English PhD

Prepare for a career in academia that focuses on literary theory and criticism with the Doctor of Philosophy in English in the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University. The curriculum integrates foundational and advanced coursework with rigorous independent research so you gain the expertise to pursue tenure-track positions at colleges and universities. 

You can choose to focus in one or two specific areas of study, each of which serves to prepare you for high-level teaching and research roles. Areas of study include

  • American literature,
  • British literature,
  • critical and cultural theories,
  • ethnic and African-American literature,
  • gender and sexuality,
  • literature and visual studies,
  • poetry and poetics, and
  • postcolonial and global literature.

Foundational courses provide the broad background needed to undergo independent research, while advanced graduate classes engage with cutting-edge faculty research and publication projects. Learn more about English PhD faculty their areas of expertise

Special topics courses cover highly focused subject areas that have included the following.

  • Documentary poetics
  • Environmental studies
  • Literary aesthetics
  • Photography and literature
  • Queer poetry and poetics
  • Transatlantic feminist theory

In recent years, English PhD program graduates have found work in tenure-track positions, non-tenure teaching positions, and many are currently working in non-teaching positions for which a PhD is a qualification.

Program Format & Curriculum

The 48-credit, full-time Doctor of Philosophy in English must be completed within seven years. Classes are offered on Temple’s Main and Center City campuses. The department also offers the Rome Seminar in Art and Culture. 

Courses offered in this program include the following.

  • 20th and 21st Century American Literature
  • Anglophone Literatures
  • Book History
  • Early American Literature
  • Early British Literature
  • Translation Study

The culminating event of the English PhD is a dissertation that demonstrates students’ ability to conceive, research, write and support a major scholarly paper. 

Learn more about the requirements of the English PhD.

Related Graduate Degrees

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, the Doctor of Philosophy offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. Learn more about our tuition and fees.

These tuition costs apply to the 2018–2019 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident:  $942.00 per year
Out-of-state: $,1297.00 per year


Additional Program Information