The graduate program in English offers the PhD degree in English Studies and the PhD in Creative Writing. Most candidates for the PhD have earned an MA in English or another relevant discipline; the program is specifically designed to encourage innovative work in writing and teaching, leading to careers in academic professions.

A range of rigorous seminar courses aims at strengthening a student’s command of specific historical periods, topics, and theoretical issues; these courses also provide crucial preparation for writing the dissertation and making substantial contributions to work in a student’s chosen field(s). Our faculty teach courses in fields that include:

Creative Writing Cultural Studies
Early Modern Literature
Cultural Rhetorics
Modern and Contemporary American Literature
Composition and Rhetoric
Multiethnic Studies
Global Literatures
Film and Popular Culture
Theory and Aesthetics
18th and 19th Century British and American Literature
Urban Studies and Social Theory

Guided by faculty advisors, PhD students follow their preliminary examinations with a creative or scholarly dissertation. These components of the degree, combined with teaching experience in composition, creative writing, or literature, provide a high level of professional training and help to ensure success on the academic job market.



The Chicago Civic Leadership Certificate Program trains selected PhD students to be engaged, community-based learning instructors.


The FYWP believes that a student's ability to write is key to a successful undergraduate education at UIC.


Accepted doctoral students are normally automatically awarded six years of departmental funding via a teaching assistanship.