Rice University

Department of English

Graduate Studies in English at Rice


Rice’s Ph.D. program in English offers students the opportunity to fashion innovative and interdisciplinary research projects. Our program allows students close interaction with faculty involved in a variety of areas of study. The program offers strong preparation in British and American literatures and cultures ranging from the early modern era to the present, with strengths across literary periods in historicist criticism, literary and social theory, race and ethnicity studies, feminist and gender studies, queer theory and the history of sexuality, print and visual culture, and global, hemispheric, and postcolonial studies.

Graduate study at Rice University consists of course work, a Preliminary Examination, advanced research, the writing of a thesis, and practical training in teaching at the university level. The program is a doctoral program only. Students receive an automatic Master's degree after they have achieved Ph.D. candidacy. Students withdrawing from the program before that point may qualify for a terminal Master's degree. (See General Announcements (pdf) for requirements for the terminal Master's.)


What Makes Rice’s English Ph.D. Program Unique?

  • Fellowships -- $21,000 renewable for five years, contingent upon good performance
  • Interdisciplinary Seminars – Through the Humanities Research Center, the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, and other departments on campus
  • Rich Intellectual Life – Strong interaction with faculty, small class sizes, rigorous preparation, and myriad opportunities for research
  • Houston – Life in the nation’s fourth-largest city will provide chances for work, study, and entertainment
  • Graduate Housing – Live off campus, with easy access to your classes



All students entering the Rice graduate program in English receive fellowships and tuition waivers. Fellowships of $21,000 were awarded for the 2016-17 year. Fellowship support continues for five years, contingent upon satisfactory progress in the program. Students also have a variety of opportunities for competitive sixth-year funding, based on teaching and research interests. Additionally, funding is available for travel to conferences and for summer travel to research collections. All students receiving a stipend of at least $5,000 a year are granted a full tuition waiver also for five years. Students still enrolled in the program after the fifth year pay reduced tuition. For AY 2015-16 reduced tuition cost $1,155/semester.


Interdisciplinary Seminars:

The small and selective nature of the graduate program allows students to work closely with faculty in seminars that range from four to ten students. Graduate students in English enjoy a vibrant intellectual community at Rice that spans the humanities and social sciences. Students take courses in other departments, participate in interdisciplinary research groups and workshops sponsored by the Humanities Research Center and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, found their own departmental reading groups and workshops, and participate in departmental Works in Progress talks. For many years, graduate students have organized their own annual Colloquium,choosing a topic of critical import and a distinguished keynote speaker. Students also have access to a rich array of visiting speakers of national and international prominence; recent and upcoming speakers include Bruno Latour, Frances Ferguson, David Simpson, Mary Jacobus, Walter Mignolo, Felicity Nussbaum, Donald Pease, Rachel Adams, Laurie Shannon, Herbert Tucker, Sharon Marcus, Leah Price, Doris Sommer, James Longenbach, Wendy Brown, Barbara Fuchs, and Srinivas Aravamudan among others


Rich Intellectual Life:

As a result of substantial fellowship support, close interaction with faculty, participation in a rich intellectual life, and rigorous preparation for the job market, students have placed articles in an impressive array of scholarly journals, including American Literature, European Romantic Review, Novel, ELH, Children’s Literature Quarterly, Early American Literature, African American Review, Victorian Poetry, and Victorian Literature and Culture. Graduate students in English have performed strongly on the job market, and in recent years, for example, have secured tenure-track positions at institutions such as the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Utah, Syracuse University, Loyola University of Chicago, Macalaster College, University of Vermont, University of South Carolina, Texas Tech University, Indiana State University, and Bridgewater State University.



Houston-AllenPkwyA thriving metropolis offering ample opportunities for intellectual and person growth, the fourth-largest city in the nation is an excellent place to live and work. In Houston, diversity thrives. More than 90 languages are spoken here. The arts flourish. Research centers develop cutting-edge technologies and breakthroughs. Houston is a center for the visual and performing arts, an international business hub and home to the second busiest port in the United States. As a Rice graduate student, you will have a Passport to Houston that allows you to tap into the city’s rich cultural and entertainment options. To see for yourself what Houston has to offer, we encourage you to schedule a campus visit or explore Rice graduate student life through a campus virtual tour.


Graduate Student Housing:

Rice's graduate students live off campus, either in nearby rental properties or at the university-owned Rice Graduate Apartments, Morningside Square Apartments, or the Rice Village Apartments. Learn more about Rice's convenient graduate student housing options.