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Doctor of Philosophy in
English Literature (PhD)

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Our doctoral program provides rigorous and interdisciplinary professional preparation for teacher-scholars in a collegial environment. In consultation with their advisors, students design individualized courses of training, with the opportunity to supplement the department’s seminars in English, American and Anglophone literatures and literary and cultural theory with independent studies and courses in other departments and other regional universities.

After completing coursework, students must pass qualifying examinations requiring expertise in two literary historical periods and a special topic, preliminary to the dissertation. Our students typically graduate with teaching experience within and beyond their fields of specialization and professional records of presentations and publications. They work at institutions throughout the United States and the world.


In addition to the PhD, students can earn interdisciplinary certificates in Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, Media, Art, Culture and Technology, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Writing & Rhetoric.

Tuition and Financial Support for Doctoral Students:  

English Department doctoral students and candidates are funded by teaching assistantships for up to five years. These come with an annual stipend and a full tuition scholarship.   

The u niversity also offers a limited number of fellowships for outstanding applicants.   The  Graduate Council Fellowship is designed for exceptionally qualified incoming doctoral students (available to US citizens and permanent residents only) . The GCF carries an additional stipend of  $6,000 per year) for four years and a fifth year of $26,000 funding with no teaching responsibilities. In addition, Stony Brook also has a program for underrepresented applicants. The  Turner Fellowship provides five years of supplemental funding for qualified applicants.  


For detailed program requirements, click here. Prospective applicants can also consult the current Doctoral Program Handbook.
Ready to apply? Click here for information on admissions requirements and how to apply.
Have a question? It may have been asked before. If not, email or call the Graduate Program Coordinator.

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