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Graduate Program

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group of people dressed in Medieval garb
The cast of "Reading in a Paved Parlor," a filmed dramatization of a scene from Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde produced and acted by members of Joyce Coleman's graduate class on "Authorship through Medieval Eyes."

Graduate Program

OU English offers a vibrant intellectual community made up of diverse scholars who specialize in literary and cultural studies, rhetoric and writing, and film and media. We are particularly strong in the areas of Rhetoric and Writing Studies (RWS) and in Native American Literature (NAL). Many of our MA students get placed in top PhD programs and our PhDs in RWS and NAL have been hired into tenure track positions at prestigious universities.

The graduate program in the Department of English offers full-time Ph.D. and Master's programs in two fields: Literary and Cultural Studies (LCS) and Rhetoric and Writing Studies (RWS). Our graduate students enjoy close interaction with about thirty nationally renowned faculty members who teach and publish widely on a large number of historical periods and specializations. With strengths in RWS and NAL, the department also secializes in Theory, Medieval and Early Modern Literary Studies, British and American Literary Studies, Creative Writing, transnational literary studies, interdisciplinary studies, and film and media studies.



The department gives out several recruitment awards, such as the Rader and Sutton fellowships. The majority of our Ph.D. and M.A. students are supported through graduate teaching assistantships in First-Year Composition courses to offset tuition, though students are still responsible for paying University fees. For ABD students, our department offers dissertation fellowships in additon to those offered by the Graduate College. 

We also offer competitive travel grants for conference presentations and archival research, extensive pedagogical training and mentorship, and assistance on how to navigate the job market.

For more information on funding, please visit our Awards and Funding page.


The department is home to three literary journals: GenreWorld Literature Today, and Chinese Literature Today, as well as to the annual Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium, the Mark Allen Everett Poetry series, the Variorum Chaucer project, and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Sponsoring a variety of events, workshops and colloquia, the English graduate program further reflects the strong intellectual fellowship that exists between faculty and graduate students.

Graduate Life at OU

You can find out more about graduate studies at OU, beyond the Department of English, at Graduate Student Life at OU.