The Department of English offers two graduate degrees: the PhD in English and the MFA in Creative Writing. For information about the MFA, please contact the Director of Creative Writing, Evelina Galang. Information about the PhD program is on this page; for further details, see the Guide to Graduate Study in English, or if you have additional questions about the PhD program, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, John Funchion, or the Graduate Program Coordinator, Lydia Starling.

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For news and accomplishments of PhD students and alumni in 2015-2016, go here. For a directory of current PhD students, with their research interests and photographs, go here.

PhD in English

The Department of English currently serves approximately 36 students in its PhD program. Our program is a selective, dynamic one. Our small size allows us to give our doctoral students instruction and professional mentoring tailored to their individual needs and interests, and our location on the beautiful Coral Gables campus gives us easy access to the diverse, vibrant, and unique cultural and intellectual offerings of Miami and South Florida.‌ The program offers opportunities for research in all major areas of literatures in English, with particular strengths in Caribbean literary studies, Irish literary studies, Renaissance and early modern literature, feminisms and theories of gender and sexuality, Atlantic studies, and postcolonial studies. In the most recent rankings of English PhD programs by the National Research Council (2010), our program was one of the two top ranked programs in the United States for student and faculty diversity, and we especially encourage applications from highly qualified minority and international students. For a directory of our current PhD students with their research and teaching interests, go here.

Our PhD program provides strong student support. We offer a competitive stipend of $20,000 per year to each student and a full tuition waiver; this package is guaranteed for five years for those in good standing. Additional funding is available on a competitive basis. Furthermore, there are generous departmental funds for travel to present papers at conferences and to conduct archival research for the dissertation.

Our faculty have a national and international reputation for research and publication and a strong commitment to mentoring and advising the next generation of scholars, teachers, and writers. We have particular strengths in Caribbean literary studies, Irish literary studies, early modern studies, gender and queer studies, and Atlantic studies. The recent professional activities of our faculty and PhD students are detailed in our News web pages. Students in early modern studies can apply to enroll in the official cross-departmental concentration in Early Modern Studies. We encourage students to enroll in classes, where appropriate, in the departments of Modern Languages and Literatures and History. PhD students can take advantage of a wealth of research opportunities offered through the rich holdings and projects of the University of Miami Libraries, including Special Collections, the Cuban Heritage Collection, and the Digital Collections. You can see descriptions of our recent graduate seminars here.

We aim to support the professional and intellectual development of our students in diverse ways, preparing our graduates for both academic and non-academic careers. Click here for examples of recent career outcomes for our students in academic teaching/research positions and here for recent outcomes in alt-ac/nonacademic positions.

PhD students gain extensive pedagogical training and teaching experience as an integral part of our program. All our students tutor for 5 hours a week in the Writing Center in their first year, and typically students will teach their own small, writing-intensive classes in the department’s Composition Program multiple times starting in their second year, with a teaching load of one class per semester. We also aim to give all our students the opportunity to teach their own sophomore-level literature class at some point during their time in the program.

Recognizing that many humanities PhDs go on to careers that are not traditional tenure-track academic positions, the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Miami has begun an ambitious program to support students interested in “alt-ac” careers, whether those are non-teaching academic positions in university libraries, archives, and research centers or non-university careers in secondary education, museums, foundations, or the private sector. After their first year, students have the opportunity to apply to spend a year as a fellow of the UGrow Program (Graduate Opportunities at Work) instead of teaching: this year’s placements include appointments in the university libraries’ Special Collections, in Caribbean Literary Studies, in the English Department's communications staff, in the Graduate School, at HistoryMiami Museum, and in the undergraduate internship support program of the College of Arts & Sciences.

The department houses two long-established, top-ranked academic journals, Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal and the James Joyce Literary Supplement. PhD students with research interests in Caribbean studies and Irish studies may have the opportunity to serve as managing editor or assistant editor on these journals, gaining professional experience in scholarly publishing and journal management. In addition, the Center for the Humanities publishes Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, for which PhD students in the humanities at the University of Miami have frequently served as editorial assistants.   

We support the professional development of our PhD students in as many ways as possible. We offer workshops on publishing articles, applying for grants and fellowships, and careers in alt-ac or nonacademic positions. We offer strong support for students preparing for the academic job market, including mock interviews and opportunities to practice job talks, organized by the faculty placement officer. Advanced graduate students convene a Dissertation Writing Group that provides strong peer-to-peer support during the dissertation writing process. The Graduate School also offers an annual Dissertation Writing Retreat, supporting student writing over an extended three-day period. The English Graduate Organization hosts a graduate symposium every year at which students have the opportunity to present their scholarly work in progress. Advanced graduate students are invited to participate, alongside faculty, in interdisciplinary research groups sponsored by the Center for the Humanities in Atlantic Studies, Critical Theory, Early Modern Studies, Modernities, Queer Studies, and Animal Studies & Environmental Humanities.


Additional funding:

Top applicants to our program are entered into the competition for prestigious University Fellowships, which provide additional funding beyond the basic stipend and releases from teaching or research duties. Additional funds are also available through Holmes Fellowships provided by the College of Arts & Sciences; dissertation fellowships from the College of Arts & Sciences, the Center for the Humanities, the Center for Latin American Studies and the Cuban Heritage Collection; and summer research fellowships from the College of Arts & Sciences. The Graduate School provides some funds to support summer research, conference travel, and archival research. African American and Hispanic/Latino/a applicants are especially encouraged to apply for McKnight Foundation/Florida Education Fund doctoral fellowships, for which the University of Miami is an institutional partner. [Return to top.]

Academic employment

In recent years, our PhDs have accepted tenure-earning positions at institutions such as the University of Missouri­–Columbia, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, State University of New York–New Paltz, The Citadel, Utica College, St. Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana), Virginia Wesleyan College, University of Wisconsin–Platteville, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Indiana–South Bend, Miami Dade College, Broward College, and Allegheny College. Non-tenure-track positions held by our recent graduates include postdoctoral fellowships at Duke University and Virginia Tech and full-time visiting or lecturer positions at University of Houston, Auburn University, University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, University of Wisconsin–Platteville, Grinnell College, the University of Miami, and Miami International University of Art & Design. [Return to top.]

Alt-ac employment

UM English PhD alt-ac jobs in recent years include Curator, National Museum of African American History and Culture; LGBT* Coordinator, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater; Staff Writer, Ballotpedia/Lucy Burns Institute; Folklife Officer, Department of Community & Cultural Affairs, Bermuda; Chair of English Department, Chadwick School (Los Angeles); Academic Dean, Ransom Everglades School (Miami); English teacher, St. Andrew's Epispocal School (Boca Raton, Fla.); English teacher, Providence Day School (Charlotte, NC); Faculty, Holy Cross School (New Orleans); Communications Officer, Cariflex, Trinidad & Tobago. [Return to top.]