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Welcome to Baylor Graduate English!

We're glad you're here, and we hope you'll take time to explore our unique programs!


In 2010, Baylor's graduate English program was ranked best in the nation for Student Support and Outcomes by the National Research Council, based on criteria such as the percentage of students receiving full financial support, PhD completion percentage, median time to completion of degrees, and job placement rate. Additionally, our students have some of the highest GRE scores in the nation, and our faculty ranks 26th nationwide in terms of publications.


Our job placement rate is excellent. In the last several years, graduating Ph.D. students have taken positions at the University of Mobile, Spring Arbor University, Indiana University East, Wiley College, Mary Hardin Baylor, Northwest Christian University, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Central Oklahoma, Illinois State University, Mississippi College, Nyack College, and Mankato State University, among others. Our M.A. students have also gone on to prestigious Ph.D. programs and to teach both college and K-12.


Why Baylor Graduate English?


    We Offer a Variety of Unique Concentrations


    British Literature

    From medieval to modern and from Shakespeare to Seamus Heaney, specialties in British literature are well-represented at Baylor. Baylor has become a center for Victorian studies partially due to our Armstrong-Browning Library, a research library devoted to the poetry of the Brownings and to nineteenth-century studies. Recent students have also pursued specialties in Irish literature, Old English literature, Milton & his contemporaries, Romanticism, and British modernism. A wide variety of classes is offered in fiction, drama, prose, and poetry.


    American Literature

    From colonial to contemporary and from Catharine Maria Sedgwick to Cormac McCarthy, the variety of American literature is also well-represented in the wide-ranging interests of faculty and graduate students. Recent faculty and student research focuses on Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Wendell Berry, Sylvia Plath, Ecological Criticism, American Catholic writers, and American Literature of War, among many others.



    Religion & Literature


    The concentration in Religion & Literature is a unique interdisciplinary program that allows students to combine advanced literary analysis with formal theological studies. Professors are friendly towards and involved in exploring the intersections of faith and learning. This degree actually is an English degree, despite its hybridized appearance. Recent students have focused on Evelyn Waugh, George MacDonald, Flannery O'Connor, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the influence of Reformation theology on English literature.



    Rhetoric & Composition


    A focus on rhetoric and composition theory prepares students for careers of cutting-edge research in this growing field. It also prepares graduate students to teach academic, professional, technical, and creative writing both at Baylor and in their future careers. Possible directions in research include digital rhetoric, spiritual writing, women's writing, African-American rhetorical cultures, literacy studies, historical & political rhetoric, and pop culture.


    Creative Writing


    Baylor has a growing creative writing faculty, and a creative writing project is one option for the M.A. thesis.



    An Accomplished & Engaged Faculty



    A Vibrant Community


    • New and prospective students often remark on how friendly and welcoming the other graduate students are. Many choose to join together for specialized reading groups and spiritual growth groups, and many of our students live in the graduate housing communities together. EGSA, our English Graduate Student Association, is active both in promoting the interests of graduate students and in creating a fun social schedule.


    Extensive Teaching Opportunities


    • Almost all students get the opportunity to teach composition, research, and either British or American literature. This extensive experience is unique for a graduate program and is invaluable in preparing students for the job market and for future careers as professors.

      Graduate students at Baylor are known for their quality teaching: they enjoy working one-on-one with undergraduate students and actively developing pedagogical skills and philosophies.


      Many graduate students serve as Writing Center tutors, receiving training and experience in how to effectively mentor students as writers. Some students also serve as research assistants to individual professors.


      Graduate students in the past have also assisted in the Maastricht & Oxford study abroad programs, at the Institute for Faith and Learning, at the Baylor University Press, in the Graduate School, and have served as the Honors College Scholar-in-Residence, among many other opportunities on campus.


    A Supportive University


    • The Mission: Baylor has a two-pronged mission called Pro Futuris, which states that the university aims to integrate both "academic excellence and Christian character within a caring community." These twin priorities mean that the university invests generously in graduate studies and professional development, but also provides a uniquely Christian environment that values personal and family life.


      Graduate students at Baylor receive a high level of funding compared to other schools. In addition to tuition remission, most students receive assistantships and scholarships.


      Benefits: The university provides generous benefits such as maternity/paternity leave and discounted health insurance to graduate teachers of record, which speaks of its commitment to family.


      Funding: The university is supportive of graduate students' professional development by providing travel funding for attending conferences and graduate writing tutors to assist in preparing papers for classes or publication. Check out the graduate school's other professional development opportunities here. The English Department provides travel funding and Writing Center services as well.


      Pedagogy: The university also provides extensive pedagogical training through the Preparing Our Future Faculty (PROFF) and the Teaching Capstone in Higher Education Certificate (TeaCHE) programs.


    Rigorous Academic Preparation


    • Our classes are small and produce stimulating discussion, original research, publishable papers, and mentoring relationships with professors.

      Students receive solid foundational training through required classes such as Bibliography & Research Methods, Literary Theory, Rhetoric & Composition, and Old English Language. A variety of unique courses is offered every semester and in the summer. Sometimes, students can take religion classes cross-listed as literature classes.

      Baylor also hosts many fascinating guest speakers and conferences. Our department's Beall Poetry Festival hosted Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney in Spring 2013 and has also welcomed Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. In Fall 2013 alone, Baylor's campus hosted conferences on C. S. Lewis, Soren Kierkegaard, and Betty Friedan. The English Department also has three ongoing lecture series on 19th-Century Studies, 20th-Century Studies, and Medieval & Renaissance Studies.



    If you have any questions about the graduate program, please contact our graduate program director, Dr. Richard Rankin Russell, at (254) 710-4815, 206 Carroll Science, or at