Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition

Established over 30 years ago, the University of Louisville's Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition (Graduate Catalog Page) prepares students for research and teaching careers in the theory and practice of rhetoric and composition. Most students seek tenurial employment in colleges and universities; a few go into businesses and industry as writing consultants.


The doctoral program introduces the student to the teaching of writing, the history of rhetoric, current issues and research methods in rhetoric and composition, contemporary theories of interpretation, and interconnections among literature, rhetoric, and composition. Recent special topic seminars have focused on literacy, writing in the disciplines, new media and composition pedagogy, and the politics of language in composition. 

Defended Dissertations 

Teaching Opportunities

All doctoral students teach for at least two semesters in the First-Year Composition Program; many also have the opportunity to teach advanced writing, technical or business writing, writing about literature, and introductory literature courses.

Administrative Positions

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

Other opportunities both within the department and throughout the university are circulated to graduate students as they become available. 


All doctoral students are fully funded for a minimum of four years by departmental GTAships or University Fellowships.


Connect with other English Graduate Students through our dynamic student led English Graduate Organization.

Obtain valuable skills and participate in professional development through the School of Interdisciplinary Studies PLAN workshops.

Enjoy a supportive and productive graduate experience through the School of Interdisciplinary Studies mentoring network.