Doctorate of philosophy or simply, PhD in English, is the highest qualification level awarded to those who have completed their MA in English Language and Literature. It is a broad-based course which intends to develop the requisite skills to undertake in-depth research work. Not only does it familiarize you with nuances of various writing styles but also provides extensive knowledge on how literature and language influence our responses to the world. This degree course builds a strong foundation in literary works and area-specific cultures. It further helps in developing critical and analytical skills. Here is all the information that you will need to pursue a PhD in English.
PhD in English – Areas of Specialization
When we talk about pursuing a PhD in English, there are several specializations to choose from. Some of the popular fields of specialization include:
- Medieval Literature
- Rhetoric and Composition
- Asian American Studies
- Colonial and Post-Colonial
- African-American Studies
- Creative Writing
- Poetry and Poetics
- Romantic and Victorian Literature
- Cultural Studies
- Children’s Literature
- Media and Digital Studies
- Gender Roles
- Theatre and Performing Arts
- Translation Studies
PhD in English: Admission Procedure
A Masters of Arts (MA) or Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil) in English literature is an essential requirement for enrolling into a PhD in English program. While some universities like Harvard prescribe a minimum GPA requirement, others generally don’t.
Course Duration :
You can either enroll in a full time or a part-time PhD in English. The full-time program is of 3 years and a part-time course takes 4-5 years to complete. In the last year of research, a thesis of 60,000-1,00,000 words has to be submitted for obtaining the degree.
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
More often than not, SOP is a 1-3 page, single or double-spaced statement that clearly explains your interests, skills and professional goals. Some universities also require you to submit a research proposal alongside SOP.
- Three letters of Reference
The references should generally come from faculty members or people who are well acquainted with your academic work.
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- Critical Writing Sample
The writing sample is paramount in the application process. Normally, the sample ranges between 2000-5000 words (12-13 pages). But the number of words, writing samples and pages may vary from one university to another.
It is important to upload transcripts of all the universities or institutions you have attended or are currently attending.
- English Language Tests
The English proficiency tests scores are instrumental in securing admission at universities. Most of the universities require TOEFL or IELTS score and have prescribed minimum percentile criteria for admission.
Colleges Offering PhD in English
The most popular destinations to pursue a PhD in English are England, Australia, USA, and Ireland. Apart from the conventional places, you can also explore other countries like Tokyo, France and Russia based on your liking. For instance, if you are keen on knowing how the Maori language has transformed New Zealand English, then you can study the English language in New Zealand.
Below is a list of top global universities offering a PhD in English:
- University of Oxford (UK)
- University of Cambridge (UK)
- Harvard University (Cambridge, USA)
- University of California, Berkeley (USA)
- Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland)
- University of Bristol (Bristol, UK)
- Yale University (USA)
- University of Edinburgh (Scotland)
- Stanford University (USA)
- University of British Columbia (Canada)
- Penn State, College of Liberal Arts (Pennsylvania, USA)
- University of Waterloo (Canada)
- Princeton University (New Jersey, USA)
- University of California (Los Angeles, USA)
- Cornell University (New York, USA)
Fellowships & Scholarships
Even though there are many fellowships available for students who wish to obtain a PhD in English, but not many are aware of it. So, below is a list of names of some scholarship programs:
- Judith E. Wilson Studentship – University of Cambridge
- Summer Language Institute Fellowship – Yale University
- Stanley Maveety Fellowship – University of Oregon
- William Lauchlan Mann Memorial Prize – University of Glasgow
- President’s Doctoral Scholar Awards – University of Manchester
- The University of Sheffield
- Utah State University Scholarships
A PhD in English opens up a whole new world of opportunities. Almost each and every industry needs English degree graduates to fill a variety of roles. Here are some suitable job profiles for a PhD in English degree holder:
- Writer – Philosophical, Critical, technical etc.
- English language and literature teachers or professors
- Philosophical Journalist
- Public Relations Specialist
- News Analysts
- Digital Marketing
Even Though we have compiled all the relevant information about pursuing a PhD in English, you might still want to know more about the universities and their admission criteria. For this, you can reach out to the mentors at Leverage Edu who will guide you in taking admission at your dream college.