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 in English literature 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 and 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 and non-tenure teaching positions, and many are currently working in non-teaching positions for which a PhD is a qualification. Graduates often find placement throughout the Northeast, continuing a long tradition of serving and enriching the region. Increasingly, graduates have secured positions across the country, including in California, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Our Community

The College of Liberal Arts at Temple comprises many academic disciplines and research areas. Now more than ever, an interdisciplinary liberal arts education is invaluable for your future pursuits. It offers the opportunity to further push your drive to create real change in the world, here at Temple and beyond. In this graduate program, you’ll work closely with diverse faculty members who are highly esteemed in their field and with a curious, passionate community of peers.  

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

*Klein College of Media and Communication

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this 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. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,053.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,449.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.


Additional Program Information