MA/PhD in English Language and Literature

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Program Overview

Our MA/PhD in English Language and Literature is an integrated program that allows students to earn an MA on the way to the PhD. We do not admit students for a terminal MA degree. The program receives about 250 applications of admission each year and enrolls an entering class of 12-14 students, all of whom receive funding. Students elect to pursue either the track in literature and culture or the track in language and rhetoric (although there is important intellectual overlap between these areas and some courses enroll students from both tracks). Within each track, students will develop individualized programs of study in close consultation with faculty mentors.  Department faculty work across a range of historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries) and methodological frameworks with a focus on the study of discourse, literacy, textuality, genre (including speculative fiction and SF), gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, postcoloniality, indigeneity, disability, environment, media, and public culture. For a fuller snapshot of the work we do, please consult our faculty profiles

Application Information

Application materials are due December 15. (If December 15 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the deadline is the following Monday.) Offers of admission are usually made by mid-March. 

Funding Opportunities

We offer a funding package to all admitted MA/PhD students. The funding package includes a tuition waiver, health insurance, and a monthly stipend during the academic year through an Academic Student Employee position. In general, duties include teaching one English class, assisting in a large lecture and leading quiz sections, or assisting in program administration.

PhD students also have opportunities to compete for fellowships and scholarships offered through the Department of English.

MA/PhD Degree Requirements

MA/PhD degree requirements can be found here: PhD Degree Requirements.

Students who enter our PhD program without a related master’s degree will be required to complete an MA in the first two years. More information can be found here: MA/PhD Degree Requirements: Master's Degree.

Placement & Alumni

A recent survey of our graduates from 2008-2018 showed the following employment rates:

  • 43% in tenure-track positions
  • 43% in other academic positions (not tenure-track)
  • 8% in professional careers
  • 6% no data

Dissertation abstracts from recent graduates can be found here: Graduate Research.

Check out our PhD Alumni Spotlight page where recent alumni have shared their current job placements, highlights from their time at UW, and advice for current and prospective students. 

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