College of Arts & Sciences

English - Graduate

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College of Arts & Sciences

The Graduate Program in English at the University of Kentucky is widely regarded as among the best in the country. The 2010 National Research Council (NRC) survey of 122 PhD programs in English Language and Literature highlights the University of Kentucky’s exemplary record in faculty research and graduate student training, research, and job placement. We scored particularly well in two key measures: faculty publications and graduate student placement. Since 2000, we have placed 94% of our doctoral students in academic jobs.

The Department of English has an excellent placement record with students obtaining positions at the University of Arkansas, Kansas State University, University of North Dakota, Gonzaga University, Cardinal Stritch University, Chicago State University, Marshall University, and Western Kentucky University. While the NRC survey generated did not provide ordinal rankings, an independent website phds.org used the survey data to calculate the rankings. According to its method, our doctoral program is ranked #15 out of 122 PhD granting English departments in the United States. Phds.org ranked our department #8 among public institutions. 

Master's Program Description

The two-year MA program provides broad training in literature, language, and theory. The flexible program is designed to meet the academic and professional needs of a range of students, including scholars who plan to move on to the PhD degree and teachers and professionals in the region who wish to pursue the terminal MA. Students can select either literature or film as their area of concentration.

Master's Application Requirements

CV, Personal Statement (The statement of purpose should discuss your scholarly interest, any research directions you would like to pursue, and how your interests and goals fit into English Department. It should be 1 - 2 pages, single-spaced.), Writing Sample (The writing sample should be analytical prose, not creative work, 15 - 20 pages, double-spaced.), GRE, 3 letters of recommendation

Additional Requirements

Letter of Recommendation Instructions

3 Letters - The department prefers upload of a letter of recommendation from each recommender. * PhD applicants with teaching experience--one letter should be a teaching reference.

Application Deadlines

Fall: January 15th

Applications are not accepted for the Spring and Summer sessions. 

Doctoral Program Description

The doctoral program is designed to lead to the PhD in five years of study beyond the MA degree. With a diverse range of graduate seminars and an active research faculty, the PhD program prepares students for a successful professional career in academia. Students can specialize in the fields of British, American, or Anglophone literatures and examine a range of critical, theoretical, and cultural perspectives on those literary traditions. Students will gain a broad expertise that will prepare them for researching and writing the dissertation. We are committed to the professional training of our students, and they have been successful in gaining academic employment.

Doctoral Application Requirements

  • CV
  • Personal Statement - The statement of purpose should discuss your creative interest, the specific genre(s) you would like to pursue, and how your interests and goals fit with the English Department. It should be 1-2 pages, single-spaced.
  • Writing Sample - The writing sample should be creative work, not analytical prose, 15 - 20 pages, double-spaced.
  • GRE

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