Considering a PhD can be a weighty proposition, but don't panic! Below are several resources and guides to making a decision, choosing the right program, and applying on time.
- Do I want a PhD?
- What to Study?
- Looking for a Program
- Applying for a Program
- Other Advice on the Web
Do I want a PhD? First, some things to consider:
- There are a lot of excellent jobs outside academia, even for those with an M.A.
- The job market for PhD’s can be small and fiercely competitive.
- PhD’s in English can take anywhere from 4 to 8 years to complete.
Good GRE scores count. Scores may be used for entry, as well as to determine financial aid and departmental positions. Make sure you know the specific requirements for your chosen program(s). Always ensure that your GRE study materials apply to the most recent version of the test; check online for recent changes:
Here are some additional resources you might consider in preparing for the GRE:
- Computer & technology literacy: Don't be left behind; technological fluency is integral to research and composition.
- A PhD does not limit your interests: While your choice of PhD program directs your studies, you will also have opportunities to supplement your research.
- Choose an area of study that you enjoy: Make sure that your focus provides a variety of potential research possibilities that you are interested in.
- Many specific interest areas can be covered: You can
combine your interests from a variety of categories, such as-
- American Literature
- Victorian Literature
- Medieval Studies
- Rhetoric & Composition
- Technology & Media
- Professional & Technical Writing
- Comparative Literature
- Cultural Studies
- Children's Literature
- Genre Studies
- Gender & Identity Studies
Check out these websites to get an idea of who offers the type of program you are looking for.
- PhDs.org: A useful site that ranks PhD programs based on price, aid, post-placement, guaranteed jobs, size, and more.
- Academic Keys: Tracks current job openings in higher education.
- Peterson’s Guide to Graduate Programs: Specific subject list for multiple programs world-wide, along with specific links to individual programs.
- Don't delay! Most programs require you to apply at least a year in advance.
- Do your research before hand.
- Don't apply based on reputation alone!
- Factor in the school's location; you will be there for several years.
- Make sure you know exactly what sort of program the school offers.
- Drop an email to the department and don't be afraid to ask specific questions.
- Sit in on some classes if you can; talk to people currently enrolled.
- Put some money aside for the application process; most schools have an application fee.
- Apply to multiple schools. This can get costly, but it allows you some leeway and gives you a greater change of success.
- Letters of Recommendation must come from faculty members; make sure to give your letter writers PLENTY of time.
Other Advice from the Web (Return to Top)
The links provided are intended to acquaint users with information and services, and do not constitute an endorsement by the University or any student organization. The views and opinions on these sites to not necessarily reflect those of the University. The Graduate English Association has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information on this site is current; however, all information is subject to change.