The English Department Graduate Program has long committed itself to supporting its students as they complete their Ph.D. degrees and enter into the academic job market, and even in the last 3-4 difficult years, we have been quite successful in placing our graduates in full-time teaching positions and related academic employment: 7 of 8 of our 2009 degree recipients, 10 of 12 in the 2010 cohort, 9 of 13 from 2011, and 3 of 4 so far, from 2012. The majority of those recent graduates who have not found full-time positions are teaching as adjuncts and/or post-docs at various institutions, including here at USC, while continuing to seek positions.
76.4% of Ph.D. recipients since 2001—78 of 102—have secured teaching positions or other, related full time employment. 46 of these are in tenure-track assistant professorships, or above. Related full-time employment has been in instructorships, editorial positions, research library positions, writing center directorships, and the like.
Three Graduate Program initiatives introduced in the 1990s are directly responsible for this record of successful placement: (1) Highly selective admission criteria and assessment of professional potential by the Graduate Admissions Committee; (2) Emphasis on professional preparation in all graduate courses and by doctoral committees; and (3) A dedicated departmental Job Placement Committee that assists students who are completing their degree programs and preparing to enter the job market.
Our Ph.D. recipients find academic positions both within our region—the Southeastern USA—and on the national market.
Regional institutions hiring our graduates in the past few years include: Duke, Wake Forest, Nicholls State University, LSU, Tulane, Houston, Stetson, Elon, Savannah State, UNC Ashville, Columbia College, Newberry College, and various affiliates of the University of South Carolina.
Among the institutions outside the Southeast who have hired USC graduates in recent years are: Utah, Michigan State, Minnesota, California State, Northern Colorado, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, West Point, Cincinnati, Wabash, and Gonzaga.