Department of English

Graduate Programs in English

The Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin is home to two fully-funded and highly-rated graduate programs, the Ph.D. in English and the M.F.A. in Creative Writing. The Department has also partnered with the School of Information to provide a joint M.A./M.S.I.S. program.

Drawing on the resources of a number of departments and centers, these programs feature a diverse, engaged, and accomplished faculty. The University of Texas and city of Austin provide a vibrant setting for both programs. Students benefit from the many research resources located on campus including The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (widely considered one of the premier special collections libraries in the world), the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection (which draws researchers from all over the world), the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, and the Dolph Briscoe Center for the Study of American History. In addition, UT is home to a number of “sibling” graduate programs, centers, institutes, interest groups, and research clusters, including those in American Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies, Communication Studies, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, History, Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, Radio/Television/Film, and Women’s and Gender Studies, among many others. Suffice it to say, our students have unparalleled access to world-class resources.

Students who undertake our program also receive intensive mentoring and pedagogical training to prepare graduates for success as teachers, scholars, writers, and administrators, both in and well beyond the academy.

Ph.D Program

Students in our Ph.D. program work in and across fifteen fields of study: American Literature; Medieval Literary Studies; Renaissance Literature; 18th-Century British Literature; 19th-Century British Literature; Modern British Literature; Bibliography and Textual Studies; Digital Literacies and Literatures; Drama; Ethnic and Third-World Literature; Language and Linguistics; Poetry and Poetics; Popular Culture and Cultural Studies; Rhetoric; Women, Gender, and Literature.

Admitted students are considered ready for early-level doctoral work upon arrival.  In general, their dossiers display a disciplinary sophistication – an understanding of and talent for inquiry formation within the context of a disciplinary subfield – that is decisively beyond the level typically attained as an English major.  About 40% of each class enters with an M.A. in English.  The 60% who enter with a B.A. earn the M.A. in two years en route to the doctorate.  

Please note that we are able to accept roughly one in every ten qualified applicants. We do not have a terminal M.A. program.

M.F.A. Program, New Writers Project

The New Writers Project at the University of Texas at Austin is a two-year studio MFA program offering students close mentorship, literary community, and teaching and editing experience. We are a small, fully funded program within a large and highly-ranked Department of English. The NWP works in concert with its partner MFA program, the Michener Center for Writers, to provide an artistically adventurous and intellectually rigorous terminal degree. Students in our M.F.A. program work in fiction and poetry but also benefit from and work closely with the faculty in the above fields of study. For more information about the M.F.A. Program in English and how to apply, please visit the New Writers Project website.

M.A./M.S.I.S. in English

The joint English-School of Information M.A./M.S.I.S. is a three-year program that provides students an opportunity to gain professional skills that will qualify them to work as information specialists in important cultural repositories including archives, museums, or libraries, together with a high level of specialized research competency that will serve them in future careers as information professionals or academics. Students in the dual degree program come with professional ambitions in information organization, digital humanities, database design, usability, information policy, preservation, and the cultural status of information and communication technologies.

For more information about the M.A./M.S.I.S. program and how to apply, please visit the program description at the School of Information’s website.