The Department of English offers programs in English studies leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. At the doctoral level, students may elect a research emphasis in Writing History and Theory and a practicum in Creative Writing. The department provides advanced training in English studies; it devotes significant time and resources to preparing students for academic positions at colleges and universities, for related work in higher education, and for nonacademic careers. Our programs typically offer:

  • A 1:1 PhD student-to-faculty ratio
    A 1:1 MA student-to-faculty ratio
    Full funding packages for full-time MA and PhD students
    Support for conference and research travel
    Comprehensive mentoring and advising programs
    Extensive teaching training and instructional experiences, including opportunities for PhD students to teach courses in general education, in composition, in literature, and in professional communication
    An extensive program of professional development workshops, and seminars, including a weekly colloquium
    Opportunities and amenities of a large research university, with the feel and intimacy of a small liberal arts college
    100 percent placement rate in the first year for doctoral graduates seeking full-time academic teaching jobs over the period 2002-2014 (66% placement rate 2007-14 in tenure-track or equivalent permanent positions)
    A strong record of preparing MA students for doctoral programs and non-academic employment


Candidates for graduate work in English should present an undergraduate major in English or a minimum of 18 semester hours of English (or its equivalent) beyond the freshman level. In some cases, students will be required to make up deficiencies without graduate credit. The department requires all candidates for admission to submit their scores on the general aptitude sections (Verbal, Quantitative, Analytic Writing) of the Graduate Record Examination. Candidates are also required to submit a writing sample, consisting of at least 15 pages of academic writing.

A maximum of six semester hours of transfer credit will be accepted towards the MA from another institution, provided they were earned in graduate-level courses, with the approval of the department and the Dean of graduate studies. Such courses must have been taken within five years of matriculation at Case Western Reserve University and passed with grades of B or better. Transfer credit is not normally accepted at the PhD level.

New and continuing graduate students may apply for graduate assistantships, which are awarded by the dean on recommendation of the department. Teaching is viewed as an essential part of the education of graduate students aspiring to academic posts, and is required of all students working under assistantships.

English Graduate Studies Brochure

School of Graduate Studies

Doctoral Program Goals and Objectives

Grad Guide To English 2020-2021

Ohio Board of Regents’ Advisory Committee on Graduate Studies

Review of University Doctoral Programs

Last program review: 2015

Next scheduled program review: 2023

Goals and objectives revised: 2015