Graduate Admissions


The Graduate Program in English & Comparative Literature at UNC Chapel Hill, which is consistently ranked among the top twenty Ph.D. programs in the United States, encourages students to work across a wide range of traditional historical periods as well as emerging fields of inquiry. The Graduate Program is founded on a profound commitment to the synergy between scholarship and teaching. 

With more than sixty full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members, the department offers a breadth of scholarly concentrations; in addition, we support students exploring interdisciplinary programs across the UNC campus and pursuing coursework at other major universities in the North Carolina Research Triangle. A strong mentoring program allows for small groups of faculty to guide graduate students though coursework, Ph.D. exams, the dissertation, and, ultimately, the job search.

Whether teaching in our Rhetoric and Composition program or in an lower-level literature class, graduate students benefit from a strong support system of fellow scholar-teachers that includes faculty-led seminars on effective teaching. A diverse array of intellectual and social groups, some led by faculty members and others student-run, allows students to share their research, collaborate on projects, and cultivate the professionalism and camaraderie necessary to succeed in our challenging profession.

The department offers two separate Ph.D. tracks - one in English and the other in Comparative Literature. The department no longer offers a terminal M.A. track. Applicants who have (or are currently pursuing) a B.A. are eligible to apply, as are those with M.A. degrees. We do not offer on-line courses. Our curriculum requires on-campus class attendance.

You must submit all application materials through the Graduate School application site, Apply Yourself. The Graduate School will not accept materials from organizations such as Interfolio.

On the Graduate School Application, you do not need to list the names of faculty with whom you would like to work. You may list the names if you wish. If there are specific faculty with whom you would like to work, you can include that information in your Statement of Purpose. English and Comparative Literature faculty encourage you to contact them regarding your interest in our programs and their work.

Additional Resources

For more information about English and Comparative Literature and the application process, see:

Department Administration

Faculty and staff members associated with the 2017-2018 administration of the doctoral program in English and Comparative Literature are:

Chair: Mary Floyd-Wilson

Associate Chair and Director, Writing ProgramTodd Taylor

Director of Graduate Studies: Florence Dore

Director of Graduate Admissions: Shayne Legassie

Graduate Student Services Specialist: For now, contact Cheryl Siler-Jones