For the last several decades, we have been extraordinarily successful in placing our PhD graduates in tenure-track academic jobs. We calculate our placement percentage by means of the number of PhD graduates who receive a tenure-track job within three years of graduation. Between 2000 and 2015, about 80% of our students were in tenure-track academic jobs within three years of graduation. More recently, our placement rates show a decrease in academic employment and in increase in alt-ac jobs, secondary school teaching jobs and jobs outside of the academy.
Our 3-year tenure-track placement for 2019/2020, is 38.5% or 5 out of 13. The remaining eight students work primarily in the non-profit sector in a range of different jobs—most commonly grant writing or consulting—others work in government or in alt-ac. Graduates from 20/21 and 21/22 have not yet been out for 3 years, so their 3-year placement rate can’t be calculated. 7 people graduated in 2020/2021: 4 are teaching at the university level—2 tenure-track, 2 long-term non-tenure-track. Of our seven 2021/2022 graduates: 1 is a tenure-track assistant professor, 1 is a post-doc, others are private school teachers, are in alt-ac positions, or work for academic presses. To sum up, of the 27 people who graduated between Fall 2019 and Summer 2022, 8 or nearly 30% are in tenure-track jobs, 2 are in non-tenure track jobs (7%), 1 is a postdoc, 1 teaches private high school, 2 are in alt-ac jobs, 7 work for non-profits or private organizations (22%), one is working towards an MFA.
The department has created an intensive and comprehensive system to help students prepare themselves for their job applications, from the initial preparation of applications to mock on-campus interviews. We also have a yearly colloquium, Translating the PhD, that seeks to bring Duke Career Resources and our own PhD. Alumni together to help students think about a range of jobs outside of the academy. Duke’s Summer Internship programs also facilitate gaining different kinds of career experiences—many of our graduates have used these opportunities to explore a range of academic and extra-academic career possibilities.
Recent Tenure-Track Positions
- Emma Davenport (PhD 2022), Emory University
- Stoney Portis (PhD 2021), The United States Military Academy - West Point
- Claire Ravenscroft (PhD 2020), International Christian University
- Kevin Spencer (PhD 2022), School of English Studies Wenzhou-Kean University
- Jessica Stark (PhD 2020), University of North Florida
- Justin Mitchell (PhD 2020), University of Michigan
- Patrick Timmis (PhD 2021, Hillsdale College
- Rachel Gevlin (PhD 2020), Birmingham-Southern College
- Sasha Panaram (PhD 2020), Fordham University
- Patrick Morgan (PhD 2019), University of Louisiana - Monroe
- Israel Durham (PhD 2018), Lehman College
- Matthew Omelsky (PhD 2018), University of Rochester
- Jessica Hines (PhD 2017), Birmingham-Southern College
- Jonathan Howard (PhD 2017), Boston College
- Mary Caton Lingold (PhD 2017), Virginia Commonwealth University
- Marina Magloire (PhD 2017), University of Miami
- Ainehi Edoro (PhD 2016), Marquette University
- Rebecca Evans (PhD 2016), Southwestern University
- William Hunt (PhD 2016), Barton College
- Thomas Manganaro (PhD 2016), University of Richmond