leah Orr
Phone: (337) 482-5462
Griffin Hall 228

Continuing Students

Dr. David Squires
Phone: (337) 482-5508
Griffin Hall 353

Visit the Department of English website »