"Every novel says to the reader: ‘Things are not as simple as you think.’ That is the novel's eternal truth, but it grows steadily harder to hear amid the din ...
Crossing departmental boundaries. Expanding perspectives. Opening minds.
Philosophy + Literature is a unique initiative that brings together faculty from more than 10 departments, along with curious undergraduate and graduate students, to ask and answer big questions. For example:
- Should we live our life as a story?
- Must we always be honest with ourselves?
- Can philosophical approaches account for the specific power of literary works?
- Can literary devices contribute to philosophical goals?
Innovative & Interdisciplinary
One of the only programs of its kind, nationally and internationally.
Events & Workshops
Join a reading group. Participate in a research workshop. Attend talks and conferences.
Undergraduates can explore the terrain and expand their horizons by starting with our Gateway Course. It's the first step in special major tracks in philosophy and literature.
Graduate students can take a PhD Minor, or gain unique interdisciplinary teaching experience supporting the undergraduate program.
Browse books by our faculty
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As a PhD student in the Harvard philosophy program, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your ideas, knowledge, and abilities. You'll work with other doctoral students, our faculty, and visiting scholars, all in a stimulating and supportive environment. The program has strengths across a broad range of topics and areas, so you'll be able to pursue your interests wherever they may lead, especially in moral and political philosophy, aesthetics, epistemology, philosophy of logic, philosophy of language, the history of analytic philosophy, ancient philosophy, Immanuel Kant, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. In addition, students can pursue joint degrees with classics, Harvard Law School, and in Indian philosophy.
Incoming cohorts consist of five to eight students per year. You will have substantial access to our renowned faculty and all the resources that Harvard makes available. This relatively small size also gives students a sense of intellectual community.
The curriculum is structured to help you make your way towards a dissertation: graduate-level coursework, a second-year research paper, a prospectus to help you identify a dissertation topic, and then the dissertation itself. Past dissertations in the department have addressed a broad range of topics: Aristotle, Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau; contemporary moral and political philosophy; metaphysics; epistemology; and logic.
In addition to your research, you will also have the opportunity to develop your teaching skills in many different settings across the University.
You can find graduates of the PhD program in many universities. Some of our students have gone on to faculty positions at Yale University, Princeton University, Brown University, and Stanford University. Other graduates have gone on to diverse careers in, among others, the arts, the law, secondary education, and technology.
In addition to the standard PhD in philosophy, the department offers a PhD in classical philosophy in collaboration with the Department of the Classics and a coordinated JD/PhD program in conjunction with Harvard Law School.
Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Philosophy and requirements for the degree are detailed in GSAS Policies .
Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Philosophy .
Applicants to the program in Philosophy are required to have a solid undergraduate background in philosophy, indicating that they have a good grounding in the history of philosophy, as well as familiarity with contemporary work in ethics, epistemology and metaphysics, and logic.
A writing sample is required as part of the application and should be between 12 to 30 pages long. The sample must address a substantial philosophical problem, whether it is an evaluation or presentation of an argument, or a serious attempt to interpret a difficult text. The upload of the writing sample should be formatted for 8.5-inch x 11-inch paper, 1-inch margins, with double-spaced text in a common 12-point font, such as Times New Roman.
Applicants seeking admission to the coordinated JD/PhD program must apply to and be separately admitted to Harvard Law School and the Department of Philosophy.
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Doctor of Philosophy in Literature
The graduate program in literature brings together scholars, creative writers and translators who share a commitment to transnational and interdisciplinary approaches to literary study and practice. The PhD in literature provides students with a flexible context in which to pursue research across a wide range of literary traditions, critical approaches and theoretical debates. In addition to coursework in literary studies, students have the opportunity to participate in creative writing and/or literary translation workshops as well as seminars in other disciplines, such as film studies, the history of ideas, philosophy and the visual and performing arts.
Students pursuing the PhD in literature may, if their coursework supports it, submit a translation or creative writing project as part of their dissertation.
Graduates of the program seek positions such as: teacher/educator, writer, editor, publisher, translator and critic. Career settings may include higher education, nonprofits, cultural and historical organizations, publishing houses, government agencies, international development organizations, museums and archives, business/corporate entities and independent consulting.
Review the marketable skills for this academic program.
Visit the Apply Now webpage to begin the application process.
Applicants to the Doctoral degree program should have:
- A baccalaureate degree (BA or MA) or its equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education, normally in an arts and humanities field.
- Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must submit 3 letters of recommendation from faculty, or other individuals, able to judge the candidate’s potential for success in the program.
- Admissions Essay: Applicants must submit a 650-word narrative essay, which should be reflective rather than factual. The essay should address the applicant’s academic interests and goals and indicate how the program would enable such pursuits.
- A writing sample: Submit an academic writing sample (e.g., a seminar paper or a critical essay).
- International applicants must submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 on the internet-based test. Scores must be less than two years old. See the Graduate Catalog for additional information regarding English proficiency requirements for international applicants.
- Each application is considered holistically on its individual merits. You must submit all supporting documents before the Graduate Admissions Committee can review your application.
- The Graduate Record Examination is not required.
Deadline: February 1
Dr. Charles Hatfield Associate Professor and Program Head Phone: 972-883-2780 Email: [email protected]
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Philosophy and Literature
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Required Supporting Documents
- Recommendation Letters
- Statement of Purpose
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
- Writing Sample
English Proficiency Requirements
Doctoral Degree Program Requirements
- 3.4 or equivalent (A=4.0)
- Master's Degree Completion
- *The first round of admission and funding will begin after January 10. Complete your application by January 10.
Program Contact Information
- Applicants for the special Ph.D. programs in English and Philosophy are required to have a Master's Degree in either English, Philosophy or a foreign language for admission.
The following English proficiency minimum scores are required by this program for the tests listed below. To view additional English proficiency options accepted by this program and the Graduate School, visit the English Proficiency Requirements page.
TOEFL: Internet-Based Test (IBT): Minimum Overall Required Score: 100 Minimum section requirements:
- Reading: 19
- Listening: 14
- Speaking: 18
- Writing: 18
TOEFL: Essentials: Minimum Overall Required Score: 9 Minimum section requirements:
- Listening: 8
- Speaking: 8
Note: Effective April 11, 2021, the paper-delivered TOEFL test is no longer offered. Scores dated up to two years prior to the date of recommendation for admission to the Purdue Graduate School will be valid through April 11, 2023.
PHD in Philosophy, Literature and the Theory of Criticism (PLC)
Philosophy, literature and the theory of criticism (plc) phd program.
The Philosophy, Literature and the Theory of Criticism (PLC) program crystallizes the department’s longstanding commitment to theory and contemporary thought. In addition to an extensive background in literary history and methods of reading, this track provides students significant preparation in contemporary philosophy and modern theories of language and interpretation. As a site for joint research and inquiry with a focus on the politics of understanding and signification, the PLC group draws on exceptional campus resources to bring literary research into vital interplay with work in such fields as anthropology, psychoanalysis, rhetoric, semiotics, and the visual arts.
An undergraduate specialization in philosophy or literature is desirable but not essential for admission.
For students entering with a BA the minimum course requirements for the PhD are 60 credits.
During the first year of study, students entering with a BA enroll in a master's level program. At the end of the third semester, students take an MA exam. Information about the MA exam is available in the office of the department or the graduate director. A minimum grade of B+ is required to be admitted to the Ph.D. level.
Students who already hold an MA upon admission take 36 credits to complete their course work.
All students are required to take COLI 592 (the Proseminar). At the beginning of each semester, students should seek approval for their coursework from the graduate director. In the final semester of coursework, all students take a 5-credit independent study with the committee chair in preparation of the dissertation proposal and comprehensive exams. Information about the comprehensive exams is available in the office of the department or the graduate director. A minimum grade of B+ is required to be admitted to the candidacy (ABD level).
Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in two languages other than English. The standard proficiency-level evaluations accepted by the Comparative literature Department are used. These represent minimal requirements, and students are advised to develop stronger proficiency in languages essential to their dissertations. Students are expected to have satisfied the language requirements before they take their comprehensive exams.
All students complete a dissertation, generally within five years upon being admitted to the candidacy.
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Last Updated: 12/27/21
- Ph.D. Degree
The Graduate Program in Literature is a doctoral program, which means that all students enrolled prepare for the Ph.D. degree. The program does not grant M.A. degrees along the way. The typical time to completion for the doctoral program is 6 full years.
Requirements for the Ph.D.
- 12 Seminars
- 7 Literature Program courses
- At least 5 courses in a teaching field of your choice
- Foreign language proficiency in two languages
- Preliminary Exam
- Chapter Workshop
- Dissertation Defense
- Teaching Assistantship
- Responsible Conduct of Research Training
Additional Course Guidelines
Undergraduate-level Courses - There are no restrictions on the number of undergraduate courses a student may take outside the Literature Program during their graduate career. The approval of the DGS must be sought in such cases, and in any case Graduate School Regulations do not allow courses below the 500 level to count toward the fulfillment of coursework requirements or to be included in a student's GPA calculation. In general undergraduate courses tend to be limited to relevant language courses.
Independent Studies - Students can take up to three independent studies over the course of their careers. Students have to complete the “Independent Study Notification Form” every time they take an independent study and it must be signed by the DGS. Supplies of these forms are kept in the DGS Assistant’s office.
Inter-institutional Courses - The Registrar requires students to follow a special procedure when they register for courses at other Triangle universities (UNC, NCCU, NCSU). Forms and information are available at the Registrar's Office. You’ll need approval from Lit’s DGS & the professor of the course.
Typical Degree Timeline
What follows is a very general timeline that graduate students in the Program may use as a rough orientation for their six-year course of study. It is not meant to replace the guidance that you should actively seek , for your own specific circumstances and research field(s), from your mentors and advisors.
During the first year, you will familiarize yourself with the department, the university, and the profession at large. The many colloquia and conferences offered at Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, NC Central and NC State, present great opportunities for you to get to know your peers, professors, national and international scholars.
During the second year, you can start presenting your work at conferences in your field(s). You should by now identify your main advisor(s), and begin TAing so as to familiarize yourself with teaching duties. You may also begin to plan for a Certificate in College Teaching.
During the third year, you will complete your preliminary exams and start to work towards your dissertation. Make sure to complete, by the end of this academic year, all the required coursework, including any language requirement related to your specific field. To be competitive in a specific field, you may well need more than one language besides English: please consult with your advisors about this matter.
During the fourth year, your focus will be to complete, if not an entire first draft, at least a good part of your dissertation. This is also a good moment to make your work known in the profession by publishing a part of your dissertation and by presenting some of the other parts at professional conferences. Finally, you should attend the dissertation formatting training sessions offered by the Graduate School (either during the fall or the spring): this is very important, to avoid any last-minute surprises that could jeopardize your entire time-plan for the PhD.
If possible, you should try to finish your dissertation during your fifth year at Duke. You should also keep a presence at professional conferences, and you may also want to consider the possibility of public humanities publications. Finally, this is the year to start applying for jobs.
You should be ready to defend by the end of this year.
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Phd in philosophy and literature (2023 entry).
2 October 2023
3-4 years full-time; Up to 7 years part-time
University of Warwick
Find out more about our Philosophy and Literature PhD.
The Philosophy and Literature PhD is a leading programme, suiting students who thrive on independent, interdisciplinary study. You will undertake a substantial research project as part of an active research community, supervised by experts. Study Philosophy with English or Modern Languages.
The Warwick PhD in Philosophy and Literature is aimed at outstanding students who wish to pursue advanced research and prepare to become professional researchers in, and/or teachers of, philosophy.
The Philosophy and Literature degree is for candidates whose research projects combine philosophical and literary concerns. The combination can be achieved in a number of ways, as aspects of literature can be treated as topics of philosophical inquiry, or a more combined and interdisciplinary approach can be taken.
While many UK philosophy departments possess strength in analytic philosophy or continental philosophy, we are distinctive in having world-leading philosophers from both fields. We also collaborate extensively with academics and practitioners in other subjects including English and other modern European languages.
Teaching and learning
In addition to regular supervisions, in the first year you will also take our core PhD seminar, which engages you with a broad range of philosophical issues beyond your thesis topic that are central to different philosophical traditions. You will have the opportunity to undertake a range of professional development activities to support your research, your thesis writing, and to provide teacher training. Additionally, you are expected to attend any relevant postgraduate seminars, including modules on our taught MA programmes.
General entry requirements
A Master’s level degree in Philosophy or a Master’s degree (or equivalent) with a significant Philosophy component; a writing sample of 2,500 words; a strong research proposal.
English language requirements
You can find out more about our English language requirements Link opens in a new window . This course requires the following:
- IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page Link opens in a new window .
There are no additional entry requirements for this course.
The department has particular research strengths in:
- Philosophy of Mind and Psychology
- The Philosophy of Art and Literature
- Moral and Political Philosophy
- 20th Century Continental Philosophy
- Kant and 19th Century Post-Kantian Philosophy
Full details of our research interests are listed on the Philosophy web pages .
You can also read our general University research proposal guidance.
Find a supervisor
Please see our Philosophy 'How to Apply' web page Link opens in a new window for guidance on completing your application form.
Before completing your application we encourage you to make contact with the convenor of the programme to discuss your application.
Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.
Taught course fees Research course fees
Fee Status Guidance
The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.
If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website .
Additional course costs
As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad. Information about department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:
Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:
- Core text books
- Printer credits
- Dissertation binding
- Robe hire for your degree ceremony
Scholarships and bursaries
Scholarships and financial support
Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.
Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.
Philosophy at Warwick
Philosophy at Warwick is recognised for our support of diverse philosophical traditions, including both analytic and continental philosophy. We have particular strengths in Philosophy of mind and epistemology, Post-Kantian European philosophy, Aesthetics, and Moral, political, and legal philosophy. We also collaborate extensively with academics and practitioners in other subjects and have long-standing collaborations with researchers and practitioners across all faculties.
At Warwick, you’ll be part of an inclusive staff and student community. We provide a vibrant and friendly environment where our students have dedicated support to explore their passion for philosophy and develop their skills as researchers.
Find out more about us on our website. Link opens in a new window
Our Postgraduate courses
- Continental Philosophy (MA)
- Philosophy (MA)
- Philosophy and Literature (PhD)
- Philosophy and the Arts (MA)
- Philosophy (MPhil)
- Philosophy (PhD)
Taught course applications
Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.
Research course applications
Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.
After you’ve applied
Find out how we process your application.
Track your application and update your details.
See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.
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Ask questions and engage with Warwick.
Postgraduate Open Day
Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in the UK. These events give you the chance to learn about our Master's and PhD study routes, and the wider context of postgraduate study.
Find out more
Every week, you can connect directly with representatives from Warwick, who will be answering your questions on applying to and studying postgraduate studies at Warwick.
Sign up for Live Chats
Some academic departments hold events for specific postgraduate programmes, these are fantastic opportunities to learn more about Warwick and your chosen department and course.
See our online departmental events
Connect with us
Want to hear more about postgraduate study at Warwick? Register your interest and find out more.
Learn more about Postgraduate study at the University of Warwick.
Discover why Warwick is one of the best universities in the UK and renowned globally.
6th in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2022) Link opens in a new window
64th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2023) Link opens in a new window
6th most targeted university by the UK's top 100 graduate employers Link opens in a new window
(The Graduate Market in 2022, High Fliers Research Ltd. Link opens in a new window )
About the information on this page
This information is applicable for 2023 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
The Graduate Program in Philosophy
Stanford's graduate program in Philosophy is by any measure among the world's best. We attract excellent students , we provide them ample access to leading scholars for instruction and advice, and we turn out accomplished philosophers ready to compete for the best jobs in a very tight job market. We offer both MA and PhD degrees.
Our graduate students are part of a vigorous philosophical community.
Our tradition is to treat and regard our graduate students as much like colleagues as like students. Faculty and graduate students participate in workshops, in reading groups, in colloquium discussions and in nearly all department life on an equal basis. The Department covers the cost of graduate student participation in lunches and dinners with visiting speakers. Our graduate students participate in the running of the department. Two graduate students serve as representatives at department meetings, a graduate student serves on the Graduate Studies Committee, and graduate students also serve on faculty hiring committees. Graduate students are essential to our efforts to recruit new graduate students each year.
Graduate students have a lively society of their own, the Hume Society that is responsible for a range of both intellectual and social events.
Graduate students take a mixture of courses and seminars both in our department in other departments. They also regularly take directed reading courses or independent study courses when special needs are not met by scheduled courses or when students are working directly on their dissertations.
Our calendar is packed with a range of philosophical events. We have a regular Colloquia series with visiting speakers on Friday afternoons. Our Colloquia are followed by receptions for the speakers hosted by the graduate students followed by dinner with the speaker. In addition to the regular colloquia series, every year we host the Immanuel Kant Lectures . Our graduate students, along with other local graduate students, organize the Berkeley/Stanford/Davis Conference where every year graduate students have the opportunity to present papers to an even larger philosophical community.
Many more informal reading and research groups, including the Social Ethics and Normative Theory Workshop, the Global Justice and Political Theory Workshop, and the Logical Methods in the Humanities Workshop , existing within the department and the university and are able to invite speakers from all across the world.
The affiliated Center for Ethics in Society hosts many different events including the annual lectures such as Tanner Lectures in Human Values , the Wesson Lectures on democratic theory and practice , and the Arrow Lecture Series on Ethics and Leadership , in addition to a vast range of other conferences, lectures and workshops on ethics and political philosophy.
The Center for the Explanation of Consciousness (CEC) is a research initiative at Center for Study of Language and Information which is devoted to studying materialistic explanations of consciousness. The CEC hosts talks and symposia from a variety of viewpoints exploring the nature of conscious experience. They also sponsor reading groups during the term, led by faculty and graduate students.
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450 Jane Stanford Way Main Quad, Building 90 Stanford, CA 94305 Phone : 650-723-2547 Campus Map philosophy [at] stanford.edu
Dates and Deadline
The online application for 2023 entry opened on September 15, 2022. Start your application on the Apply Now page. The APPLICATION DUE DATE for the entering class of 2023 is December 6, 2022 at 11:59 PM PST
What You Need to Know
- The application, including the statement of purpose, the writing sample, the names of three recommenders, and unofficial transcripts must be submitted VIA THE WEB . Late applications will not be accepted.
- The Stanford CollegeNet Application will be available as of late September.
- Do not wait until the last day to submit your application to allow for the possibility for technical difficulties.
- Please make sure to include an unofficial transcript in your application materials. Official transcripts are not required until an offer of admission is made.
- The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required.
- Interfolio letters of recommendation may be sent by email to An Nguyen ( antnguyn [at] stanford.edu class="hs-external-link" target="_blank" ).
- Admissions decisions will take place during the last two weeks of February.
- Applicants will be notified by early March.
The Program in Modern Thought and Literature seeks to admit students who, as individuals, exhibit great intellectual capacity and the intent to carry out innovative interdisciplinary programs of study, and who, as a group, are of diverse backgrounds and interests. Successful applicants show a commitment to literary or cultural studies, but must also be prepared to make their way in their chosen non-literary field or fields. All applicants will be evaluated in accordance with the University’s strong affirmative-action policy. The Program has a commitment to supporting non-traditional and emergent forms of scholarship. We accept students who have just completed their undergraduate degrees and also welcome students who have pursued careers or degrees in other fields.
An application to the Program in Modern Thought and Literature must include the following elements:
Statement of Purpose
- Supplemental section regarding your proposed interdisciplinary project
- Letters of Recommendation
To apply for admission, please go to Graduate Admissions
The email address for Graduate Admissions, Registrar’s Office, is gradadmissions [at] stanford.edu class="mailto-link" .
Of primary importance, the statement of purpose should demonstrate that the applicant’s focus is interdisciplinary and can be effectively pursued at Stanford. You should suggest a project or two that would provide a sense of how you wish to pursue interdisciplinary study, and why the Program in Modern Thought and Literature is a good fit for you. Although there is no hard and fast requirement regarding length, the Statement of Purpose should be a concise description of your academic goals, no longer than 1500 words.
In addition to the statement of purpose, you will be asked to complete a supplemental section regarding your proposed interdisciplinary project.
Because they must forge links among disciplines and seek out relevant faculty members from across the university, students in Modern Thought and Literature need to develop their projects earlier than students in more traditional fields. Applicants should also bear in mind that the academic job market is overwhelmingly discipline-focused. Please answer the following questions BRIEFLY (2-3 sentences for each) to indicate that you’ve considered these issues. It’s of course assumed that your project will change and evolve as you study; this is in no way a binding statement of purpose. (*All three questions are required.)
1. What is the central question you intend to pursue?
2. Describe the need for an interdisciplinary approach.
3. Explain the relevance of your project to at least one discipline or field within which you could situate yourself upon completion of your doctoral degree.
Similar issues should be addressed by those not planning to pursue an academic career. Where do you see your project taking you?
Submit a critical or analytic sample of scholarly writing, approximately 7000 words maximum . Although we encourage applicants to choose writing samples that display their interdisciplinary interests, this is not a requirement. Choose a sample that reflects your best scholarly work. The writing sample should not be a sample of creative writing. Applicants may submit two or more shorter samples to a total of about 7000 words, but keep in mind that shorter samples are usually less well suited to demonstrate your research and argumentation skills.
The writing sample and letters of recommendation should again indicate your preparedness for interdisciplinary work, and why your interests would be best served in a program such as ours.
Completed applications must be submitted by the due date above.
Join dozens of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences students who gain valuable leadership skills in a multidisciplinary, multicultural community as Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS). KHS admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a distinguished cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your PhD studies at Stanford. Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. Stanford PhD students may also apply to KHS during their first year of PhD enrollment. If you aspire to be a leader in your field, we invite you to apply. The KHS application deadline is October 12, 2022. Learn more about KHS admission .
An Nguyen (for questions about the application process) E-mail: antnguyn [at] stanford.edu class="hs-external-link" target="_blank"
Modern Thought and Literature 450 Jane Stanford Way, Building 460, Room 219 Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-2022
Only On-Line Applications Will be Accepted
Please note: there is no paper option for applications. All applications must be submitted online. Letters of recommendation should also be submitted online. Modern Thought & Literature will accept letters by mail only in exceptional cases and when absolutely necessary. Your Statement of Purpose, your Writing Sample, and your Unofficial Transcripts must be uploaded with your online application.
Official transcripts are a University requirement, but are not required for the application evaluation process itself.
They may be submitted in January.
Official transcripts should be mailed to the Modern Thought & Literature office:
Modern Thought and Literature Admissions Committee 450 Jane Stanford Way, Building 460, Room 219 Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-2022
- University application forms (submitted online)
- A statement of purpose (submitted online)
- Transcripts from every post-secondary institution you have attended for at least one year as a full-time student (submitted online; official transcripts mailed to address below )*
- Three letters of recommendation (although we much prefer that the letters of recommendation will be submitted online, we will accept mailed letters when necessary); recommendation packets sent through Interfolio may be sent via email to An Nguyen ( antnguyn [at] stanford.edu class="hs-external-link" target="_blank" ).
- A recent (non-fiction) writing sample of approximately 7000 words. PLEASE NOTE: The Writing Sample must be submitted online.
- Check the Graduate Admissions website under A ccommodations for Applicants with Extenuating Circumstances for information concerning application fees and waivers. Fee waivers are available to US citizens only.
The selection of PhD students admitted to the Program in Modern Thought & Literature is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, and past accomplishments.
- Fee Waiver Policy https://graddiversity.stanford.edu/graduate-fee-waivers
- Funding Package Every offer of admissions (including to international applicants) consists of the same five-year funding package based on Stanford’s calculation of graduate student living expenses. A breakdown of estimated living expenses can be found at this url: https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/admitted-students/financing-graduate-study/estimated-expense-budget
To access the MTL Applicant Checklist (after you have submitted your application), go to: https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/applying/starting-your-application
- Check the agreement box and click “start application.”
- At the bottom of the menu on the next screen you’ll find: Manage Your Account
- Choose “Review Your Activity” and to access the checklist.
Please Note: Do not be concerned if the checklist indicates that your application is not complete due to missing official scores or official transcripts.
For the review process:
- “Self-reported” scores are acceptable.
- The uploaded “unofficial” transcripts are acceptable.
However, before any formal offer of admission can be made, official scores and official transcripts must be submitted.
Links for international applicants
- Stanford’s assessment of foreign degrees https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/applying/international-applicants
- Frequently Asked Questions https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/about/frequently-asked-questions/international-students
- Required Examinations Most international students must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Information on the required tests (including information on exemptions from the TOEFL requirement) can be found at: https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/about/frequently-asked-questions/gre-and-toefl
- Information for international students at Stanford Visit the Bechtel International Center site: https://bechtel.stanford.edu/
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450 Jane Stanford Way Building 460, Rm. 216 Stanford, CA 94305
Phone : (650) 723-3413 antnguyn [at] stanford.edu class="hs-external-link" target="_blank" Campus Map
The graduate program in Comparative Literature at Penn State offers a 5-year Ph.D.-only Program. Students must hold an M.A. in Comparative Literature or related field(s) (whether from Penn State or from other universities) to enter the 5-year PhD–only program.
Students entering the graduate program who hold an M.A. degree in Comparative Literature or a related field(s) may be selected to enter the 5-year Ph.D.-only admission track.
The total credits required for the 5-year program are 33. The program consists of course work, a candidacy examination, a demonstration of language proficiency, a comprehensive examination, and a dissertation—in that order.
Ph.D. course work is in addition to courses used to satisfy M.A. requirements. It includes
- 10 required credits in Comparative Literature are required: CMLIT 501 (3 credits), 502 (3 credits), and 503 (3 credits); and CMLIT 602 (1 credit). (If these courses have been taken in the student’s master’s program, other Comparative Literature courses are substituted.)
- Additional credits to satisfy the requirements appropriate to the program (up to 33 for the five-year program, and 48 for the six-year program). Some courses should focus on the languages and literatures that will be the subject of the student’s dissertation, and his or her major professional field(s).
Students should organize their coursework around an identifiable unifying principle, such as a genre, period, or theme, or a specific, well-defined problem involving literature and another discipline, or literary theory and criticism.
Students in the 6-year pattern take the candidacy exam and the comprehensive exam; they also prepare an M.A. paper in accordance with the guidelines specified for the M.A. degree. This paper requirement should be met by the fourth semester of the program. Students in the 5-year program do not do an M.A. paper.
To meet university requirements for an M.A., by the end of the first two years, 18 or more credits must be at 500 levels or above. The usual expectation is that all, or nearly all, courses in the 5-year program will be at that level.
Doctoral work requires graduate-level study in three languages. One of these languages may be English. The choice of languages depends on the student’s intellectual development and program of study, and is made in consultation with the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. Some students find that their areas of interest will require the acquisition of additional languages during their doctoral program. Graduates of our doctoral program have tended to concentrated on literatures in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. Work in the medieval literatures of some of these languages (for example, Old French) is also common.
The foreign language requirement can be fulfilled in three ways:
- A grade of B or better in an intermediate- or advanced-level foreign language or literature course at Penn State.
- Successful performance on an examination administered by a Comparative Literature department faculty (or faculty in other Liberal Arts departments) with competence in the language.
- A waiver granted by the Graduate Committee for bilingual students, native speakers, or students whose academic records otherwise demonstrate competence (e.g., an undergraduate major or minor).
Working with their advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, students should in their first year establish a clear plan for fulfilling the foreign language requirement during their time of study.
During the second year of coursework, students prepare for the PhD candidacy exam, which consists of written and oral portions. The purpose of the exam is to determine whether the student should continue to work toward the Ph.D., and if so, to plan the doctoral program. It must be taken early in the Ph.D. program, so this decision can be made before either the department or the student has made an extensive commitment. Working with the Director of Graduate Studies, students select an advisor and form faculty committees to administer the exam.
During the final year of coursework, students take a Comprehensive Exam in consultation with their doctoral committee, which prepares, conducts, and evaluates the exam. The comprehensive exam has two parts. The first part is a written exam based on three reading lists in the student’s fields of study, followed by a discussion of the written exam with the doctoral committee. The second part consists of an oral exam based on the dissertation prospectus.
The first part of the exam measures the student’s mastery of his/her field(s) of study. It serves two purposes: first, to prepare the student as a prospective teacher in his/her field(s) of study; and secod, to develop the necessary historical, literary, theoretical, and critical knowledge and thinking skills that will help the student determine a dissertation topic and compose a dissertation prospectus. The second part of the exam is dedicated to discussing the dissertation prospectus.
The final oral examination (“defense”) concentrates on, but is not necessarily limited to, the dissertation’s subject. It is conducted by the candidate’s dissertation committee. A complete draft of the dissertation must be made available to the committee at least two weeks before the scheduled defense. Immediately following the defense, the doctoral committee meets to discuss the quality of the written and oral components of the dissertation, to make the decision of pass or fail, and to determine the revisions, if any, to be undertaken before they will approve the dissertation. Dissertations judged by the committee to be of superior quality are awarded departmental distinction. The student and the dissertation chairperson should plan a calendar of progress that will allow adequate time for the final draft to be read within the department and revised, if necessary, before it is due at the Graduate School. In some cases (for example, if a member of the committee is out of town), it may be necessary to allow more time.
Each student works with an individually appointed doctoral committee of faculty members. The composition of the committee, the nucleus of which is usually the same group of faculty that has administered the candidacy exam, is subject to the approval of the Graduate Director and to the regulations of the Graduate School, which officially appoints these individual committees for each doctoral student. At least four Penn State members are needed. The major field (CMLIT) must be represented by at least two members of the department. The committee also includes a faculty member whose field of interest is different from that of the candidate, and a faculty member whose home department is outside CMLIT (these may or may not be the same). The doctoral minor or dual-title degree program (if any) must have representation on the committee. A CMLIT faculty member must be chair or co-chair.
Comparative Literature offers dual-title PhD programs in Comparative Literature and African Studies , Comparative Literature and Asian Studies , Comparative Literature and Visual Studies , and Comparative Literature and Women’s Studies .
Dual-title degree programs give students a solid grounding in the fundamental methods and background of a single discipline, while allowing the student’s work to be extended through participation in an interdisciplinary program that connects students to faculty across the university, allow them to do creative, high-level scholarship, and make them compelling candidates on the academic job market. Students are admitted first to their primary department (Comparative Literature) and then to the second field. Students take coursework in both programs and have representatives of both programs on their committees. They may also have teaching opportunities in both programs.
To apply for a dual-title PhD, you need simply to indicate on your application that you wish to be considered for acceptance into a dual-title degree program.
A formal doctoral minor requires 15 credits of approved coursework. A representative of the minor (from a participating department other than the student’s home department) must be included on the student’s doctoral committee. Students interested in minors should notify the Graduate Director and their advisor, to discuss the feasibility of fitting in the minor, and then approach the department of the minor field in order to ascertain specific course requirements.
Doctoral Minor in Literary Theory, Criticism, and Aesthetics . Students in Comparative Literature and in other disciplines may choose to take a minor in literary theory, criticism, and aesthetics, which is administered jointly by Philosophy and Comparative Literature.
The minor strengthens the training of students in literature and in related fields by providing a coherent philosophical and theoretical basis for their advanced work. It also provides an interdisciplinary context for their doctoral program. A core of 6 credits exposes students to literary theory and criticism (through either CMLIT 502 or 503) and to aesthetics or interpretation theory (through either PHIL 409 or 516).
In addition to the minor in criticism, theory, and aesthetics, other minors may be useful. The minor in women’s studies has been especially popular. Minors may also be taken in fields such as geography, history, anthropology, philosophy, theatre, or marketing. When a minor is undertaken, a representative of the minor field is included on the student’s doctoral committee, and some aspect or methodology of the minor subject must be present in the dissertation.
Admission to graduate study in Comparative Literature at Penn State is based on a number of considerations. Above all we seek intellectually curious, highly motivated students whose interests suggest a good fit with our departmental strengths. We welcome well-qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds.
We are often asked what our committee looks for and the truth is that there is no standard formula. Above all we look for intellectual engagement and scholarly commitment. The graduate committee that evaluates applicants seeks evidence of intellectual promise, openness to new ideas and methods, capacity for original scholarship, the ability to think critically and to write clearly, and potential for professional success. Of obvious importance for scholars who will work across cultures is appropriate language preparation. Research plans that are in synch with our areas of expertise are also of importance. We do not consider GRE scores.
For full funding consideration, completed applications should be submitted by January 5 . We will continue to accept applications on rolling basis thereafter; however, those who apply by January 5 will have the best opportunity for support.
We recognize that the vast majority of graduate students require financial assistance to complete their studies. We admit students with multi-year funding packages that include both a stipend and a tuition grant-in-aid. No separate application for financial aid or graduate assistantship is required.
Your application to Comparative Literature at Penn State consists of two groups of items:
A. Items that are provided through the on-line Graduate School Application Portal.
If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements (included application fee information) please visit that website at http://www.gradschool.psu.edu/index.cfm/prospective-students/requirements/ .
If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application at http://www.gradschool.psu.edu/index.cfm/apply/ .
This on-line process includes the following items which you will input or upload:
- Transcripts. Applicants are required to electronically upload copies of transcripts (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the U.S., e.g., degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and copies of an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction). Applicants recommended for admission who accept an offer through the online graduate admission system will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents must be sent from the originating institutions in the official language of the institution(s) attended (and if the language of instruction is not English, an official English translation must also be sent). The Graduate School will review all official documents to finalize the offer of admission. An offer of admission will be revoked if official/original documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadlines, or if official/original documents differ from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission. For applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies, the deadline specified for receipt of official/original documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official/original documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized.
- Self-reporting of ETS Scores : TOEFL scores are required of applicants who do not hold prior degrees from institutions where the language of instruction is English. These are self-reported in your online application, with official scores submitted to the department of Comparative Literature at Penn State through the normal mechanisms of the agencies that administer these tests. Use institution code 2660. We do not consider GRE scores.
- Sample of your written work , preferably an essay on literature.
- Statement of purpose. The statement of purpose should include information on a) your education and other relevant background, including teaching experience or other activities that have prepared you for graduate work in Comparative Literature; b) your research interests; c) your language skills and their application to your research interests; d) your reasons for considering graduate work in Comparative Literature, especially your interest in our specific program.
- A C.V. or resumé.
- Three Letters of Reference. We do not require a specific form for recommenders. You input your recommenders’ information on the application and they will be sent an email asking them to upload their letter directly.
B. Items sent directly to our department:
- Official ETS Scores : TOEFL scores are required of applicants who do not hold prior degrees from institutions where the language of instruction is English. These are self-reported in your online application, with official scores submitted to the department of Comparative Literature at Penn State through the normal mechanisms of the agencies that administer these tests.
Applicants are instructed to request that TOEFL scores be sent to Penn State electronically . MAT scores are only available in hard copy, so those scores should be sent by postal mail directly from Pearson to Penn State.
IELTS and MAT scores should be mailed to:
The Pennsylvania State University Graduate Enrollment Services 114 Kern Building University Park, PA 16802
We encourage you to get to know our faculty, graduate student cohort, and program thoroughly before applying..
Our program is committed to fostering an intellectually vibrant and international environment at the university. Fully half the students in Comparative Literature come to Penn State from universities outside the United States. We have extensive experience working with, and training, students whose native language is not English, and in preparing them to succeed as scholars, either in the United States or abroad.
We do not consider GRE scores. The TOEFL test is instead a requirement for admission. While we do take test scores into consideration, the graduate committee that evaluates applicants seeks evidence of intellectual promise, the ability to think critically and to write clearly, the capacity for original scholarship, and openness to new ideas and methods.
Because we admit only 3-5 students a year, we are able to offer an innovative and flexible curriculum that allows students to design individualized programs of study tailored to their interests. We aim to produce accomplished, serious intellectuals and scholars who are ready to become college or university professors, or to use the skills and training they receive at Penn State in other capacities and other professions.
First-year students go through a semester-long course, CMLIT 501, that introduces them to the fundamental interpretive, research, and writing skills of the discipline. We continue to work with students on research and writing, not only in coursework, but also through our Writing Fellowship Program. The WFP offers $4,000 in summer salary, and $1,000 in research support, to up to five students a year. Students in the program attend writing workshops and do independent studies with faculty members as they spend 9-12 months working on an article to be submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. Preference for the WFP is normally given to students in their second year of study, but all students are eligible.
When it comes time to go on the academic job market, all our students receive extensive support. We work with students to craft letters, CVs, and other important documents; we also run mock interviews and mock job talks to prepare our job candidates to do their best in Skype interviews, at the MLA, or on campus.
The department provides a comprehensive support program for helping students prepare themselves for a successful job search. Throughout the graduate program, our faculty offers substantial career mentoring and advice on how to develop strong credentials, including planning for professional development from the start of a student’s graduate career.
Of our PhD graduates from the past ten years (2002-2012), 85% currently hold full-time academic positions, of which roughly two thirds are tenure-track. In the United States, institutions that have hired our graduates include research universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Central Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska, the University of Utah, and Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as liberal arts colleges such as Bay Path, Bennington, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Nicolette, Reed, Smith, Stockton, Vassar, the University of Dubuque, and Shawnee State University. In a testament to the global focus of our graduate program, our students have also successfully found employment around the world; recent graduates currently teach at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Tsinghua University in China; the Universität Bielefeld in Germany; El Colegio de México; Prague Metropolitan University in the Czech Republic; the University of Athens in Greece; Dogus University in Turkey; Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan, and the American University of Central Asia in the Kyrgyz Republic, among other international universities.
Philosophy and Literature
The Focal Group in Philosophy and Literature brings together scholars and students from eight departments to investigate questions in aesthetics and literary theory, philosophically-inflected literary texts, and the form of philosophical writings. It offers undergraduate major tracks within nine programs, a graduate workshop, and a lecture series.
Please visit the Philosophy and Literature Initiative's website: http://philit.stanford.edu
R. Lanier Anderson
Grant Bartolomé Dowling
Philosophy + Literature Workshop with Martin Hägglund
Past events, philosophy + literature workshop with daisy dixon (cardiff university).
Philosophy + Literature Workshop with Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé
Philosophy + Literature Workshop with Darci Gardner
Philosophy and Literature Graduate Conference: In and Out of Context (Sept. 26th)
Philosophy and literature graduate conference: in and out of context (sept. 25th), michael emerson: the philosophy of lost, philosophy and literature in conversation, blakey vermeule: "why do we care about literary characters", g.r.f. ferrari, "storytelling and intimation: a somewhat gricean account", roundtable discussion: what is narrative.
Pigott Hall, Building 260 450 Jane Stanford Way Stanford, CA 94305 Mail code: 2005
Hours : Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 5:00pm Phone : (650) 724-1333 Email : dlcl [at] stanford.edu
Connect With Us
PhD Program in English Language and Literature
The department enrolls an average of ten PhD students each year. Our small size allows us to offer a generous financial support package. We also offer a large and diverse graduate faculty with competence in a wide range of literary, theoretical and cultural fields. Each student chooses a special committee that works closely along side the student to design a course of study within the very broad framework established by the department. The program is extremely flexible in regard to course selection, the design of examinations and the election of minor subjects of concentration outside the department. English PhD students pursuing interdisciplinary research may include on their special committees faculty members from related fields such as comparative literature, medieval studies, Romance studies, German studies, history, classics, women’s studies, linguistics, theatre and performing arts, government, philosophy, and film and video studies.
The PhD candidate is normally expected to complete six or seven one-semester courses for credit in the first year of residence and a total of six or seven more in the second and third years. The program of any doctoral candidate’s formal and informal study, whatever his or her particular interests, should be comprehensive enough to ensure familiarity with:
- The authors and works that have been the most influential in determining the course of English, American, and related literatures
- The theory and criticism of literature, and the relations between literature and other disciplines
- Concerns and tools of literary and cultural history such as textual criticism, study of genre, source, and influence as well as wider issues of cultural production and historical and social contexts that bear on literature
Areas in which students may have major or minor concentrations include African-American literature, American literature to 1865, American literature after 1865, American studies (a joint program with the field of history), colonial and postcolonial literatures, cultural studies, dramatic literature, English poetry, the English Renaissance to 1660, lesbian, bisexual and gay literary studies, literary criticism and theory, the nineteenth century, Old and Middle English, prose fiction, the Restoration and the eighteenth century, the twentieth century, and women's literature.
By the time a doctoral candidate enters the fourth semester of graduate study, the special committee must decide whether he or she is qualified to proceed toward the PhD. Students are required to pass their Advancement to Candidacy Examination before their fourth year of study, prior to the dissertation.
PhD Program specifics can be viewed here: PhD Timeline PhD Procedural Guide
Every graduate student selects a special committee of faculty advisors who work intensively with the student in selecting courses and preparing and revising the dissertation. The committee is comprised of at least three Cornell faculty members: a chair, and typically two minor members usually from the English department, but very often representing an interdisciplinary field. The university system of special committees allows students to design their own courses of study within a broad framework established by the department, and it encourages a close working relationship between professors and students, promoting freedom and flexibility in the pursuit of the graduate degree. The special committee for each student guides and supervises all academic work and assesses progress in a series of meetings with the students.
At Cornell, teaching is considered an integral part of training in academia. The field requires a carefully supervised teaching experience of at least one year for every doctoral candidate as part of the program requirements. The Department of English, in conjunction with the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, offers excellent training for beginning teachers and varied and interesting teaching in the university-wide First-Year Writing Program. The courses are writing-intensive and may fall under such general rubrics as “Portraits of the Self,” “American Literature and Culture,” “Shakespeare,” and “Cultural Studies,” among others. A graduate student may also serve as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate lecture course taught by a member of the Department of English faculty.
Each student and special committee will decide what work in foreign language is most appropriate for a student’s graduate program and scholarly interests. Some students’ doctoral programs require extensive knowledge of a single foreign language and literature; others require reading ability in two or more foreign languages. A student may be asked to demonstrate competence in foreign languages by presenting the undergraduate record, taking additional courses in foreign languages and literature, or translating and discussing documents related to the student’s work. Students are also normally expected to provide evidence of having studied the English language through courses in Old English, the history of the English language, grammatical analysis or the application of linguistic study to metrics or to literary criticism. Several departments at Cornell offer pertinent courses in such subjects as descriptive linguistics, psycholinguistics and the philosophy of language.
All PhD degree candidates are guaranteed five years of funding (including a stipend , a full tuition fellowship and student health insurance):
- A first-year non-teaching fellowship
- Two years of teaching assistantships
- A fourth-year non-teaching fellowship for the dissertation writing year
- A fifth-year teaching assistantship
- Summer support for four years, including a first-year summer teaching assistantship, linked to a teachers’ training program at the Knight Institute. Summer residency in Ithaca is required.
Students have also successfully competed for Buttrick-Crippen Fellowship, Society for the Humanities Fellowships, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), Shin Yong-Jin Graduate Fellowships, Provost’s Diversity Fellowships, fellowships in recognition of excellence in teaching, and grants from the Graduate School to help with the cost of travel to scholarly conferences and research collections.
Admission & Application Procedures
The application for Fall 2023 admission will close at 11:59pm EST on December 1, 2022.
Our application process reflects the field’s commitment to considering the whole person and their potential to contribute to our scholarly community. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of academic preparation (e.g., performance in relevant courses, completion of substantive, independent research project). An applicant’s critical and creative potential will be considered: applicants should demonstrate interest in extensive research and writing and include a writing sample that reveals a capacity to argue persuasively, demonstrate the ability to synthesize a broad range of materials, as well as offer fresh insights into a problem or text. The committee will also consider whether an applicant demonstrates a commitment to inclusion, equity, and diversity and offers a substantive explanation for why study at Cornell is especially compelling (e.g., a discussion of faculty research and foci). Admissions committees will consider the entire application carefully, including statements and critical writing, as well as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a resume/cv (if provided). Please view the requirements and procedures listed below, if you are interested in being considered for our PhD in English Language and Literature program.
Eligibility: Applicants must currently have, or expect to have, at least a BA or BS (or the equivalent) in any field before matriculation. International students, please verify degree equivalency here . Applicants are not required to meet a specified GPA minimum.
To Apply: All applications and supplemental materials must be submitted online through the Graduate School application system . While completing your application, you may save and edit your data. Once you click submit, your application will be closed for changes. Please proofread your materials carefully. Once you pay and click submit, you will not be able to make any changes or revisions.
DEADLINE: December 1st, 11:59pm EST. This deadline is firm. No applications, additional materials, or revisions will be accepted after the deadline.
PhD Program Application Requirements Checklist
- Academic Statement of Purpose Please describe (within 1000 words) in detail the substantive research questions you are interested in pursuing during your graduate studies and why they are significant. Additionally, make sure to include information about any training or research experience that you believe has prepared you for our program. You should also identify specific faculty members whose research interests align with your own specific questions. Note that the identification of faculty is important; you would be well advised to read selected faculty’s recent scholarship so that you can explain why you wish to study with them. Do not rely on the courses they teach. Please refrain from contacting individual faculty prior to receiving an offer of admission.
- Personal Statement Please describe (within 1000 words) how your personal background and experiences influenced your decision to pursue a graduate degree and the research you wish to conduct. Explain, for example the meaning and purpose of the PhD in the context of your personal history and future aspirations. Please note that we will pay additional attention to candidates who identify substantial reasons to obtain a PhD beyond the pursuit of an academic position. Additionally, provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect where scholars representing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn (productively and positively) together.
- Critical Writing Sample Your academic writing sample must be between 3,000 and 7,500 words (12-30 pages), typed and double-spaced. We accept excerpts from longer works, or a combination of shorter works.
- Three Letters of Recommendation Please select three people who best know you and your work. Submitting additional letters will not enhance your application. In the recommendation section of the application, you must include the email address of each recommender. After you save the information (and before you pay/submit), the application system will automatically generate a recommendation request email to your recommender with instructions for submitting the letter electronically. If your letters are stored with a credential service such as Interfolio, please use their Online Application Delivery feature and input the email address assigned to your stored document, rather than that of your recommender’s. The electronic files will be attached to your application when they are received and will not require the letter of recommendation cover page. If circumstances prevent your recommender from submitting a letter electronically, we will accept the letter in paper form mailed to: Graduate Coordinator, Department of English, Cornell University, 250 Goldwin Smith Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Please do not postpone submitting your application while waiting for us to receive all three of your letters. We will accept recommendation letters that arrive after Dec. 1.
- Transcripts Scan transcripts from each institution you have attended, or are currently attending, and upload into the academic information section of the application. Be sure to remove your social security number from all documents prior to scanning. Please do not send paper copies of your transcripts. If you are subsequently admitted and accept, the Graduate School will require an official paper transcript from your degree-awarding institution prior to matriculation.
- English Language Proficiency Requirement All applicants must provide proof of English language proficiency. For more information, please view the Graduate School’s English Language Requirement .
- GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test are NO LONGER REQUIRED, effective starting with the 2019 application In March 2019, the faculty of English voted overwhelmingly to eliminate all GRE requirements (both general and subject test) for application to the PhD program in English. GRE scores are not good predictors of success or failure in a PhD program in English, and the uncertain predictive value of the GRE exam is far outweighed by the toll it takes on student diversity. For many applicants the cost of preparing for and taking the exam is prohibitively expensive, and the exam is not globally accessible. Requiring the exam narrows our applicant pool at precisely the moment we should be creating bigger pipelines into higher education. We need the strength of a diverse community in order to pursue the English Department’s larger mission: to direct the force of language toward large and small acts of learning, alliance, imagination, and justice.
General Information for All Applicants
Application Fee: Visit the Graduate School for information regarding application fees, payment options, and fee waivers .
Document Identification: Please do not put your social security number on any documents.
Status Inquiries: Once you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email. You will also be able to check the completion status of your application in your account. If vital sections of your application are missing, we will notify you via email after the Dec. 1 deadline and allow you ample time to provide the missing materials. Please do not inquire about the status of your application.
Credential/Application Assessments: The Admission Review Committee members are unable to review application materials or applicant credentials prior to official application submission. Once the committee has reviewed applications and made admissions decisions, they will not discuss the results or make any recommendations for improving the strength of an applicant’s credentials. Applicants looking for feedback are advised to consult with their undergraduate advisor or someone else who knows them and their work.
Review Process: Application review begins after the submission deadline. Notification of admissions decisions will be made by email by the end of February.
Connecting with Faculty and/or Students: Unfortunately, due to the volume of inquiries we receive, faculty and current students are not available to correspond with potential applicants prior to an offer of admission. Applicants who are offered admission will have the opportunity to meet faculty and students to have their questions answered prior to accepting. Staff and faculty are also not able to pre-assess potential applicant’s work outside of the formal application process. Please email [email protected] instead, if you have questions.
Visiting: The department does not offer pre-admission visits or interviews. Admitted applicants will be invited to visit the department, attend graduate seminars and meet with faculty and students before making the decision to enroll.
Transfer Credits: Students matriculating with an MA degree may, at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies, receive credit for up to two courses once they begin our program.
For Further Information
Contact [email protected]
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Doctor of Philosophy in English (Literature)
Jonathan Hope , Director
Sheila Luna , Program Manager
Doctoral Procedures and Timeline
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in literature program at ASU promotes the study of the production, distribution and reception of texts, of their linguistic, rhetorical and literary structures and functions, and of internal and external forces that create literature.
While catalog offerings reflect a chronological approach with emphasis on biography, history and aesthetic appreciation, content and methodology in these courses vary. Modes of inquiry include both traditional and recent critical approaches to literary studies; many courses explore issues relating to gender, class, race and ethnicity. This flexibility allows the juxtaposition of high cultural with low cultural texts and the traditional canon with neglected texts.
The program prepares students for entrance into the profession as both teachers and scholars.
The PhD program is a total of 84 hours. In general, a student with an appropriate master's degree must complete a minimum of 54 credit hours of approved graduate work, which includes 12 hours of dissertation. ENG 792 Research credits may be used towards course work in consultation with the advisor. A student without an appropriate master's degree must complete 84 credit hours of work at ASU. At the advisor’s discretion, students may include up to 12 credit hours (4 classes) of appropriate, graduate-level course work undertaken at another university, and not previously counted towards any other degree. Transfer classes must have a grade of B or better and be less than three years old.
Minimum Course Requirements ( 24-39 credits or 8 to 13 courses) : Students who enter with an appropriate MA degree must take a minimum of eight graduate courses at ASU. Students who enter without an MA must take a minimum of thirteen graduate courses at ASU. Independent Study courses, i.e., ENG 590 and ENG 790, may not be used to fulfill the minimum course requirements.
Approaches to Research ( 3 credits / one class): Students must take the core class ENG 501 Approaches to Research.
Theory (6 credits / two courses): Appropriate courses for filling this requirement must be in the area of the history of criticism, literary theory, rhetorical theory, linguistic theory or cultural theory. Examples of courses which meet this requirement, if the specific topic is appropriate, include the following: ENG 502, 503, 504, 550, 551, 552, 554, 556, 602, 604, 651, LIN 510, 516, 517; however, an equivalent or more advanced course in linguistic, rhetorical or literary theory would also be acceptable.
Seminar (15 credits / five courses): Students must take a minimum of five graduate seminars at the 600-level en route to the PhD. At least three seminars must be taken in the doctoral program at ASU.
Interdisciplinary Option (9-12 credits / 3-4 courses): Students wishing to take courses outside the department may count up to 12 credit hours of those courses toward the degree. These courses may fulfill some of the foregoing requirements (e.g., critical theory). Students should consult with their committee chair when choosing electives.
Language Requirement : PhD students must demonstrate evidence of a competent knowledge of a natural language other than modern English, to be selected by the student, subject to the approval of the chair of the dissertation committee. The language requirement must be completed before the student is eligible to take the doctoral exams. This requirement may be met by
- Earning a “B” (3.00) or higher in a 400- or 500-level course in an appropriate (approved) language.
- Demonstrating comparable proficiency by taking a language examination, administered by the School of International Letters and Cultures, in a language approved by the student’s supervisory committee.
- Demonstrating native-speaker proficiency, as determined by the School of International Letters and Cultures, in a language approved by the student’s supervisory committee.
- Earning a “B” (3.00) or higher in both ENG 530 Old English and ENG 531 Old English Literature or their equivalent.
- Holding a bachelor’s degree in an approved foreign language.
- Having fulfilled a foreign language requirement towards a previously awarded master’s degree that has been completed within five years of the semester for which the student has been admitted to the doctoral program. This foreign language must be in a language approved by the student’s doctoral supervisory committee.
- For languages which the School of International Letters and Cultures does not offer or does not offer above the 200 level, two years (4 semesters) of successfully completed college level coursework at least at the 100 and 200 level with a C or better would fulfill the requirement. The coursework must have been successfully completed no more than six years prior to admission to the degree program.
PhD Examinations: Essay, oral exam, colloquy on the dissertation prospectus.
Dissertation : Students must take 12 credit hours of ENG 799.
Miscellaneous : Students may take research (ENG 792) for the purpose of working independently in preparation for the doctoral examination. This is an alternative to be elected by the student at the discretion and with the approval of the advisor and supervisory committee and can count towards course work. Satisfactory completion of ENG 792 is indicated by the grade of "Y." Individual interim segments of ENG 792 will be graded "Z" (course in progress), and changed to "Y" (successful completion) after the dissertation defense. No conventional letter grades are awarded for ENG 792 or 799.
The Graduate College also requires that students be enrolled every semester, excluding summer sessions, until they have completed all requirements for the degree. Continuous enrollment may be satisfied by registration for one hour of ENG 799, or, in cases where dissertation or other credit hours are not needed, Continuous Registration (ENG 595 or 795). If students wish to interrupt their programs of study for one or more semesters, they may apply for a leave of absence, not to exceed one year. Failure to enroll or obtain leave status for the semesters in which they are not enrolled will result in dismissal from the program.
Doctoral Supervisory Committee
The doctoral supervisory committee consists of a minimum of three members from the graduate faculty selected at the time the student files a program of study. In consultation with the director of the Ph.D. program, the student will select the committee chair, who also serves as the student's advisor. Once a graduate faculty member has agreed to serve as the student's chair, the student and chair will then consult before recommending two other members to the director of the doctoral program. Ideally another member of the supervisory committee in addition to the chair should be in the area of specialization. It is the responsibility of each student to form a supervisory committee very early in the program so that the chair and members of the committee may be involved in shaping the course of study, for example, in determining such matters as the choice of foreign language(s) and in specifying courses that will be required for the student's particular area of concentration.
Important Notice to Current International Students
In order for international students to maintain good standing for their VISAs, they must take a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester (i.e., 3 classes), 6 credits (2 classes) should be face-to-face classes.
All applications for admission to the program must be approved by the doctoral admissions committee in the Department of English and by the office Graduate Education. There are several requirements for admission, none of which will be arbitrarily disregarded, and the best applicants will meet or exceed all of these criteria. However, the admissions committee will consider the individual aspects of each application.
The application deadline is January 1 for the following fall semester.
Note: The committee reviews applications shortly after the deadline. The application must be complete with all supporting documents before review. This is the applicant's responsibility. Please plan accordingly when submitting an application.
For details, please see the Department of English Application Process webpage .
The following items are required for admission:
- Undergraduate major . The Department of English requires an undergraduate major in English or its equivalent with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
- Cumulative grade point average . The Graduate College requires a GPA of 3.00 or better in the last two years of work leading to the bachelor's degree and the recommendation of the academic unit in which the applicant plans to study. In addition, the Department of English requires that applicants have at least a 3.50 GPA in all previous graduate work.
- Letters of recommendation . Three letters of recommendation from professors familiar with the student’s performance are required.
- Statement Purpose . Applicants must submit a well-considered, one to two-page, single spaced statement of purpose in which they explain how their experience and training have prepared them for the program, and their purpose for pursuing the Ph.D.
- Sample of scholarly work . Applicants must submit an academic writing sample relevant to the field.
- Vitae or résumé . Applicants should submit a professional vita that outlines educational background, relevant experience, honors, publications.
- Application for admission . An application fee is required.
- Official Transcripts. Official transcripts must be sent to ASU Graduate Admissions office.
*The GRE is not required for admission.
International students must have an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS score report sent to the office Graduate Education. Please refer to the English Proficiency Score requirements .
Adams' interests include book history, history of reading, early modern English drama, and premodern critical race and gender studies.
Adamson is President's Professor of environmental humanities and Director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHI) at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at ASU.
Nicole Anderson is Professor and Director of The Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) at Arizona State University, USA.
Baldini's research interests are concentrated on British and European 19th century literature and culture.
Barksdale-Shaw's work explores narratives of justice by combining several disciplines including law, literature and medicine.
Bate is an international leader in green thinking and applied humanities, with scholarly expertise in sustainability as well as in Shakespeare, life-writing, Romanticism, contemporary poetry, theatre, and visual culture.
Bebout has authored two books: "Mythohistorical Interventions: The Chicano Movement and Its Legacies" and "Whiteness on the Border: Mapping the US Racial Imagination in Brown and White."
Bjork specializes in Old English language and literature as well as Old Norse, modern Swedish, and modern medical writing. He was educated at Pomona College and UCLA.
Broglio's research focuses on how philosophy and aesthetics can help us rethink the relationship between humans and the environment.
Brown is a public historian and a scholar of African American literature and culture.
Clarke's primary field is 20th century American fiction.
Cohen is the dean of humanities in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is widely published in the fields of medieval studies, monster theory, and the environmental humanities.
Ellis' research interests are in Native American oral traditions, North American verbal and performative lore, and world folklore.
Espinosa is the associate director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and specializes in Shakespeare and early modern literature.
Fox's current work focuses on the histories of positive emotions and well-being, as well as the role of fictional and cultural narratives in shaping emotion.
Galarrita’s research focuses on early modern English drama and travel writing, premodern critical race studies, language and science fiction.
Goodman's research and teaching ranges across several fields, including U.S. literature and culture, human rights, dissident literatures, and Jewish studies.
Hawkes’ academic specialty is the poetry of John Milton. However, his publications span a variety of fields ranging from Darwinism, zombies and torture to, Chomsky, magic, and McCarthyism.
Holbo studies American literature from the age of sentiment to the modernist era.
Hope's work lives at the intersection of language and literature: using techniques from linguistics to explore literary texts, and literary texts as evidence for the linguistic history of English.
A dedicated teacher, Horan has published nine books and more than thirty essays on Latin American and U.S. literature at the intersections of letters and biography, gender, digital humanities and literary translation.
Irish studies the literature and culture of 16th-century England, with a particular focus on the history of emotion.
Lester's specialization is African American literary and cultural studies.
Lockard founded the Prison English project (now the Prison Education Program) and continues to teach a weekly poetry workshop at Florence State Prison.
Devoney Looser is an internationally recognized scholar of British women’s writings, the history of the novel, and Jane Austen. The author or editor of nine books, she is a Guggenheim Fellow and an NEH Public Scholar.
Maring explores the way that early English poems draw upon oral, literary, and ritual forms of signification for their meaning.
Newhauser has a doctorate in English, with an emphasis on Medieval studies. His areas of research interest include the moral tradition in intellectual history and sensory studies (sensology).
Quintero teaches literature for the Department of English and is the editor of RED INK.
Ryner's teaching interests include Shakespeare and Renaissance drama; British literature to 1700; drama as a genre; literary theory and cultural studies.
Sadowski-Smith works in border and migration studies. She has published "The New Immigrant Whiteness: Race, Neoliberalism, and Post-Soviet Migration to the United States," "Border Fictions," and "Globalization on the Line."
Sayet is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of English and member of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Ayanna Thompson is a Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University, and the Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies (ACMRS).
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Philosophy + Literature is a unique initiative that brings together faculty from more than 10 departments, along with curious undergraduate and graduate students, to ask and answer big questions. For example: Should we live our life as a story? Must we always be honest with ourselves?
Philosophy. As a PhD student in the Harvard philosophy program, you'll have the opportunity to develop your ideas, knowledge, and abilities. You'll work with other doctoral students, our faculty, and visiting scholars, all in a stimulating and supportive environment. The program has strengths across a broad range of topics and areas, so you ...
Our Ph.D. program trains students in traditional core areas of philosophy and provides them with opportunities to explore many subfields such as the philosophy of literature, nineteenth-century German philosophy, and medieval philosophy. Among other areas, we are exceptionally strong in Kant studies, the philosophy of action, ancient philosophy ...
Doctor of Philosophy in Literature Program Description The graduate program in literature brings together scholars, creative writers and translators who share a commitment to transnational and interdisciplinary approaches to literary study and practice.
Philosophy and Literature Philosophy and Literature Supported Degree Objectives Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Required Supporting Documents Transcripts Recommendation Letters Statement of Purpose Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Writing Sample Resume English Proficiency Requirements
The PhD in Philosophy and Literature is aimed at outstanding students who wish to pursue advanced research ultimately to become professional researchers in, and teachers of, philosophy. As a PhD student, you will produce a maximum 80,000 word thesis that can provide the basis for professional publication.
An undergraduate specialization in philosophy or literature is desirable but not essential for admission. For students entering with a BA the minimum course requirements for the PhD are 60 credits. During the first year of study, students entering with a BA enroll in a master's level program.
Ph.D. Degree The Graduate Program in Literature is a doctoral program, which means that all students enrolled prepare for the Ph.D. degree. The program does not grant M.A. degrees along the way. The typical time to completion for the doctoral program is 6 full years. Requirements for the Ph.D. 12 Courses 12 Seminars 7 Literature Program courses
The Philosophy and Literature PhD is a leading programme, suiting students who thrive on independent, interdisciplinary study. You will undertake a substantial research project as part of an active research community, supervised by experts. Study Philosophy with English or Modern Languages. Course overview
Community. Our graduate students are part of a vigorous philosophical community. Our tradition is to treat and regard our graduate students as much like colleagues as like students. Faculty and graduate students participate in workshops, in reading groups, in colloquium discussions and in nearly all department life on an equal basis.
The selection of PhD students admitted to the Program in Modern Thought & Literature is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant's academic record, the letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, and past accomplishments. Resources
The graduate program in Comparative Literature at Penn State offers a 5-year Ph.D.-only Program. Students must hold an M.A. in Comparative Literature or related field (s) (whether from Penn State or from other universities) to enter the 5-year PhD-only program. The 5-year Ph.D.-only Program Coursework M.A. Paper 500 Level Courses
The Focal Group in Philosophy and Literature brings together scholars and students from eight departments to investigate questions in aesthetics and literary theory, philosophically-inflected literary texts, and the form of philosophical writings. It offers undergraduate major tracks within nine programs, a graduate workshop, and a lecture series. Please visit the Philosophy and Literature ...
Ph.D. Degrees in Literature in Literature degrees Literature degrees analyse ways of expressing feelings, experiences, and conceptions about life in an artistic form, enabling communication between humans and offering knowledge about personalities of the past.
Flinders University's Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Language, Literature and Culture provides the opportunity to pursue an advanced research project in English literary studies, philosophy, communications, or applied linguistics, and expand our understanding of the cultural and social forces that shape and steer the world today.
PhD Program in English Language and Literature Overview The department enrolls an average of ten PhD students each year. Our small size allows us to offer a generous financial support package. We also offer a large and diverse graduate faculty with competence in a wide range of literary, theoretical and cultural fields.
The PhD program is a total of 84 hours. In general, a student with an appropriate master's degree must complete a minimum of 54 credit hours of approved graduate course work, which includes 12 hours of dissertation. Research hours may be used towards course work in consultation with the advisor.
Affiliated Graduate Students. Sophia Houghton. PhD Student. Research Interests. Literature and Philosophy ... The Department of English And Comparative Literature 602 Philosophy Hall, MC4927 1150 Amsterdam Ave · New York, NY 10027. Phone. 212.854.3215. Follow Us Twitter. Columbia University ©2023 Columbia University Accessibility ...
• "Deep Tech at the Intersection of Literature, Philosophy, and Society," Winter 2023. • "Introduction to Sound Studies through Literature," Autumn 2022.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in literature program at ASU promotes the study of the production, distribution and reception of texts, of their linguistic, rhetorical and literary structures and functions, and of internal and external forces that create literature. While catalog offerings reflect a chronological approach with emphasis on ...