Most Ph.D. in Literature programs require students to work as teaching assistants. Serving as a teaching assistant will require their regular presence on-campus, making long-distance learning impossible. As such, a Doctor in Literature degree is unavailable for individuals who wish to earn it online.

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Most applications oblige students to lodge a formal request, usually with the accompaniment of published works such as those concerning their work in major companies, peer-reviewed serials, and unpublished reports approved by the Senate. These publications will be examined by national and international experts. Many universities also require a master’s degree in Literature for admission.

Ph.D. in Literature candidates are commonly given two choices for their area of concentration, a particular genre, or a period. Usually, the program requires students to produce and defend a dissertation.

Since a doctorate is not just a run-on from a master’s degree, candidates can expect a more rigorous learning process and more extensive training in English literature as a discipline. It takes genuine effort to make a societal contribution through the connection and understanding afforded by the world of literature.

What is a Doctorate of Literature degree program?

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In a Doctorate of Literature degree program, students are equipped with in-depth knowledge of literature and literary criticism. It lets them explore different approaches to literary study in different periods, preparing them for their advanced individualized research and specialization later on.

The courses range from comparative literature, interpretation, and early literary forms to advanced literary criticism, modern thought, and cultural studies, among many others. Some schools give students a choice among several specializations, such as Medieval literature, ancient Roman and Greek literature, and Victorian literature.

Since the program requires the study of foreign literature, most Ph.D. in Literature students must be fluent in one foreign language. Disciplines like linguistics, literary conventions, and various research methods are also tackled throughout the program.

Do I need a doctorate in Literature to practice as a professional?

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It is still possible to build a career without earning a Doctorate in Literature. However, Ph.D. in Literature holders have an edge when it comes to salary and compensation. Fact is, holding any doctoral degree can help one earn more than those with a master’s degree under their belt. Doctorate degrees are often considered terminal degrees—the highest formal degree that can enhance your resume and move your career further. It can undoubtedly guarantee male Ph.D. holders 26% higher salary than those who chose not to. That is according to Bernard Casey whose published study explored the economic contribution of Ph.D.’s.

Since Ph.D. in Literature programs have writing and intensive research in their curriculum, this type of degree gives students the advantage when it comes to industries that require mastery of the language, like the academe, media, and press relations.

How do I earn my Doctor of Literature degree?

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Application for admission to the Doctorate in Literature degree usually has prerequisites in the form of a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Literature or related field. On top of that, students are asked to submit a proposal for a plan of study, letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and sometimes, even sample works showcasing their analytical writing.

Other schools roll out an examination for students at the start of the program to determine their preparedness and ability to complete the course. It is important for students to develop their research skills early on and extend their knowledge in English Literature.

Typically, it can take 4 to 5 years for Ph.D. in Literature students to complete the degree, after they have successfully produced and defended their original dissertation. The dissertation entails a rigorous process that can span two to three years, compelling students to work closely with their faculty advisor who serves as their mentor for such an important endeavor.

What career paths do Doctorate in Literature holders take?

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Many Doctorates in Literature build their career in the academe with the obvious post as professor of literature in a university or college. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, postsecondary teachers in literature has a median salary of $61,990.

However, the field of literature branches out to related industries as well, with popular career choices in publishing and research companies. With a Ph.D. in Literature, graduates can become a literary critic, literary agent, author, academic consultant, publisher or editor.

What salary range can I expect with my doctorate in Literature degree?

Those who hold a doctorate in Literature can expect an average salary of $66,000. The highest paying position is that of an editor with an average of $74,257 a year. Higher Education professors can earn as much as $70,590 while an adjunct professor has an average salary of $31,954.

English Literature professors have a mastery of the language as well as skills in understanding English prose, poetry, and drama. They design and develop the curriculum and guiding students who pursue individual literary interests.

The state where Ph.D. in Literature holders are mostly employed is in New York where English literature professors can earn an average of $91,070 a year.

What schools offer online and traditional Doctor of Literature programs?

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Although some schools may offer a few courses online, classroom presence is a must because of the nature of the degree program. As of now, a doctorate in literature is not yet available in an online format.

One can take up a Ph.D. in Literature from some of the country’s best universities, including Yale University, University of California–Berkeley, University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Brown University, among many others.

The doctorate in literature degree program holds a myriad of opportunities for students who wish to further their learning, advance their careers, and come to a deeper understanding of literature and its many literary forms. The knowledge they gained and the critical thinking skills that go along with it can help shape the minds of future generations as Ph.D. in Literature holders enter the academic world and other influential industries. This degree program can pave the way for a lucrative and fulfilling career path.