MA/PhD in Literary/Writing Studies

For more than 75 years, the Graduate Program in English at Illinois has provided students with a comprehensive education in literatures in English or in Writing Studies. Our graduates have earned many awards and go on to tenure-track jobs across the nation and into a variety of careers, including in publishing, nonprofits, library and information science, and high school teaching.

Our combined MA/PhD program is divided into three stages for both Writing Studies and Literary Studies students: MA Coursework, PhD coursework and Special Fields Exam, and Dissertation and Defense. Prospective students interested in our programs can find an Overview of Requirements for each degree and program, and more information on applying on our Admissions page. For more specific details, including instructions for current graduate students regarding Stage II applications, Special Fields Exam documents, and Prospectus guidelines, visit our Stages of the Program page. While the English Department offers full financial support to students in good standing for up to 7 years (for those entering without a masters degree) and up to 6 years (for those entering with a masters degree), many of our students have also been successful in securing competitive fellowships and other funding opportunities.