The Department of English offers the degrees of Master of Arts (AM) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in English and American Literature and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in English and Comparative Literature. Candidates for admission apply to the PhD program; we do not accept students for a standalone AM. The PhD is a six-year program.
The graduate program in English and American literature at Washington University in St. Louis is innovative, approachably sized and generously funded, with all incoming students receiving full tuition scholarships plus university fellowships. Our faculty includes Guggenheim Fellows, winners of the National Book Critics Circle Award and members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a participant in the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, we exemplify an integrated community of scholars and writers, and we are home to one of the top ten MFA programs in the United States. We sponsor multiple reading groups, regular faculty and student colloquia, and an extensive lecture series. The Hurst Visiting Professorship brings eight or more distinguished creative and critical voices to the department each year. Recent Hurst Professors have included Jerome McGann, Jed Esty, Charles Altieri, Carla Kaplan, Michael Wood, James Longenbach, Peter Coviello, Daniel Vitkus, Rita Felski and Rita Copeland. These professors present public talks, and they also lead small workshops open only to graduate students.
Our program is rooted in the materials of literary history, from medieval to post-postmodern times, and we embrace the importance of interdisciplinarity. We believe that intellectual community is fostered by concrete working relationships between professors and students, and we offer collaborative teaching opportunities with experienced faculty. Graduate students in good standing can expect six years of full funding in all.