Graduate Studies

The English Department at the University of Louisville proudly offers an M.A. program in English Studies and a Ph.D. 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, our department offers graduate courses in rhetoric and composition, English and American literature from the medieval period to the present, and creative writing. M.A. and Ph.D. 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.

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Career & Job Placement

Graduates from our M.A. program have gone on to pursue doctoral studies at such universities as the University of New Hampshire, the University of Pittsburgh, Rice University, and the University of Texas-Austin. Others have gone on to careers in such fields as education and publishing. 

Our Ph.D. program boasts a successful track record of placing graduates into tenure-track academic positions. Recent program graduates have gone on to such universities as the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Berea College, the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of PittsburghQueens College (CUNY), State University of New York, Syracuse University, Wake Forest University, and the University of Washington. Click here for our job placement overview.

Ph.D. Dissertations

Research in the Ph.D. program will culminate in a dissertation, supervised by faculty in the English Department and one "outside reader." Click here for an overview of defended dissertations.

Faculty Expertise

Graduate students in our M.A. and Ph.D. programs work closely with our award-winning faculty members, who are active scholars and writers in a wide variety of fields. For more information on faculty research interests and publications, visit our faculty pages. Some notable faculty publications include:

Rhetoric and Composition

Literary Studies

Fiction and Poetry

Professional Opportunities

Many of our students 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 one of our graduate courses every other year. Graduate students thus have the opportunity to work with up to two Watson professors during their time in our program.

We also encourage our graduate students to pursue a range of professional opportunities, including the following positions:

  • Assistant Director of Composition
  • Assistant Director of the University Writing Center
  • Assistant Director of the Thomas R. Watson Conference
  • Assistant Director of Creative Writing
  • Graduate Editor of Miracle Monocle
  • Research Assistant

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

Apply Now

If you are interested in our graduate programs, find out how you can apply for the M.A. program in English or the Ph.D. program in Rhetoric and Composition.

Questions? Contact Us

We would be glad to hear from you to provide more information about our graduate programs. Feel free to reach out to us:

, Director of Graduate Studies. Phone: (502) 852-3055 (by appointment)

Lisa Cox, Graduate Administrative Assistant. Phone: (502) 852-0505