The research and teaching of department faculty represents and cuts across a range of fields, historical periods, and methodological approaches. Our graduates have gone on to faculty positions at a range of nationally ranked colleges and universities, including, in recent years, the University of Michigan, Tulane, Rice, Clemson, BYU, and Connecticut College. UCI is ranked #7 in literary and critical theory nationally (US News and World Report).

Many of our PhD faculty and students participate in reading groups and interdisciplinary research clusters. Some groups currently active include a Clarissa Reading Group, Form Reading Group, Marxism Reading Group, Medieval Devysings, Method and Madness, and the Queer Theory Reading Group. Interdisciplinary clusters in the Humanities include The Center for Early Cultures, Poetics | History | Theory, the Rhetoric Research Cluster, and UCI Global Asias. Our Ph.D. program allows students to customize their study and research around their own intellectual interests. Students can also take seminars in other programs and departments where they can receive a range of interdisciplinary certificates.

All admitted students receive a multi-year funding package, including a range of teaching opportunities. Students may enter the graduate program in English with either a B.A. or an M.A. degree. In either case, the first two years are spent taking courses, completing the language requirement, and writing the M.A. paper. In the third year, students select two or three fields of study for their qualifying exams--exam lists are developed by the student in consultation with their advisor and are intended to help the student build expertise and confidence toward a future dissertation. After successfully completing the qualifying examination, students write a dissertation under the supervision of a three-person dissertation committee, which they select.