The Ph.D. program in English is especially noted for its strength in critical theory and literary history. It also addresses all aspects of literatures in English throughout the world. The Ph.D. program is designed to be as flexible as possible, allowing students to customize their course work and their qualifying examinations to fit their intellectual interests. As a result, there are very few fixed requirements. Each student is encouraged to shape their course of study in consultation with faculty mentors and to take seminars in other programs to gain experience of various forms of critical theory and its history.
What Sets Us Apart?
- Named #1 program in Literary Criticism and Theory by most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking
- Highly flexible requirements, allowing students to customize both coursework and post-coursework research
- Diverse curricular structure, including year-long seminars, interlinked courses, and mini-seminars
- Opportunities to take seminars across methods, theoretical modalities, and fields, including in programs outside the department
- Emphasis certificates available in Critical Theory, Feminist Studies, Asian American Studies, Visual Studies, and Rhetoric
- Joint faculty-student research clusters including Culture & Capital, Early Cultures, Poetics History and Theory, Medieval Devysings, and Questions of Form
- Extraordinarily active speakers and events calendar, including internationally recognized lecture series like the annual Wellek Lecture and semi-annual events like the English Institute
- Opportunities to meet and work with national and international visiting faculty via bi-annual mini-seminars
- Multi-year funding package for all admitted students
- Grants and fellowships available to sponsor research travel, conference travel, pedagogical development, guest speaker invitations, and independent research
- Opportunities to develop collaborative research projects across campus and across the University of California system via the UCI-based University of California Humanities Research Institute
- Regular professionalization workshops and mentorship structures designed to prepare students for a range of career trajectories
Normative Time to Degree
Since admission to the graduate programs is competitive, it is recommended that prospective applicants consider carefully the following information:
- Writing Sample: One of the most important components of an application is the writing sample. This should be a critically oriented piece that illustrates an applicant's ability to do scholarly research and interpret literary or cultural texts. It is helpful if the writing sample is relevant to your proposed field of study, although this is not a requirement. Only one writing sample should be submitted (i.e. one single essay; not several shorter pieces), and it should not exceed 20 pages. Please note: the Writing Sample and the Statement of Purpose (part of the university's online electronic application) are two separate essays, and both are required for the Ph.D. application. The Statement of Purpose is generally 1-2 pages, and is more of an academic statement. The Personal History, also part of the on-line application, is not required but is highly recommended, especially for those applicants who think they may be eligible for a diversity fellowship.
- GRE Scores: While there is no fixed cut-off for the GRE scores, a reasonable recommendation is a minimum score of 165 on the GRE Verbal Test. Analytical and Quantitative Test Scores are also taken into consideration. To send an official GRE test score to UCI, please select institution code 4859.
- Grades: A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.50 in the last two years of undergraduate study is recommended to be competitive.
Prospective International Applicants
All prospective international applicants should be aware of additional University-wide admissions requirements. Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English for admission consideration. A student may receive a waiver (for admissions purposes only) to the requirement for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-based Test (iBT) or a paper-based test (PBT) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if they completed all the requirements for their high school diploma, bachelor’s degree, or an advanced degree in a country where the primary and/or dominant language is English and English was the language of instruction of the school where the requirements were completed. Official TOEFL scores must be sent directly from ETS to UCI, using institution code 4859. Test results that are two years old or older are not accepted. The minimum score for admissions consideration is 80, IELTS minimum overall score is 7, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module. Teaching Assistantships and fellowships are limited and provide only partial funding. While the department makes every effort to provide a multi-year funding package via fellowship and/or guaranteed employment, these funding packages do not include moving expenses and are not guaranteed to cover cost of living expenses.
Applicants must use the university's electronic application process.
Ph.D. Programs Application Checklist:
- The electronic application, filled out completely (including the required Statement of Purpose and the optional but highly recommended Personal Narrative).
- An uploaded Writing Sample of no more than 20 pages.
- $120 (for U.S. Citizens and lawful U.S. Permanent Residents) or $140 (for all other applicants) non-refundable application fee is required for each University of California campus to which an applicant applies. Applicants applying electronically may use a Visa or MasterCard to pay the application fee.
- Transcripts: For application review purposes only, scan and upload copies of transcripts for all institutions attended since high school. In the online application, you will be prompted to upload your scanned documents. Please upload both the front and back sides of the transcript. Uploaded transcripts should be recent and include the following: your name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits and grading legend. UCI reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found. Official transcripts will be requested if and when you are admitted and decide to attend UCI. Do not send official transcripts until this time, unless you are requested to do so.
- Official GRE General Test scores. You must request that ETS send your GRE scores electronically—UCI’s institution code is 4859. Please note that it takes an average of 5-7 business days for us to receive your test scores. Applications for which scores are not received by the January 5th deadline may not be considered.
- Three letters of recommendation submitted via electronic application. The online application system cannot accept letters from Interfolio or other similar services; letters must be uploaded directly by the recommender.
The Department is strongly committed to providing financial support to both incoming and continuing graduate students in the form of fellowships and graduate teaching assistantships. In recent years, the Department has been successful in admitting first year students on full or partial fellowships, and/or teaching assistantships. A number of generous fellowships, combined with multiple-year teaching assistant packages, are available to first year students. These fellowships cover in-state fees and in many cases non-resident tuition, and health insurance.
The Diversity Program also awards fellowships to both new and continuing students who can demonstrate that they have overcome socioeconomic and educational limitations. Diversity Fellowships for entering students cover in-state fees, health insurance and are accompanied by multiple-year teaching assistant packages from the Department of English. For more information on the Diversity fellowships available at UCI, please click here. If you think you might qualify for one of these fellowships please make sure you complete the "Personal History" section of the online graduate application, and indicate your interest there.
In addition to fellowships provided by UCI, a number of first-year students have entered the program with fellowships, including the Mellon, Javits, Pew and others from outside sources. The University provides generous support for advanced students through various fellowships and research grants, including the Regents’ Dissertation Fellowship, the Strauss Fellowship, the Humanities Alumni Fund Dissertation Fellowship, and Summer Dissertation Fellowships. Recent dissertation students have received Fulbright, Newcomb, and other fellowships.
The Department endeavors to provide teaching assistantship support for up to fifteen quarters. In 2018-2019 teaching assistants earned $21,273 for the full year for one course per quarter. In addition to the salary, teaching assistants receive payment of partial in-state fees and health insurance. The campus-wide limit for such teaching awards is eighteen quarters (6 years). Annual renewal of an appointment is contingent upon satisfactory teaching performance, a good academic record, and funding. The faculty considers teaching experience to be an essential part of the graduate student's education toward the advanced degree.
Graduate Student Housing
Ph.D. students will be offered an on-campus housing guarantee for one year less than normative time to degree. More information can be found here. For general information about graduate student housing, including application information, photos, floorplans, and a guide to off-campus housing, please click here.
Tuition & Fees
Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2019-20
|Fall 2019||Winter 2020||Spring 2020||Annual|
|Student Services Fee||376.00||376.00||376.00||1,128.00|
|Assoc. Grad Students Fee||9.00||9.00||9.00||27.00|
|Student Center Fee||139.69||139.69||139.68||419.06|
|Bren Events Center Fee||23.00||23.00||23.00||69.00|
|Recreation Center Fee||88.00||88.00||88.00||264.00|
|Document Fee *||80.00||0.00||0.00||80.00|
|Student Health Insurance||1,459.18||1,459.18||1,459.18||4,377.54|
|Total California Resident||$ 5,908.87||$ 5,908.87||$ 5,908.86||$ 17,726.60|
|Nonresident Supplemental Tuition||5,034.00||5,034.00||5,034.00||15,102.00|
|Total Nonresident||$ 10,942.87||$ 10,942.87||$ 10,942.86||$ 32,828.60|
Posted 12 July 2019 at http://reg.uci.edu/fees/2019-2020/graduate.html.
The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.
* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.
Jonathan Alexander, Ph.D. Louisiana State University, Campus Writing Coordinator and Professor of English; Culture and Theory; Education; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Informatics (writing studies, sexuality studies, queer theory, new media studies)
Bobbie J. Allen, Ph.D. University of Washington, Lecturer of English
Elizabeth G. Allen, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Associate Professor of English; Comparative Literature; Religious Studies (Chaucer, Gower, 15th century poetry; exemplary literature, romance, chronicle, episodic form; intersections between ethics and politics, politics and religion; hospitality, sovereignty, legal and constitutional history of England)
Michael Andreasen, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Stephen A. Barney, Ph.D. Harvard University, Professor Emeritus of English
Jami Bartlett, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of English (The 19th-Century Novel, literature and philosophy, narrative theory)
Alice C. Berghof, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Humanities; English
Emily M. Brauer, M.A. University of Southern California, Lecturer of English
Carol M. Burke, Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park, Professor of English; Religious Studies (literary and cultural theory, literary journalism, new media studies)
Ellen S. Burt, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor Emerita of English (eighteenth-century French literature and nineteenth-century poetry)
James L. Calderwood, Ph.D. University of Washington, Professor Emeritus of English
Chieh L. Chieng, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Jerome C. Christensen, Ph.D. Cornell University, Professor Emeritus of English (Hollywood motion pictures, corporate authorship, romantic literature)
Michael P. Clark, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Professor Emeritus of English
Rachael L. Collins, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Miles Corwin, M.A. University of Missouri-Columbia, Professor of English (law enforcement, the criminal justice system, homicide, inner-city education, affirmative action)
Keith Danner, Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, Lecturer of English
Rebecca Davis, Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, Associate Professor of English; Religious Studies (Old and Middle English literature, Piers Plowman, medieval religious culture, women’s writing, medieval philosophy)
Susan E. Davis, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Lorene D. Delany-Ullman, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Amy Depaul, B.A. Boston University, Lecturer of English
Jaya Dubey, M.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Kathryn Eason, M.A. University of Colorado Boulder, Lecturer of English
Loren P. Eason, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Christopher Fan, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Assistant Professor of English (transnational Asia American, 20th, and 21st century literature, speculative fiction, political economy)
Anita W. Fischer, M.A. Loyola Marymount University, Lecturer of English
Robert Folkenflik, Ph.D. Cornell University, Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship and Professor Emeritus of English
Linda M. Georgianna, Ph.D. Columbia University, Professor Emerita of English
Amy Gerstler, M.F.A. Bennington College, Professor of English (poetry, creative writing, fiction, creative nonfiction, hybrid literature, visual art, lyric essay, art and science, women writers)
Richard Godden, Ph.D. University of Kent, Professor of English (20th century and contemporary American literature, Faulkner)
Daniel Gross, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of English (emotion studies, history and theory of rhetoric, early modern literature and culture, Heidegger and rhetoric)
Alberto D. Gullaba, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Linda G. Haas, Ph.D. University of South Florida, Lecturer of English
Martin Harries, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of English (20th century theater, critical theory)
Erika Hayasaki, B.A. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Associate Professor of English (literary journalism in the digital age, narrative nonfiction, immersion journalism, youth, culture, crime, poverty, health, science, education, urban affairs, death)
Rebeca Louise Helfer, Ph.D. Columbia University, Associate Professor of English (Renaissance literature and culture, memory, Spenser)
John W. Hollowell, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Senior Lecturer with Security of Employment Emeritus of English
Oren J. Izenberg, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of English (poetics, modern and contemporary poetry, 20th century literature and culture, philosophy and literature)
Virginia W. Jackson, Ph.D. Princeton University, Chair in Rhetoric and Communication and Associate Professor of English; Comparative Literature (poetics, 19th, 20th and 21st century American poetry, 19th century American literature and culture, the history of literary theory)
Joseph Jonghyun Jeon, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of English (Asian-American literature, film modernism)
Leah C. Kaminski, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Laura H. Kang, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies; English (feminist epistemologies and theories, cultural studies, ethnic studies)
Charlene J. Keeler, M.A. California State University, Fullerton, Lecturer of English
Jonathan I. Keeperman, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Tarah M. Keeperman, M.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Arlene Keizer, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of English; Comparative Literature (African American and Caribbean literature, critical race and ethnic studies, feminist and psychoanalytic theory, cultural studies)
Douglas V. Kiklowicz, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Peter O. Krapp, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Department Chair and Professor of Film and Media Studies; English; Informatics; Music; Visual Studies (digital culture, media history, cultural memory)
Karen R. Lawrence, Ph.D. Columbia University, Professor Emerita of English
Rodrigo Lazo, Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park, Associate Professor of English; Culture and Theory (hemispheric American studies, nineteenth century, Latino studies and the Americas, Cuba, immigrant literature)
Jerry Won Lee, Ph.D. University of Arizona, Associate Professor of English; Anthropology; Culture and Theory
Jayne Elizabeth Lewis, Ph.D. Princeton University, Director of Humanities Honors Program and Professor of English; Religious Studies (literature and medicine, restoration and 18th century British literature, literature of the supernatural and gothic fiction, history and/of fiction, atmosphere as literary concept and construct within natural philosophy)
Julia R. Lupton, Ph.D. Yale University, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of English; Comparative Literature; Education; Religious Studies (Renaissance literature, literature and psychology)
Juliet F. MacCannell, Ph.D. Cornell University, Professor Emerita of English
Steven J. Mailloux, Ph.D. University of Southern California, Professor Emeritus of English; Comparative Literature (rhetoric, critical theory, American literature, law and literature)
Theodore Martin, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of English (Contemporary literature, genre fiction, literary history, crime, and the novel)
Annie McClanahan, Ph.D. University of California, Berkely, Associate Professor of English (U.S. culture, the novel, political and economic theory)
Gregory J. McClure, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Lowell B. McKay, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
James L. McMichael, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor Emeritus of English
John Miles, Ph.D. Harvard University, Professor Emeritus of English; Religious Studies (religion, literature, international relations, western scriptures [Jewish, Christian, Muslim] as literature; religious poetry and music, religion, science, and the environment)
J. Hillis Miller, Ph.D. Harvard University, UCI Endowed Chair and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature; English (Victorian literature, critical theory)
Tyrus Miller, Ph.D. Stanford University, Dean of the School of Humanities and Professor of English; Art History; Visual Studies (modernist and avant-garde studies in literature and visual arts; critical theory and aesthetics; modern architecture and urbanism; East-Central European studies; culture of socialism and post-socialism; Frankfurt School theory)
Jane O. Newman, Ph.D. Princeton University, Professor of Comparative Literature; English; European Languages and Studies; Religious Studies (comparative Renaissance and early modern literature and culture [English, French, German, Italian, neo-Latin], Mediterranean Renaissance studies, Baroque, afterlives of antiquity, Walter Benjamin, Erich Auerbach, pre-modern lessons for the modern and post-modern)
Robert W. Newsom, Ph.D. Columbia University, Professor Emeritus of English
Margot Norris, Ph.D. State University of New York College at Buffalo, Professor Emerita of English; Comparative Literature (modern Irish, British, American and continental modernism, literature and war)
Laura B. O'Connor, Ph.D. Columbia University, Associate Professor of English; Comparative Literature (Irish literature, twentieth-century poetry, Anglo-American modernism)
Robert L. Peters, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor Emeritus of English
Bradley A. Queen, Ph.D. Boston University, Lecturer with Security of Employment of English
Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, Ph.D. Binghamton University, State University of New York, UCI Chancellor's Professor of English; African American Studies; Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory (critical theory, postcoloniality, nationalisms and diasporas, poststructuralism, postmodernism, democracy and minority discourse, cultural studies, globalization and transnationalism)
Barbara L. Reed, Ph.D. Indiana University, Lecturer with Security of Employment Emerita of English
Hugh J. Roberts, Ph.D. McGill University, Associate Professor of English (romantic literature, Shelley, literature and science, chaos theory and literature, politics and literature)
John C. Rowe, Ph.D. State University of New York College at Buffalo, Professor Emeritus of English; Comparative Literature
Michael Ryan, Ph.D. University of Iowa, Professor of English; Religious Studies (American literature, creative writing, poetry, poetics, autobiography)
Edgar T. Schell, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor Emeritus of English
Gretchen K. Short, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Humanities; English
Barry E. Siegel, M.S. Columbia University, Professor of English (literary journalism, English)
Victoria A. Silver, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of English; European Languages and Studies; Religious Studies (early modern literature and culture, religious studies, history and theory of rhetoric, literature and philosophy)
Richard A. Sims, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
James Steintrager, Ph.D. Columbia University, Director of the Emphasis in Critical Theory and Professor of English; European Languages and Studies (eighteenth-century comparative literature, ethical philosophy and literature, systems theory, amatory and erotic fiction)
Michael F. Szalay, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Department Chair and Professor of English; Film and Media Studies; Visual Studies (contemporary television and literature)
Ngugi Wa Thiong'O, B.A. Makerere University, UCI Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature; English (African and Caribbean literatures, theater and film, performance studies, cultural and political theory)
Brook Thomas, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCI Chancellor's Professor Emeritus of English (U.S. literature and culture, law and literature, literature and history)
Harold E. Toliver, Ph.D. University of Washington, Professor Emeritus of English
Andrew T. Tonkovich, M.F.A. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Irene Tucker, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of English (Victorian studies)
Georges Y. Van Den Abbeele, Ph.D. Cornell University, Professor of Comparative Literature; English; European Languages and Studies (French and European philosophical literature, travel narrative and tourism/migration studies, critical theory and aesthetics, francophone literature, history of cartography, media history and theory)
Ann J. Van Sant, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor Emerita of English (restoration and 18th century literature)
Andrzej J. Warminski, Ph.D. Yale University, Associate Dean for Academic Personnel and Professor of English; European Languages and Studies; Humanities (romanticism, history of literary theory, contemporary theory, literature and philosophy)
Jacqueline Y. Way, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of English
Henry Weinstein, J.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of School of Law; English
Amy Wilentz, B.A. Harvard University, Professor of English (formal mechanisms of literary journalism, travel journalism as a literary form, explanatory journalism, role of journalism for the everyday reader)
Geoffrey Wolff, B.A. Princeton University, Professor Emeritus of English
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