Graduate Studies in English at UNT

The UNT English graduate program is designed for students who wish to build a professional career in academia or secondary education. With distinguished scholars in every major period of American and British literature, the English department supports a broad range of research over different fields and schools of thought. Our graduate students enjoy the advantages offered by a dynamic department that is growing in size, strenghtening its faculty, building its resources, and raising its national profile.

The UNT English graduate program currently offers four degrees:

  • PhD in English
  • PhD in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing
  • MA in Literature
  • MA in Creative Writing

The PhD program is designed to give students a broad, solid foundation in the academic profession, while at the same time preparing them to conduct original, in-depth research. This research is pursued under the guidance of a nationally recognized faculty with a strong record of publication in prestigious journals and with major university presses. The coursework leading to the PhD dissertation (22 courses in all) usually takes 3 ½ years to complete; during the course of study, each student will complete 10 required classes covering the main areas of American and British literature, critical practice, and pedagogy. The remaining 12 courses are electives which the student may use to pursue further research in his or her chosen field; these include special problems courses along with relevant classes in other disciplines such as history, philosophy, linguistics, or religious studies. Doctoral students with a concentration in creative writing usually fill those 12 elective slots with workshops and courses in form and theory. Once the coursework is completed, all PhD students must take a comprehensive exam consisting of both a six-hour written exam over the student's chosen major and minor fields of study, and a two-hour oral exam centered on the student's written exam and dissertation reading list. After successfully completing both parts of the exam, the student must turn in a dissertation prospectus (about 20 pages) to his or her committee, and complete 12 hours of directed research and 12 dissertation hours leading up to the dissertation defense.

Recent PhD graduates have gone onto tenure-track positions at both research-oriented institutions, such as Macon State University and Abilene Christian University, and liberal arts schools, including Furman University.

The MA program in Literature gives students the opportunity to undertake advanced study in fields of their choosing through either the writing of a thesis or the completion of 36 hours of coursework. The same foundational courses are required for the MA degree as are required for the PhD, and some MA students move directly from the Master's program to the doctoral program as their career plans develop. The MA program in Creative Writing offers training in the writing of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Each Master's student in Creative Writing student divides coursework evenly between workshop and literature classes, leading to the writing of an original work submitted in fulfillment of the degree plan. Many of our creative writing students have gone on to further study in MFA or PhD programs.