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M.A./Ph.D. in English

Message from Dr. Joshua Smith, Director of Graduate Studies

Welcome to the web pages of the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in English at the University of Arkansas.  Our university is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, recently ranked by U.S. News as the fourth best city in which to live

We at the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in English are committed to the thorough advising of our graduate students from the time they start their programs to the time they complete their degrees. We are also dedicated to helping our graduate students 1) complete their degree programs in a timely manner and with as little debt as possible, 2) remain healthy and happy throughout their courses of study, and 3) prepare to be highly qualified candidates for a range of professional careers both inside and outside of academia.

Admission to our graduate programs is competitive. We typically admit three to five Ph.D. students and ten to fifteen M.A. students each fall, providing as many as possible with enough financial assistance to help them avoid accumulating significant school-related debt. Most if not all of our incoming M.A. students are awarded teaching assistantships with full tuition waivers. Most if not all of our incoming Ph.D. students are awarded doctoral fellowships, as well as teaching assistantships with full tuition waivers.

Finally, our department's Program in Rhetoric and Composition systematically and thoroughly trains our new graduate instructors in the teaching of composition and literature through graduate courses, workshops, and peer and faculty mentoring programs.


link to GSE page

2019 GSE Conference

 cover of handbook
M.A. Program

Those students entering our M.A. program can choose between two tracks, generalist and specialist, to structure their course of graduate study. The second option allows M.A. students to specialize in Comparative Literature; Cultural Studies; Environmental Literature, Writing, and Culture; Ethnic and Regional Literatures; Gender and Sexuality; Medieval Literature; Modern American Literature; Religion and Literature; or Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy. All M.A. students also now have the option of defending a thesis or developing a portfolio to complete their final program project.

Ph.D. Program

Students in the Ph.D. program can currently specialize in a wide range of areas, and our doctoral students are encouraged to customize their courses of study according to their individual interests and areas of expertise. Ph.D. students select their classes with guidance from the Director of Graduate Studies and develop their candidacy-exam reading lists, dissertation topics, and research agendas with guidance from the department's graduate faculty.                                                                                                                                                                                      

For More Information

If you are interested in applying to the M.A. or Ph.D. Program in English at the University of Arkansas, I invite you to peruse the rest of our web pages and, if you have questions about either program, to contact me directly at


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