Graduate Studies

The University of Louisville’s English Department offers both an MA program in English Studies and a nationally recognized PhD program in Rhetoric and Composition. Both programs provide students with the opportunity to further their understanding of the research, writing, and pedagogy that comprises graduate work in English studies.  With over twenty-five full time faculty members, graduate students are able to take courses in creative writing, English and American literature from the medieval period to the present, and rhetoric and composition.  MA and PhD candidates undertake original research and creative projects, gain a mastery of English studies and its various sub-disciplines, and learn the theoretical and practical reach of humanities research. 

Our recent MA graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral studies at such universities as Rice University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of New Hampshire; others have gone on to careers in such fields as education and publishing.

Our PhD program boasts a successful track record of placing graduates into tenure-track positions.  Recent program graduates are now working at such universities as the University of Washington, Syracuse University, Oberlin College, the University of Alabama.

For more information on our MA and PhD programs, please contact Annelise Gray , our graduate administrative assistant, at 502-852-0505, or Dr. Karen Kopelson  , our Director of Graduate Studies, at 502-852-0508.

Interested in our MA or PhD Program. Schedule a visit with us!


Graduate students in both our MA and PhD programs work with faculty who are active scholars in a wide variety of fields. Some notable recent faculty publications include:

Andrew Rabin. The Political Writings of Archbishop Wulfstan of York (2015)

Paul Griner. Second Life (2015)

Stephen Schneider. You Can’t Padlock an Idea: Rhetorical Education at the Highlander Folk School, 1932-1961 (2014)

Hristomir Stanev.  Sensory Experience and the Metropolis on the Jacobean Stage 1603-1625 (2014)

Bruce Horner and Karen Kopelson. Reworking English in Rhetoric and Composition: Global Interrogations, Local Interventions (2014)

Kiki Petrosino - Hymn for the Black Terrific: Poems (2013)

Mary P. Sheridan (and Lee Nickoson). Writing Studies Research in Practice: Methods and Methodologies (2012)

Bronwyn T. Williams (and Amy Zenger). Popular Culture and Representations of Literacy (2012)

Glynis Ridley. The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe (2010)

For more information on faculty research interests and publications, visit our faculty pages.

Students are also encouraged to participate in two internationally recognized conferences: the annual Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900 and the biennial Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition.  The Watson endowment also allows for a distinguished visiting professor to teach a graduate course at the university each year the conference is not held.  Graduate students thus have the opportunity to work with up to two Watson professors during their time at the University of Louisville.

Previous Dissertations

Professional Opportunities

Graduate students at the University of Louisville are also encouraged to pursue a range of professional opportunities.  Such opportunities include the following positions:

  • Assistant Director of Composition
  • Assistant Director of the Writing Center
  • Assistant to the Thomas R. Watson Conference
  • Editorial Assistant to the Henry James Review
  • Digital Media Assistant
  • Research Assistant

Other opportunities are circulated to graduate students as they become available.

Department of English, 315 Bingham Humanities, 2211 South Brook Street,Louisville, KY 40292


Phone: (502) 852-6801 Fax: (502) 852-4182


Graduate Studies: (502) 852-0505


Office Hours: 8:00AM - 5:00 PM


Annelise Gray (Graduate Administrative Assistant): 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM 


Dr. Karen Kopelson (Graduate Program Director): By appointment