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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of English Language and Literature

Graduate Program

At the University of South Carolina, the graduate program in English is dedicated to advanced study in a number of fields, including literature, rhetoric and composition, creative writing, and speech communication and rhetoric. The department awards the MA, MAT, MFA, and PhD degrees.

The graduate program features a curriculum that provides opportunities for foundational training, specialized inquiry, and directed interdisciplinary scholarship. Home to diverse and creative students, USC English offers a collaborative learning environment, sponsors a variety of student organizations, and places a heavy emphasis on professional development and the successful placement of graduates.

As part of its commitment to support graduate education, the program's students are eligible for numerous fellowships, including several for prospective and current students from both the Graduate School and the College of Arts and Sciences as well as several competitive department and program-specific fellowships.

For an introduction to the department's graduate program, please see information for prospective students as well as information for incoming students. The Graduate Student Handbook provides detailed information about all aspects of graduate studies in the English department at USC.

PhD Program Earns High Marks in NRC Ranking

In the National Research Council's (NRC) 2010 rankings of 119 Ph.D. programs in English Literature and Language, USC's Department of English received evaluations that placed it among the very best programs in the country. The new approach used by the NRC ranks programs based on a number of factors. Our department did exceptionally well in a number of the most significant of these categories, especially in overall program quality and faculty research productivity.

In the overall program quality, USC Department of English came out 26th in the nation and 10th among all public university programs. In research productivity, our department was 23rd nationally and 11th among all public university programs. The NRC also rated the department as one of the top twenty programs nationally for graduate student resources and overall graduate student support.

NRC rankings of PhD programs come out about once every ten years. In this most recent report, our rankings showed considerable improvement over those in previous reports, an indication of the continued and significant strengthening of the reputation of our program and our faculty.

More information on the NRC's 2010 rankings can be found at