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Graduate study in English Literature offers a wide range and variety of seminars taught by renowned scholars. For more information about applying to the graduate program or details about graduate student policies and procedures, visit the English Department graduate studies page.

The graduate program, subtitled Critical and Cultural Theory, takes a cultural studies approach to literary study and invites cross-fertilization between programs, disciplines, and traditional periods in both classroom work and dissertation projects.  Students particularly appreciate the flexibility to design their own programs and major scholarly projects. The doctoral dissertations they produce enable them to take diversity as well as comprehensive training to the academic market. In addition, Pitt English places a high value on teacher development; doctoral students are encouraged to design and teach a variety of courses in literature, both general and inflected with their own fields of interest. Our graduate students benefit from a variety of Mellon-funded Humanities Engage resources, including micro-internships and semester-long immersive dissertation research fellowships.

Read about the Faculty Cluster in African American Literary and Cultural Studies in the English Department, including faculty profiles and a description of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Focal Areas

The English Department's four graduate focal areas in literary studies offer special opportunities for intellectual preparation and innovation to groups of graduate students and faculty members with shared commitments. 

Students studying at table.
Research & Reading Groups

Read more about the collaborative projects that contribute to our research and offer networking opportunities. 

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Dissertations & Alumni Careers

View this page to learn more about the doctoral dissertations by graduates of the Literature program as well as where our graduates are currently in their careers.