The Department of English offers a Ph.D. degree in the areas of literature studies, creative writing, and composition and rhetoric.
We offer graduate course work in all listed areas of study. There are also opportunities for students to obtain a specialization in ethnic studies; Great Plains studies, human rights and humanitarian affairs, 19th-century studies, and women's and gender studies. We also have certifications in Digital Humanities and the Teaching of Writing.
Diverse opportunities are available for professional development, including the development of scholarly and teaching portfolios, participation in critical/literary study groups, a fiction and poetry reading series, and collaboration with faculty on research, teaching, and creative activities.
In addition, the department houses a number of prestigious journals and projects, including Prairie Schooner, one of the most respected literary journals in the nation, The Western American Literature Journal and the Quarterly Review of Film and Video. We also have the Walt Whitman Archive, the Cather Project, the Nebraska Writing Project, the Nebraska Literacy Project, the Corvey Collection of 19th Century British Literature and the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric Monograph Series. Graduate students regularly enrich their academic experience through work on these major departmental projects.
Composition and Rhetoric
Great Plains Studies
Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
Literary and Cultural Studies
Nineteenth Century Studies
Women's & Gender Studies
Graduate Admission Requirements
- Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
- One set of transcripts.
- If International: upload copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certiﬁcates, diplomas, and degrees plus certiﬁed English translations.
* Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certiﬁed records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certiﬁed copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.
- If the student’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.
* When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed
- If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
- Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.
Major Admission Requirements
- Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL100, IELTS 6.5
- Writing Sample: Provide 15-20 pages of a critical paper in English Studies.
- Personal Statement: This statement should be 1-3 pages and include why you want a degree from Nebraska.
- Teaching experience or evidence of teaching potential
- Three recommendation letters
- Other Upload: A summary of your teaching experience or a discussion of your teaching potential, no more than 2 pages.
- Creative writing applicants only: Creative writing sample (See department website for details)
December 1 for Fall. Prospective students admitted Fall only.
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.
UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.