Doctor of Philosophy - English

About

The PhD program is a highly specialized program designed to develop a capacity for research, original thought, and writing and to equip students for careers in the teaching of English at the college or university level and in writing, editing, and publishing. The doctoral program has two tracks.

The traditional PhD focuses on literary study, although a concentration of six credits may be earned in composition studies. Each student chooses three areas in which to specialize: (1) a chronological period, (2) a literary genre, and (3) either an additional chronological period, a major author, or a special topic approved by the student’s advisory committee. Coursework is devoted to developing a high degree of professional expertise in these three areas of specialization. Such knowledge is tested in a qualifying examination and is also the basis upon which the student writes a doctoral dissertation.

Offered in partnership with the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute, the PhD with Creative Dissertation enters on the study of English and American literature and includes coursework in English and creative writing, a qualifying examination (based on three areas of specialization (as described above), and a creative dissertation, typically a collection of poems, literary nonfiction, or short stories; a novel; or a cross-genre manuscript.

Graduate Assistantships

All program applicants are eligible to apply for Graduate Assistantship (GA) funding. The current GA stipend for PhD students in English is $17,500. Details of the duties and substantial benefits a Graduate Assistantship includes and how to apply can be found on the GA page on the Graduate College website. The application deadline for Graduate Assistantships is the same as for the program itself: January 15. GA applications must be submitted through the Grad Rebel Gateway.

Still have questions about the English Department’s Ph.D. program. Please contact the English Department Graduate Program Office (Beverly Rogers Literature and Law Building – RLL 255) at unlvenglishgradprogram@unlv.edu or 702-895-4366; or the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Kelly J. Mays.

Available Options

  • Post-Master’s Literature Track
  • Creative Dissertation Track

    The Department of English in partnership with the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute and the Black Mountain Institute Ph.D. Fellows program offers a three-year course of studies leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy with a Creative Dissertation. Studies for the Ph.D. center around English and American Literature, also with possibilities for directed reading in Comparative Literature, and are designed to prepare students for careers in professional writing and the teaching of English and Creative Writing at the university or college level, as well as for careers in editing and publishing. The program includes course work in English and Creative Writing, a Qualifying Examination, and a Creative Dissertation, typically an original collection of short stories, a novel, a collection of literary nonfiction essays or book- length work of literary nonfiction, or a collection of poems.

    For more information about the Creative Writing program, see: https://www.unlv.edu/english/academic-programs/mfa-creative-writing.

    Funding: all admitted Ph.D. with Creative Dissertation students are offered $26,500 per yer for three years, funded by a combination of the Graduate Assistantship and Black Mountain Institute Fellowship. Duties for this funding require 20 hours per week, usually fulfilled by a combination of teaching and editorial work on English Department or Black Mountain Institute publications.

    Please note: Two new Ph.D. BMI Fellows are admitted each year, in alternating genres. Our current admissions schedule is to admit students for entering classes as follows: Literary Nonfiction – 2019, 2021; Fiction – 2019, 2020; Poetry – 2020, 2021.

    Applications for a genre not in the admissions rotation will be returned.

  • Post-Bachelor’s Literature Track
  • English Literature Track

Accreditation

For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop a capability for professional research, critical thinking, and publishable writing.
  • Students will develop expertise in a chronological period, a literary genre, and an additional period, major author, or special topic.
  • Students will demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign or computer language.

Additional Outcomes

In addition to the major outcomes, there are additional outcomes for the following:

Creative Dissertation Track
  • Students will write a book-length, publishable work of fiction, literary nonfiction, or poetry.
  • Students will develop literary and theoretical knowledge at the Ph.D. level, and writing skills that prepare them for university, college, and community college teaching careers.
  • Students will develop professional writing skills that prepare them for a career in writing professionally by selling works to magazines, book publishers, and websites.

Career Possibilities

Creative Dissertation Track

Creative Writing Ph.D.s can go on to careers in:

Teaching
A person with a Ph.D. in English with Creative Dissertation is prepared for a career in academia, and can pursue teaching at universities, colleges, or community colleges.
Writing/Editing/Publishing
The UNLV and Black Mountain Ph.D. Fellows are offered opportunities to gain valuable professional experience by working on three literary magazines: Witness, Interim and The Believer. This experience prepares them to pursue careers in magazine editing, with publishing houses, with online publishers, or in copy editing and copy writing.
Public Relations, Media, Communications and Advertising
P-R and advertising agencies, as well as media companies of all kinds, need employees with strong writing and communications skills.
Business, Management, and Beyond
In the broadest possible sense, Ph.D. in English with Creative Dissertation graduates can do anything. Graduates can go on to careers in management, in nonprofit organizations, in human resources, sales, politics, civil service, and institutional analysis―the possibilities are endless.

Requirements

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Documents/Downloads

Doctor of Philosophy - English

Post-Master’s Literature Track

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Creative Dissertation Track

Post-Bachelor’s Literature Track

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English Literature Track

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Contacts

Graduate Coordinator

Kelly J. Mays

Associate Professor

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RLL - 249

Graduate Coordinator: Creative Dissertation Track

Douglas A. Unger

Professor/Writer, Creative Writing Coordinator

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 Office
RLL - 217

Department of English

The English department offers a variety of courses in literature, language and writing. Our majors explore literature as an artistic medium from both theoretical and historical perspectives, in the process honing students' analytical and writing skills.

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College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts offers students a well-rounded education in the humanities and social sciences, and provides students with a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning and discovery.

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