English Department Doctorate (PhD)


All Ph.D. students receive a tuition scholarship as well as a stipend of at least $27,231. Students in later years of the program are eligible to apply for Distinguished Fellowships that carry stipends of up to $35,846. Students specialize in a given historical period or literary tradition and receive intensive pedagogical training in a two-semester teaching practicum. Ph.D. students are eligible to take graduate courses at Columbia, NYU, Princeton, and elsewhere through the Doctoral Consortium. Many of our Ph.D. students receive tenure-track positions; many pursue successful career pathways beyond academia (see English Ph.D. Placement).

Students who complete the PhD will be able to:

  • perform persuasive literary analysis by choosing appropriate analytical and theoretical tools and locating a strong argumentative voice within a critical conversation
  • write rhetorically compelling scholarship that reflects disciplinary standards of scholarly discourse
  • design and carry out a sustained, self-directed research project resulting in a significant dissertation
  • teach effectively in literary studies, employing current pedagogical theory and best practices
  • acquire broad knowledge across literary periods, regions, and styles; situate learning along axes of difference and intersectionality; and develop and demonstrate expertise in specialized academic fields
  • build a dynamic and competitive professional profile with documented skills and relevant experience for academic and academic-adjacent job markets

Doctoral students who enter with an MA have 8 years to complete all of the requirements for the degree; students who enter with a BA have 10 years. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress including a minimum 3.5 GPA and maintenance of continuous enrollment. For complete policy details and the most up-to-date information, please refer to the GSAS Policies and Procedures Guidebook. For important registration, administrative, and graduation dates, please see the GSAS Academic Calendar. For a comprehensive departmental guide to the PhD, please see the annually updated PhD Handbook.