Department of English

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Graduate Program

Graduate Program of Literatures in English

The English Graduate Program boasts an outstanding placement record, thanks to our nationally recognized faculty (which specializes in a diverse array of fields and approaches, both traditional and non-traditional), our comprehensive and integrated curriculum, our structured mentoring programs, and our broad range of pedagogical opportunities and training.  Our faculty teach in all the major periods of British and American literature, as well as the history of the book, literary and cultural theory, and global Anglophone and postcolonial studies.  Our department is known for its work in feminist and gender studies, as is Rutgers as a whole, and we have specialists in women’s writing in every historical period.  Drama and performance studies as well as lesbian, gay, and queer studies are also featured in the program.  One of our particular strengths is African-American studies, in which we have a large group of faculty and students.

Our curriculum provides rigorous training in literary history and form.  At the same time, we offer courses in the general area of cultural studies, as well as those that touch on issues of class, race, and gender.  Offerings are balanced from year to year to make sure students have access to the courses they most need.  These courses include a wide range of theoretical approaches, as well as the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary studies.  To the latter end, students may also take courses in other departments, notably History, the language departments, Philosophy, Art History, and Political Science.  Rutgers also offers avenues for interdisciplinary study through the Center for Cultural Analysis, the British Studies Center, the Institute for Research on Women, and other organizations affiliated with the English Department.  In addition, students may take courses at nearby prestigious universities (including Princeton, Columbia, NYU, and the University of Pennsylvania) through our graduate school consortium.

All stages of the program include forms of mentoring tailored to students’ evolving intellectual and professional needs.  Rutgers also has an effective program in undergraduate writing that enables graduate students to qualify themselves as teachers, and we provide the opportunity to teach courses in literature as well.  We have found this training to be an especially compelling feature of our students’ dossiers when they apply for academic jobs.

Using a broad range of measures, the recent National Research Council's assessment of graduate programs placed us generally among the top twenty English programs in the country. The NRC study under-reported our placement rate, however, since it collected data from students as they filed for their degrees (i.e., before they went on the job market, in many cases). Since we're quite proud of our placement statistics, we invite you to consult the correct data on our website, and to note both the high quality and the remarkable range of institutions for which we train our students.

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