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Top English PhD Programs: List of Schools

A Ph.D. in English or English literature is useful for those interested in teaching at the college level. Students in an English Ph.D. program typically focus on American and British literature along with history, theory, criticism and teaching methods. The top-ranked schools are highly competitive; proficiency in a language other than English is often a requirement. An English Ph.D. program usually takes five to seven years to complete.

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The Best English Ph.D. Programs

1. University of California - Berkeley

The University of California in Berkeley was ranked as having the top English Ph.D. program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2009. The program is very selective and accepts less than 5% of applicants each year.

The degree program typically takes six years to complete and includes coursework in period literature from medieval through 20th century works. Students can choose an emphasis in another discipline such as gender, film or medieval studies. Third-year students are required to serve as a graduate level teaching assistant for two years.

Contact Information

  • Address: Berkeley, CA 94720
  • Phone Number: (510) 642-6000

2. Stanford University in California

The English Ph.D. program at Stanford University is highly competitive, with only about 3% of applicants being accepted to the program annually. The degree takes five to six years to complete. Elements of the program include a critical study of rhetoric, narrative and creative writing and its influence over the contemporary experience. Students of the Ph.D. program are required to teach as an assistant at the graduate level. Stanford was ranked second among English programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2009.

Contact Information

  • Address: Stanford, CA 94305
  • Phone Number: (650) 723-2300

Good Schools with English Ph.D. Programs

College/University Name Total Student Enrollment Address Phone Number
The University of Texas at Austin 50,995 Austin, TX 78712 (512) 471-3434
New York University 43,404 70 Washington Sq. So., New York, NY 10012 (212) 998-1212
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 41,674 Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (734) 764-1817
University of Wisconsin - Madison 41,654 500 Lincoln Dr., Madison, WI 53706 (608) 262-1234
University of California - Los Angeles 38,550 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095 (310) 825-4321
University of California - Berkeley 35,830 Berkeley, CA 94720 (510) 642-6000
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 28,916 103 South Bldg. CB 9100, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (919) 962-2211
Harvard University 27,651 Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 495-1000
University of Pennsylvania 24,599 1 College Hall 34th and Spruce Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19104 (215) 898-5000
University of Virginia - Main Campus 24,355 Charlottesville, VA 22904 (434) 924-0311
Columbia University in the City of New York 24,230 116 St. and Broadway, New York, NY 10027 (212) 854-1754
Cornell University 20,633 Ithaca, NY 14853 (607) 255-2000
Johns Hopkins University 20,383 3400 N. Charles St., Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218 (410) 516-8000
Northwestern University 19,853 633 Clark St., Evanston, IL 60208 (847) 491-3741
Stanford University 18,498 Stanford, CA 94305 (650) 723-2300
University of Chicago 15,094 5801 S Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637 (773) 702-1234
Duke University 14,350 103 Allen Bldg., Durham, NC 27708 (919) 684-2813
Yale University 11,593 New Haven, CT 06520 (203) 432-1333
Brown University 8,574 One Prospect St., Providence, RI 02912 (401) 863-1000
Princeton University 7,592 Princeton, NJ 08544 (609) 258-3000
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Temple University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
        • American Literature
        • British Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Louisiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisiana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of North Texas include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
        • American Literature
        • British Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Loyola University Chicago include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature

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