Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

3-4 years
Credit Hours:

54 (with master's) or 72 (with bachelor's)
Write the next chapter of your story.
The UNT English graduate program is designed for students who wish to build a professional career as creative writers, educators, or academics. With distinguished scholars in every major period of American and British literature and nationally renowned writers in every genre, the English Department supports a broad range of graduate research and creative work.

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Why Earn an English Creative Writing Ph.D.?

The Ph.D. program is designed to give you a broad, solid foundation in the academic profession, while at the same time preparing you to conduct original, in-depth research or to compose original works of literature. You'll benefit from the guidance of a nationally recognized faculty with a strong record of publication in prestigious journals like PMLA, Philological Quarterly, The Paris Review and Granta.

We make every effort to foster our graduate students' success and help them attain their educational and career goals.

While at UNT, our students have published their work in nationally and internationally recognized journals and magazines, including The New Yorker, Shakespeare and SEL: Studies in English Literature. They have placed books with presses like Button Poetry, the University of Georgia Press and the University of Wisconsin Press. And they have won prestigious awards and fellowships, including grants from the Newberry Library and from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Marketable Skills
  • Reason rigorously, subtly and independently
  • Analyze minutely sources and narratives
  • Identify and address interpretative complexity
  • Develop and contribute new knowledge
  • Convey knowledge in self-designed courses

English Creative Writing Ph.D. Highlights

In a 2020 report by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, the UNT English Department ranked No. 10 out of all R1institutions in doctoral degrees earned by minority students, and No. 19 in the number of Latinx Ph.D. graduates.
The creative writing faculty features nationally and internationally recognized writers whose books have been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Harper Collins; and Oxford University Press, among others.
Stories, essays and poems by the faculty also appear in publications such as The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The New York Times, Image, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, TriQuarterly, The Threepenny Review, Best American Poetry and Best American Spiritual Writing.
You'll work closely with award-winning faculty members whose works have been published in the flagship journals in their fields and subfields (PMLA, College English and Speculum), while also leading literary journals, including The Paris Review, Best American Poetry and Best American Spiritual Writing.
Each year the department's Visiting Writer Series brings distinguished writers to campus to give readings and meet with students in Q&A sessions.
UNT is among a select group of universities — and the only in the North Texas region — offering a creative writing concentration at the doctoral level.

What Can You Do With an English Creative Writing Ph.D.?

Many recent Ph.D. graduates have gone on to tenure-track positions at other institutions all over the country, including Texas Women's University (Texas), Radford University (Virginia), St. Catherine University (Minnesota), Valparaiso University (Indiana), SUNY-Potsdam (New York) and Brigham Young University (Utah).

English Creative Writing Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Form and TheoryPoetry (3 hrs)
Rhetorical criticism of poetry to show how poems achieve identification with the audience; emphasis on student mastery of critical analysis.
Form and TheoryProse (3 hrs)
Rhetorical criticism of prose fiction to show how short stories and novels achieve effect.
Creative WritingPoetry (3 hrs)
Study of the principles of poetic composition in traditional forms as well as free verse. Format includes lecture and workshop.
Creative WritingProse Fiction (3 hrs)
Study of the principles of prose fiction as exemplified in published and unpublished works. Emphasis on writing for specific subgenres and methods of preparation and submission of work. Workshop format is employed.
Studies in Shakespeare (3 hrs)
Intensive study of selected plays and a consideration of some of the literary problems connected with Shakespeare’s life and work.
Survey of Critical Theory (3 hrs)
Survey of major theoretical schools with special attention to those influential in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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