Our PhD in English and literary arts with a concentration in literary studies exposes you to a wide range of literature and literary theory as you prepare to teach and research at the university level. Our students draw connections across genres, relate theory to practice and work creatively on research projects.  

In this program, you'll teach various courses in literature and writing and develop your skills as an educator. You'll also be able to customize your professional development by organizing your own reading series, attending conferences and collaborating with faculty to publish original research. The curiosity, work ethic and analytical skills you'll cultivate throughout your studies can help you establish successful a career in both academic roles and professional settings that value communication and creative problem solving.

What Sets Us Apart

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    A faculty of writers, critics and scholars who regularly publish in the best journals and presses

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    Small class sizes, allowing you to work one-on-one with some of the best writers and literary scholars in the country

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    Degrees tailored to your specific talents and interests, with major areas for research including creative writing, modern and contemporary British literature, American literature, American multicultural literature and Anglophone literatures, genre studies, and literary theory and rhetoric

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    Courses outside the traditional literature model, including writing workshops, individually designed tutorials and colloquia devoted to teaching and professional development

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Degree Requirements

  • Students in the Literary Studies concentration will complete 90 graduate-level quarter hours. 
  • 48 of these hours will be in formal classes (excluding tutorials, independent study and independent research courses).
  • Non-coursework requirements include comprehensive exams, dissertation proposal and prospectus, a dissertation of publishable quality that makes a significant contribution to its field and an oral defense.

See the DU Graduate Bulletin for full course requirements. 

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Move forward in your critical study of English and literature.

See how you can find your unique path at DU.

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