Ready to further your education with an English graduate degree? At the College of Liberal Arts, you can earn an English master’s degree or a PhD, which has fantastic job placement rates. Read up on our admissions requirements, tuition and fees and graduate resources and get to know our doctoral faculty.

Earn Your MA or PhD in English

Temple University’s MA and PhD programs in English offer students the resources of a Research I institution in an energetic urban environment. Both the MA and PhD programs provide options for intensive study in critical theory, cultural theory, film theory, minority literature and women’s studies. As a graduate student at the Department of English, you are encouraged to work closely with faculty and engage in serious research and publication projects. Temple’s graduate programs in English are highly regarded for teaching and research in both traditional and innovative areas of literary criticism and history.

The Graduate English Program offers students a range of methods and practices centering on Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Culture, and Rhetoric. We offer courses in the foundational areas of English studies, such as British and American, Modernism, Contemporary, Rhetoric and Composition. In addition, we offer advanced seminars in more specialized areas such as:

  • Postcolonial and Global Literatures
  • Ethnic and African American literatures
  • Literature and Visual Studies
  • Critical and Cultural Theories
  • Theory of Genres
  • Poetry and Poetics
  • Gender and Sexuality

Please visit the English Graduate Bulletin to learn more about graduate program requirements, dates and deadlines and instructions on how to apply.

MA in English

If you want to earn only a master’s degree or you want to explore education at the graduate level before committing to a PhD program, the Department of English offers a two year MA in English program. MA Graduates find employment in high schools or preparatory schools, in editing or publishing, or as professional writers. Others go on to doctoral study at Temple and other institutions. Funding is usually reserved for PhD students.

Learn More about the MA in English

PhD in English

Graduates with a PhD typically go on to careers in college teaching and related fields. Foundational courses provide the broad background needed for independent research, while our advanced graduate classes allow you to engage with cutting-edge faculty research. Our special topics courses have recently covered the following subjects:

  • Literary Aesthetics
  • Photography and Literature
  • Transatlantic Feminist Theory
  • Queer Poetry and Poetics
  • Documentary Poetics
  • Environmental Studies

Following course work, you will choose a concentration in one or two of our main areas of strength, each of which will prepare you for teaching and research in the field. Our main areas of strength are listed below (see listings with faculty at the bottom of the page).

  • American Literature
  • British Literature
  • Critical and Cultural Theories
  • Ethnic and African American Literatures
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Literature and Visual Studies
  • Poetry and Poetics
  • Postcolonial and Global Literatures

A PhD in English at Temple takes anywhere from 4-7 years to finish, depending on whether you already have a master’s degree and whether you have fellowship support, teaching responsibilities and other factors.

Learn More about the PhD in English

English PhD Job Placement

In recent years, 40% of our PhDs have found work in tenure-track positions. Another 24% have found work in non-tenure full time teaching. In addition, 15% are working in non-teaching positions for which a PhD serves as a qualification. While some PhDs find work immediately upon graduating, it’s not uncommon for recent graduates to work as adjuncts for one or more years before securing a full-time position. Our graduates tend to find jobs in the Northeast, demonstrating the enriching effect of Temple’s English graduate programs on the region. However, PhDs also take jobs outside the region in states that include California, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Admission Requirements

As an applicant to our graduate programs in English, you should have the equivalent of an undergraduate concentration in English with broad chronological coverage of literature or have completed equivalent coursework. Successful applicants also have a strong record of academic achievement. When applying to Temple, you must declare whether you plan on earning your master’s or doctorate.

For the PhD program, preference is given to applicants who will have earned the MA degree upon entering the program. For those coming from another institution, up to 15 transfer credits (5 courses) will be allowed toward the Temple degree. With some exceptions, all students admitted to the PhD program are funded for four years, and the deadline for students seeking funding is December 15. We accept applications until February 15.

For those entering with an MA, the PhD can be completed in four years; for students going beyond four years, funding is available on a competitive basis. Adjunct teaching will also be available for those in their fifth year and beyond.

Please visit the English Graduate Bulletin to learn more about graduate program requirements, dates and deadlines and instructions on how to apply.

Graduate Resources

Doctoral Faculty

American Literature

British Literature

Composition and Rhetoric

Critical and Cultural Theories

Gender and Sexuality

Ethnic and African American Literatures

Literature and Visual Studies (film, photography)

Poetry and Poetics

Postcolonial and Global Literatures

Katherine Henry
1042 Anderson Hall
(215) 204-7516

Director of Graduate Studies:
Miles Orvell
022-29 Anderson Hall
(215) 204-1796

Stephanie Morawski
1041 Anderson Hall
(215) 204-8516

Sharon Logan
(215) 204-1796