Welcome from the outgoing Director of Graduate Studies!
The Graduate Program in English offers coursework leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. in Literature, the M.A. and Ph.D. in Writing Studies, or the MFA in Creative Writing (there is no terminal M.A. All students who enter without a master’s degree will be in the combined M.A./Ph.D. program). Our program actively encourages interdisciplinary work; students earn graduate minors and certificates in Medieval Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Media and Cinema Studies, African-American Studies, and the internationally-known Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, as well as in many other interdisciplinary units across campus.
In addition to coursework, the English Department sponsors a wide range of lectures, colloquia, and conferences. Students join reading groups and symposia, organize panels and roundtable discussions, and participate fully in the vibrant intellectual life that makes Illinois thrive. They sit on many departmental committees, and an active English Graduate Student Association organizes student-faculty social events and presentations on professional development. Students also participate in poetry and fiction readings, in dissertation writing circles, and in specialized study groups.
We guarantee a very long term of full financial support to students in good standing: seven years for students entering with the B.A. or B.S. degree, six years for students entering with an M.A., and three years for M.F.A. students. Many students teach independent English classes from the time they enter the program. They are aided by a weeklong teaching orientation, by frequent seminars on teaching techniques, and by formal mentoring from advanced graduate students. Students also have the opportunity, as they move through the program, to work as graders, teaching assistants, and undergraduate advisors; to obtain research and administrative assistantships; to tutor in the Writers Workshop; to intern at the University of Illinois Press; and to gain editorial experience at one of the many journals housed in the English Department. We also offer fellowships to students at the dissertation stage and full range of placement services to our job-seekers.
If you are interested in pursuing graduate study in English at Illinois, please feel free to contact faculty members who share your interests. Take a look at our Admissions guidelines, review the many programs we are affilliated with, and get a sense of life in Champaign-Urbana. You may also be eligible for a waiver of your application fee through the Big Ten Academic Alliance, which you can find out more about here. If you have questions about the graduate program, please feel free to e-mail the new director of graduate studies, Manisha Basu.