Why earn a doctorate in English?

Application Deadlines
Feb. 15* | Aug. 1
Dec. 1

*Priority deadline for Graduate Teaching Assistantships

This program is currently not admitting students who wish to pursue a creative dissertation.

Small class sizes, close work with faculty, and a strong emphasis on learning how to become an effective college teacher of English are just a few reasons students choose to enroll at UND.

Among our program's many features:

  • Financial support: qualified students earn graduate teaching assistantships that cover most tuition costs and provide stipends, allowing you to focus on your studies.
  • Graduate-level seminars that cover a variety of topics: you will find opportunities to study a wide range of literary genres, periods, and authors—and courses that explore literary criticism, research methods, and creative writing.
  • A strong emphasis on pedagogy. Our composition program takes the teaching of writing seriously, and you receive coursework in teaching English, practical teaching workshops, individualized attention, and hands-on experience as you improve your college teaching skills.
  • Individualized attention and support from expert faculty as you develop your own comprehensive exam and dissertation topics.

In the Ph.D. program at UND, you'll gain not only a broad foundation in the field, but also depth of expertise as you work closely with UND faculty with specializations in areas such as:

  • American Literature and Culture
  • British Literature and Culture
  • Literary Criticism and Theory
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Composition and Rhetoric

English at UND

  • Learn in small classes averaging just eight students.

  • Be a part of a department that takes good teaching seriously and take advantage of opportunities to expand and improve your own teaching skills

  • Participate in professional development activities through the UND English Graduate Student Association.

  • Interact with world-renowned authors at the annual UND Writers Conference.

  • Work closely with faculty who are internationally recognized scholars. 

  •  Apply for a graduate teaching assistantship.

English Ph.D. Careers 


Anticipated job growth for English professors

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Median annual salary for postsecondary teachers 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Your Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota equips you with the skills and the knowledge you need to thrive in any career. For instance:

  • College or university professor
  • Writing teacher
  • Author
  • Creative writer
  • Editor
  • Publisher

English Ph.D. Courses

Lead Your Way

Open Mic Night provides students a creative outlet to express themselves.