PhD student standing to accept a university award
Intellect & Passion Drive Success
Masters and Ph.D. Programs in English

The Department of English offers a vibrant, diverse, and intellectually stimulating place to do your graduate work. We currently have approximately 120 graduate students in our M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Literary and Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, and Composition and Rhetoric. We offer graduate coursework in all these areas. Students can obtain Area of Specialization Certificates in affiliated interdisciplinary programs or Graduate Certificates such as the Certificate in the Teaching of Writing.

Our department boasts a university-wide Teaching Award — in fact, half of our faculty members have won individual teaching awards. Graduate students regularly enrich their academic experience through work on our many prestigious journals and projects, including Prairie Schooner, one of the nation’s most respected literary journals; the Walt Whitman Archive; the Cather Project; the Nebraska Writing Project; the Nebraska Literacy Project; the Corvey Collection of 19th Century British Literature; the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric monograph series; and the Western American Literature journal of literary, cultural, and place studies. And our students can get involved with the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities — an internationally renowned research group in Digital Humanities.

Photo of Graduate TA

M.A. Program

The Department of English offers an M.A. for students interested in Literature Studies, Creative Writing, and Composition and Rhetoric.

Ph.D. Program

Our Ph.D. program offers highly individualized programs of study in Literary and Cultural Studies, Composition and Rhetoric, and Creative Writing.

Photo of Ph.D. Student working outdoors

How to Apply

Read the world and write your future at the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences. With specialized programs of study to match any interest area, the opportunity for hands-on experience through our acclaimed masters and Ph.D. programs, and a campus located at the heart of an innovative college city of more than 250,000 people, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers the ideal graduate experience for students at an affordable cost.

Photo of a graduate instructor and student

Teaching and Assistantship Opportunities

Our financial aid packages are attractive, with teaching and reading assistantships for M.A. and Ph.D. students that offer stipends and/or tuition.  Reading assistantships give students the opportunity to work with faculty on their research, plan conferences, work on special projects, or work for Prairie Schooner, while Teaching Assistantships place M.A. and Ph.D. students in the classroom as instructors. In addition, many of our graduate students have obtained assistantships in other campus offices, including Women’s and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, the Great Plains Quarterly, and the Arts and Sciences Advising Office.

Photo of a student working a laptop

Job Preparation and Placement

We are committed to training our students for life after graduate studies, and we take job preparation very seriously. Our Placement Advisor works closely with students, and all our faculty assist students with their job searches. Many students have obtained tenure track jobs in colleges and universities, while others have found excellent jobs in publishing or other areas, such as with the MLA. A number of our recent graduates have already published books, both academic and creative.

Photo of Adrian Wisnicki from the UNL Newsroom

Award-Winning Faculty

Our English department faculty are internationally recognized leaders in their fields of research and creative work, and consistently win the most prestigious teaching awards at the university. Many faculty also serve as editors or on the editorial boards for national and international journals.

Photo of Place Studies students

Affiliated Interdisciplinary Programs

Many of the department faculty and graduate students are actively engaged and have partial appointments with interdisciplinary academic programs at UNL. These interdisciplinary programs host many activities - including symposia, conferences, outside speakers, and panel discussions - in which department faculty and graduate students often participate.

Collage of graduate student faces with scarlet overlay
Graduate Student Directory Want to know who's who among our graduate students? Browse our students' profiles and catch a glimpse of the breadth of writing and research that takes place here.