Department of English

Support Overview

Students in the Ph.D. program are supported by means of teaching appointments in the Department of English and Department of Rhetoric and Writing and by dissertation-year fellowships paid for by Department of English excellence funds. With the exception of recruitment bonuses and extra-departmental fellowships, each entering group of students receives roughly the same funding package.

Students entering the program with a B.A. degree can expect support for 6 years. The typical pattern of support for students entering with a B.A. is:

  • 2 years as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of English
  • 2 years as an Assistant Instructor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing
  • 1 year as an Assistant Instructor in the Department of English
  • 1 year on an Excellence Fellowship

Students entering the program with an M.A. can expect support for a minimum of 5 years. The typical pattern of support for students entering with an M.A. is:

  • 1 year as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of English
  • 2 years as an Assistant Instructor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing
  • 1 year as an Assistant Instructor in the Department of English
  • 1 year on an Excellence Fellowship

In addition, we fund at least two and sometimes as many as four summers through a combination of teaching assistantships, assistant instructorships, and fellowships.

All academic graduate student employees receive excellent health insurance coverage through BlueCross/BlueShield.

Graduate students also have the opportunity to pursue alternative opportunities while at UT, including editorial assistantships, assistant directorships, and staffing in the University Writing Center (UWC) and Digital Writing and Research Lab (DWRL). In addition to these opportunities, one student per year works as the editorial assistant for Texas Studies in Literature and Language. Students in this position gain extensive experience with the management of a scholarly journal.

Academic Administration Experience: Each year some of our students serve as Assistant Directors for courses, programs, and projects in the Departments of English and Rhetoric and Writing. These positions entail working closely with faculty and staff to administer parts of our undergraduate curricula, run orientations, and mentor fellow graduate students, among other tasks. At present there are more than a dozen Assistant Directorships. Some are for specific courses, E 316, RHE 306, RHE 309K, and E 314; others serve the New Writers Project, the University Writing Center, and the Digital Writing and Research Lab. Work as an Assistant Director reduces the teaching load and often comes with additional remuneration. Assistant Directors gain essential experience in academic administration, a career path for many of our students.