Department of English

Ph.D. Program in English

The English Graduate Program demands that the brutal violence against Black people at the hands of law enforcement ends. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all those who fight against racism and injustice.



The Ph.D. program in English at the University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest and best doctoral programs of its kind. Ranked #17 in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, we currently enroll more than 100 students, nearly all of whom are both full-time and fully funded. Drawing on the resources of two units, the Department of English and the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, our program has at its center a dynamic and dedicated faculty of over 70.

While the Ph.D. program is housed in and administered by the Department of English, the Department of Rhetoric and Writing is a crucial partner in helping to educate our shared students. The make-up of each cohort of students mirrors our unusual interdepartmental collaboration: each year we accept 10-12 students in literature and 4 in rhetoric and digital literacies.

One of the distinguishing features of our program is its collegiality and sense of shared purpose. Students and faculty work collaboratively on a number of departmental and university-wide committees, participate actively in reading and writing groups, and treat one another with respect.

Our program is engaged not only in meeting the challenges of a complex, rapidly changing academic discipline but also in helping to shape it. Our graduate courses examine relationships between writing and other cultural practices and explore the social, historical, rhetorical, and technological processes by which literature and other discourses are constituted. While we take seriously our responsibility to help train the next generation of the professoriate—that is, to cultivate scholarship, effective teaching, and collegiality—we also encourage our students to think of their training and their futures in the broadest terms possible.


Program Administration

Associate Chair & Graduate Adviser: Heather Houser
Associate Graduate Adviser (Literature): Chad Bennett
Associate Graduate Adviser (Rhetoric): Davida Charney
Graduate Studies Chair: David Kornhaber
Graduate Program Administrator: Patricia Schaub
Graduate Admissions Coordinator: Blake Lee Pate