Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Graduate Studies in English

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Department Faculty

Our Ph.D. program offers students the chance to study and work with a distinguished faculty in a collegial environment. Students in the program are fully funded for six years, receiving tuition, fees, and one of the nation’s most generous stipends while training to become scholars and teachers at the college and university level. We provide coursework and research supervision in all areas of British and American literature, cultural studies, and literary theory. In our commitment to preparing highly qualified teachers, we offer pedagogical training through courses and classroom experience. Our programs feature:
  • One-to-one student/faculty ratio, ensuring small seminars and ample options for tutorial studies.
  • Opportunities for doctoral Fellows to teach writing and literature classes.
  • Close mentoring from matriculation to and beyond graduation.
  • A robust literary scene including an annual Literary Festival; the Southwest Review, the fourth oldest
  • continuously published literary quarterly in the nation; Configurations, a journal of literature and science; and Book History, a scholarly journal devoted to every aspect of the history of the book.

Ph.D. in English: Admission Requirements

Students who apply to the Ph.D. Program should have either an undergraduate English major or intensive study of literature in English and a GPA of at least 3.5. Applicants who have already earned the M.A. may receive credit for up to 12 of the required 60 hours (one year) and will have five years of fellowship support toward the Ph.D. Applicants should submit:

  • GRE (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A writing sample of about 15 pages
  • A statement of interest in the program and degree

    Proficiency in one relevant foreign language is required for graduation. We strongly recommend this be completed prior to matriculation.

    Financial Aid

    All students admitted to doctoral study in English will receive over $25,000 per year in Fellowship support, renewable annually for up to six years, and with annual cost-of-living increases. Additional stipends and fellowships may be available through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies and National Fellowships Office at SMU. Other forms of support include:

    • Medical benefits
    • Full tuition
    • Travel support
    • Personal computer

    Beginning in year two, Ph.D. students will have responsibility for one section per semester of first-year writing;
    those who have completed the Qualifying Exams may teach literature courses, and will be assigned no teaching
    duties for one year (either year five or six) as Research Fellows while writing the dissertation. Graduates will be
    eligible for a competitive post-doctoral fellowship in the seventh year. The English Graduate Handbook details the full course of studies and the provisions and processes for advancing to the Ph.D.

    You may apply online at The priority deadline for Ph.D. applications is January 15.

    Note: Applications will be reviewed until a class has been selected.

    Deadline for Admission

    January 15