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Literature, Theory, Culture Studies Rhetoric and Composition

Graduate Studies in English

NOTE: The Department alternates incoming cohorts between Literature, Theory Cultural Studies (LTC) and Rhetoric and Composition (RC) programs. We admitted students to our LTC program to begin their graduate studies in Fall 2023.  We will be admitting a new cohort of RC students to begin their graduate studies in 2024-2025.  Students interested in the LTC program will be able to apply again for 2025-2026.  Find out how to apply.

US News & World Report ranks Purdue’s English Department among the top 50 graduate programs in the nation. Since 2018, over 70% of our PhDs have found academic jobs.

Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) have opportunities to teach introductory composition in our renowned ICaP program, as well as professional writing, film studies, literature courses, creative writing, and more. In addition, research fellowships and other assistantships—such as working for the Purdue OWL, on-campus writing lab (see video here where format students talk about working at the Writing Lab and how it contributed to their current jobs), or CROW (Corpus & Repository of Writing) Lab—offer alternative, valuable academic opportunities.

The Department’s prestigious academic journal, MFS Modern Fiction Studies, recently introduced its own one-year teaching assistantship, awarded to a graduate student who demonstrates “outstanding potential in 20th and/or 21st century literary studies.” (Find out more about the MFS named TA line.)

Learn more about our department. See why we're so proud of our faculty. Get acquainted with our students

All graduate students in English are funded. Most students are funded through a GTA or Research Fellow position. The Graduate School also makes available summer Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) grants to students who are well along in their programs.  Recommendations for PRF Grants are made by the student's major professor. 

To learn more, see financial aid options

Regular professionalization workshops, hosted by our directors of graduate studies and ICaP, encourage students to keep a steady eye on their professional futures while pursuing the research and projects that will make them most successful.

To gain valuable experience on the research and conference circuits, our graduate students benefit from a wealth of resources to draw from for conference travel and research funding. GradSEA, the student-run, student-focused organization for English graduate students, provides annual competitive funding packages, as does ICaP, and the College of Liberal Arts also offers PROMISE awards of up to $750 for domestic travel and $1,500 for international travel annually. The English department supplements PROMISE with additional travel grants of $250 / student annually for conference and research travel. We also offer incentive grants to students who apply for external grants and fellowships.

Other Useful Information for Students and Mentors
Our department's statement on Mentoring Best Practices.

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