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Career Preparation in Our PhD Program

Career Preparation in Our PhD Program

The past decade has seen a significant contraction of tenure-track teaching jobs, and our graduate program is addressing this shift through coordinated efforts to prepare our doctoral students for the pursuit of careers both within and outside of the academy, from tenure-track and non-tenure-track academic positions, to research and administrative university positions, to careers in publishing, NGOs and non-profit administration, to public-facing humanities initiatives, to industry consultation.

Our graduate program offers scholarly and professional development opportunities for students at all levels, through organized mentoring relationships, internships, professional practicums, and a faculty-taught course on article-writing, which is offered each year.

In our graduate seminars, in addition to leaning about complex materials, methods, and methodologies, our students develop versatile skills involving comprehensive research and sustained scholarly writing, which culminate in the completion of a dissertation. They gain extensive pedagogical experience, learn editorial skills, work with archival materials in a variety of media, and acquire digital and media skills

We offer a one-year postdoctoral teaching fellowship to students who have defended their dissertations at the end of six years.

Faculty-led Professional Development for Academic Careers and Beyond

Our faculty is actively involved in graduate student support. We have in place a comprehensive, faculty-run advising program for job searches and placement, which offers practice interviews, sessions on composing professional job materials, and information on post-doctoral positions and career paths.

The English Grad Futures Initiative, co-administered by a faculty member and a graduate student, schedules campus visits, panels, information sessions, and workshops aimed at introducing students to the wide variety of post-graduate careers beyond the tenure track. It is a valuable resource for PhD candidates who are designing non-academic professional pursuits.

The Mentoring Program is headed by a faculty member and brings together small groups of graduate students with periodic visits by individual faculty members to discuss the joys, perils, and complexities of graduate study and graduate life. The mentoring program hosts workshops on the creation of professional documents like CVs, conference papers, abstracts, and fellowship applications. It organizes social events as well.

Students in the English department can seek professional opportunities through research assistantships and university-related internships. Research assistantships may be available to graduate students through English department initiatives (like the Hemingway Letters Project) and also through the sponsorship of individual faculty members.