Guide to Graduate Study

This informal guide is prepared for Pitt undergraduate students by the English Department Literature Program Committee.

The purpose is to offer advice to students who are thinking about and then actually applying to graduate school. If you have additional questions, please speak with any of the English advisors.

About Graduate Study

Graduate studies in literature allow and require students to undertake advanced coursework and substantial intellectual projects. Learn more>


Students who are admitted to graduate degree programs may be offered scholarly fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or combinations of these options. Learn more>

Investigating Programs

Investigate and identify the graduate programs to which you will apply. Learn more>

Applying to Graduate Programs

The graduate admission process includes deadlines, tests, interviews, recommendations, and visits. Learn more>

Applying to Teaching Certification Programs

The admission process for teaching program has specific requirements. Learn more>

Preparation as an Undergraduate

The period courses required by the major ensure that students undertake substantial work in a number of literary historical periods, work that is usually organized by specific aesthetic, historical, ethical, and political questions. Learn more>

Academic Job Market

One reason for earning a PhD is to pursue a career as a faculty member at a four-year college or university or a two-year institution. Learn more>

Teaching Options Outside Graduate School

There are a number of opportunities to teach, to get credentialed in K-12 education, and to gain experiences through teaching that are available to graduates other than the pursuit of graduate study in English. Learn more>