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Profile: Stanford University

Posted on December 17, 2010

The fourth in our series on graduate programs is Stanford University. The application deadline for Stanford (December 7, 2010) has passed, but we wanted to cover them for next year’s applicants.

The English Department seeks to teach and promote an understanding of both the significance and the history of British and American literature (broadly defined) and to foster an appreciation of the richness and variety of texts in the language. It offers rigorous training in interpretive thinking and precise expression. Our English graduate program features the study of what imaginative language, rhetoric, and narrative art has done, can do, and will do in life, and it focuses on the roles creative writing and representations play in almost every aspect of modern experience. Completing the Ph.D. program prepares a student for full participation as a scholar and literary critic in the profession.

Each year, Stanford accepts 7-9 students out of an applicant pool of 350. Those students who are accepted receive a five-year funding package, with more funding available for a sixth year. The funding covers tuition, health insurance, and living expenses and also includes four summers of research travel, language study, and conferences.

Students teach for one quarter in their first and fourth years and two quarters in their second year. The teaching in the first and fourth year includes leading two discussion sections for an undergraduate literature course. In the second year, students teach a self-designed course in writing and rhetoric.

Applicants must take both the General GRE and the Subject Test in Literature. Stanford does not offer a terminal M.A. or an M.F.A.

Recent graduates of Stanford have obtained tenure-track positions at such institutions as Yale University, Boston University, Columbia University, University of Maryland, University of Chicago, University of Georgia, UC Santa Barbara, University of Washington, and the University of Toronto.

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