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English (PHD) 
Program Description

The M.A. and Ph.D. programs in literature provide students with professional preparation for teaching and conducting scholarly research at the university, college, and community college levels. Students in the Graduate Literature Program have the opportunity to work with faculty engaged in a wide variety of innovative research projects. Faculty research interests span a broad range of fields and critical methods and include most of the major recent intellectual trends in literary study. Faculty research and teaching concentrations include at least some of the following.

  • American Studies
  • Biblical and Classical Traditions
  • Comparative and World Literatures, Globalization and Literary Studies
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Critical Theory
  • Cultural Studies
  • Dramatic Literature
  • Environment and Ecocriticism
  • Film, Media Studies, Visual Cultures
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Gothic Studies
  • History and Theory of the Novel
  • Literature and Contemplative Studies
  • Literature and Philosophy
  • Modernist Studies
  • Native American Literatures and Culture
  • Poetry and Poetics
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Psychoanalytic Theory

For more on the program please go to:



Department/Academic Unit(s)

English -

Department of English Graduate Studies

The English Department maintains four degree-granting graduate programs:

  • Literature (MA and PhD) 
  • Creative Writing (MFA) 
  • Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English, known as RCTE (MA and PhD) 
  • English Applied Linguistics, known as EAL (MA in TESL, with ties to the PhD in SLAT)

Each of these programs is separately administered and has a separate application procedure. In general (some programs may make exceptions or have a different deadline) applications are due in early January (for matriculation the following August). Admissions are highly selective. The department therefore urges prospective applicants to confer, by early autumn at the latest, with the Director of the individual program in which they are interested.

To access the landing page for an individual program, click on its name below. On these pages you will find contact information for each program, as well as information about graduate study in the department.

General MA

The Department also offers a General MA, a flexible program that includes curricula from Literature, RCTE, and EAL.

Additional Resources

English Graduate Union (EGU), represents all English graduate students 

Financial Opportunities: please email program assistant for information regarding financial support available to graduate students in the Department of English.

Lynda Zwinger
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English 

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Marcia L Simon
Graduate Program Coordinator
Marcia L Simon
Director of Graduate Studies
Lynda M Zwinger
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Guadalupe Estrella
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

There are two on-line applications, English MA or English PhD.  If you plan to pursue the PhD after earning the Master’s, you should apply for admission to the PhD program now.  If you do not plan to pursue a PhD, then apply to the MA in English program.

1.    Apply through the Graduate College online portal.

This will include the following:

    • Graduate College application
    • Domicile Affidavit
    • Application fee ($85), payable to the University of Arizona

2.  Complete the Literature Program Online Application (either English  MA or PhD):
    • Curriculum Vita
    • Statement of purpose
    • Official copies of transcripts from all colleges attended-you may download unofficial on-line for review purposes. If you are admitted, you will need to mail official transcripts to the program.
    • Three academic letters of recommendation (your recommenders will be able to submit their letters through the online application system)
    • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Subject test is optional. Ask that your scores be sent to Institution Code #4832 Must be dated within 5 years of enrollment
    • A writing sample (in the form of a critical paper; recommended length 10-20 pages, maximum of 25 pages)

    • TOEFL 550-paper or 79 internet. Scores must be dated within 2 years of enrollment. 

Standardized Tests

Required test for both domestic and international students:
General GRE

Required test for international students:
TOEFL - minimum score 79 internet
IELTS - minimum composite score of 7

Recommended test:
GRE Subject


Financial Aid

See webpage:


Admissions Deadlines

Applications are due around January 15 for the following fall.

International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 2501,2502,2504
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: English Language and Literature

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students who have earned the Master of Arts degree from the literature program and passed the PhD Qualifying Exam must complete at least 15 units of 500-level or 600-level academic course work beyond the requirements for the MA, for a total of 45 units. At least 33 units (11 courses) of the 45 must be in regularly scheduled literature classes unless otherwise approved by the Program Director. Students who earned the MA degree in English elsewhere must complete a minimum of 30 units of course work; of these, at least 18 units (6 courses) must be in regularly scheduled literature classes, unless otherwise approved by the Program Director. The additional 15 units towards degree requirements will be transferred from the MA but coursework more than ten years old is not acceptable for meeting degree requirements. In addition, all students must satisfy the Foreign Language exam, pass the Comprehensive Preliminary Examination, complete 18 units of dissertation credit, and write a dissertation acceptable to the Department of English

Minor Requirements

9-12 units above the required units for the PhD.  Please confer with the Program Director about the possibilty of a minor.

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 42%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 6.50
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 36%
Enrollment Percent Female 64%
Enrollment Percent International 20%
Enrollment Percent URM 5%

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Last revised 06 Jan 2020