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The PhD in English and the Teaching of English

The PhD in English and the Teaching of English provides specialized education in literature, composition and rhetoric, linguistics, and pedagogy. The primary aim of the degree is to train graduates for teaching careers at two- and four-year schools, especially community colleges. We also offer excellent preparation in written and oral communication, research methods, and analytical writing, which can serve many careers beyond the classroom.

Our program has been recognized as an example of innovative doctoral training. Indeed, our program is unique in its integration of research-oriented coursework with courses in pedagogy, supervised teaching internships, and a pedagogical component in every dissertation. 

Our PhD program also houses the Teaching Literature Book Award, an international, juried prize that recognizes excellence in research on teaching literature at the college level.

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Curriculum, PhD in English and the Teaching of English

The Doctor of Philosophy in English requires a minimum of 39 semester credits beyond the M.A; students must complete at least 27 of the required 39 credits at the 6600 level or higher. The course work includes a required Introduction to Graduate Studies; a pre- and a post-1800 literature seminar; one course in linguistics, TESOL, Old English, or the history of the English language; 12 credits in various pedagogy courses; and 15 additional credits of electives.

Students are eligible to take their comprehensive exams after completing 36 credits beyond the M.A. Students must take the exam before pursuing the dissertation, a substantial project of original research in their chosen area, with a section exploring the implications of the research for the student’s teaching.

Students will also complete two supervised teaching internships, and present a colloquium on the topic of the dissertation research. For a full description of the PhD Curriculum, please see the Graduate Catalog

Recent PhD Dissertations

Students have written dissertations in several areas of English studies. Most focus on British, American, or Anglophone literature, or some aspect of literature or composition pedagogy, while some deal with traditional or newer forms of narrative (oral storytelling, film, graphic novels, and video games). Each dissertation contains at least one chapter discussing implications of the research for teaching literature or composition.

  • Wonjeong Kim, "Asian Diaspora and Shopkeeping in North American Literature" (2022)
  • Yousef Deikna, "A Cognitivist Reading of Hutchinson's and Cavendish's Responses to the English Civil War" (2021) 
  • Noran Amin, “The Interrogative Mode: A Practical Theory for Comics Criticism” (2020)
  • Catherine Becker “Seriality, Context, and Format: Early American Literature and the Periodical” (2020)

  • Jennifer Cox “Illuminating the Dark Carnival in American Fantasy” (2020)

  • Melinda Linscott, “Petrarchan Imagery in Woth's Pamphilia to Amphilanthus and Prominent Cultural Discourses in Seventeenth Century England: ‘From contraries I seeke to runn, but contraries I can nott shunn’ “ (2020)

  • Shelley McEuen, “A 21st Century Perspective on the American Frontier:  The Influence and Continuity of Historical Rhetoric on Current Attitudes toward Western Landscape and Urban Wild Spaces” (2020)

  • Richard Samuelson “Crossing the Moat around the Ivory Tower: Community Engagement in a Face-to-Face and Online First-Year Writing Course” (2020)
  • Corinna Barrett-Percy, “ ’Ideal’ American Heroes: Soldiers of Color in American World War II Literature” (2019)

  • Dana Benge, “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History: Patricia Clapp’s Jane Emily and Young Gothic Literature” (2019)

  • Anelise Farris, “The Boundless Self: Disability in Virtual Reality” (2019)

  • Quinn Grover, “Water, Aridity, Community, and Individualism in 20th Century Fiction of the American West” (2019)

  • Suzette Kunz, “What Vernacular Narratives Teach Us about Trauma” (2019)

  • Brad Rowe, " ’Annuit Coeptis’: The Providence Myth and the American Revolution” (2019)

  • Diantha Smith, “Empowering Student Writers with Instruction on Language Patterns in Academic Discourse” (2019)

  • Valah Steffen-Witter, “Anglo-Saxon Sources in The Hobbit” (2019)

  • Jacob Thomas, “Hagiographic Rhetoric in Medieval English Devotional Texts: Ælfric of Eynsham, Thomas of Monmouth, and John Mirk” (2019)

  • Chris Brock, “Masculinity in the Early Works of Frank Miller” (2018)

  • Steve Harrison, “ ’Come Out of the Woods and We’ll Tell You Who You Are’: The Protest Literatures of S. Alice Callahan, Charles Alexander Eastman, and Simon Pokagon” (2017)

Job Opportunities for Doctoral Graduates

Graduates from our PhD program have found a wide variety of employment, from tenure-track faculty appointments and careers in academic administration to corporate employment. PhD graduates who finished their degrees in 2017 or after have been employed by the following institutions:

Butte College (adjunct faculty)

BYU-Idaho (tenured and tenure-track faculty; multiple graduates)

Cairo University (Egypt) (tenure-track faculty)

College of Coastal Georgia (tenure-track faculty)

College of Eastern Idaho (full-time faculty; multiple graduates)

College of Southern Idaho (tenured faculty)

Georgia Institute of Technology (postdoctoral fellow)

Idaho State University (adjunct faculty; multiple graduates)

Midwestern State University (full-time faculty)

Northwest Nazarene University (tenure-track faculty)

Shoreline Christian School (full-time faculty [high school])

Snow College (tenure-track faculty)

Southern New Hampshire University (adjunct faculty)

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (full-time faculty)

Utah Valley University (full-time faculty)

Utah Valley University (adjunct faculty)