The Department of English offers two closely related graduate programs: an MA/PhD program for students who have completed the BA and a PhD program for those who come to UCSB with a MA in English. Both programs include extensive coursework in literature, a language examination, two qualifying examinations, and a doctoral dissertation. Both the MA/PhD and the PhD are designed as five-year programs. Fellowship support is available for particularly strong candidates in their first and/or last years of graduate study. Additional support comes from teaching assistantships. Most students become teaching assistants, whether as section leaders in advanced literature courses or as instructors in the Writing Program, by their third year in the program, if not earlier.
Students entering either the MA/PhD or the PhD program should be aware that they are undertaking not only to deepen their enjoyment and understanding of literary texts, modes, and movements but also to explore their potential as interpreters, scholars, and, in most cases, teachers of literature and language. They are embarking on a systematic course of study designed to ensure an understanding of literary history in both its canonical and non-canonical aspects and to make them fully participating members of a community of scholars and critics.