For the last several decades, we have been extraordinarily successful in placing our PhD graduates in tenure-track 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 fall 2000 and fall 2008, our placement rate was 84% (48 of 57 graduates), and the vast majority of those students (73%) found a tenure track job in their sixth year in the program or within one year of graduation. The worldwide financial crisis that began in 2008 affected our placement rate, and between spring 2008 and fall 2013, our placement rate was 63% (30 of 48 students). For students who graduated in spring 2014 and spring 2015, our tenure track placement was 100%.
More recently, our placement rates show a decrease in academic employment and in increase in alt-ac jobs and jobs outside of the academy. Our 3 year tenure-track placement for 2017/2018 graduates is 33% or 2 out of 6. Of the remaining 4 graduates, one is in a non-tenure track job, one teaches English at a high school, one is an academic administrator, and one is an independent scholar. Graduates from 18/19 and 19/20 have not yet been out for 3 years, so their 3 year placement rate can’t be calculated. In 2018/2019, we graduated eight students. One is currently tenure-track, four are in non-tenure track jobs, two teach at high schools, and one is not working fulltime in academia. Thirteen people graduated in 2019/2020: two are currently tenure-track, three are in a non-tenure track position, two are academic administrators, four are employed by nonprofit organizations, and two are undetermined . To sum up, of the 27 people who graduated between Spring 2018 and Summer 2020, 5 or (19%) are in tenure-track jobs, 8 are in non-tenure track jobs (30%), 3 teach high school (11%), 4 are in alt ac jobs, 4 work for nonprofits, one is an independent scholar, and we don’t have data on 2 others. Many of the people who are in temporary academic positions are still applying for tenure track jobs.
Our graduates have received offers from a range of excellent schools: in the last seven years, for example, they have included tenure-track positions at Boston College, Marquette University, University of Miami, Spelman College, Birmingham-Southern College, University of Richmond, University of Rochester, University of Louisiana – Monroe, Virginia Commonwealth University, Fordham University, and the University of Michigan.
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. Currently, the department is also able to provide financial support for dossier requests.
 Even that placement rate is significantly above what the authors of an economics study recently (2014) calculated as the average placement rate--54%--of graduates from peer English programs such as the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania. David Colander, with Daisy Zhuo, “Where Do PhDs in English Get Jobs: An Economist's View of the English PhD Market,” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 15/1 (2014): 139-56.
Recent Tenure-Track Positions
- Stoney Portis (PhD 2021), The United States Military Academy - West Point
- Claire Ravenscroft (PhD 2020), International Christian University
- Jessica Stark (PhD 2020), University of North Florida
- Justin Mitchell (PhD 2020), University of Michigan
- 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