The Department of English supports the professional goals of our students, and offers resources for PhDs pursuing academic and non-academic careers.
Academic Job Support
The Department’s Job Search Advisor helps prepare students for the academic job market the year before they begin applying for positions. The process involves group meetings and one-on-one consultations about job letters, dissertation abstracts, and teaching and diversity statements. The Job Search Advisor also coordinates practice interviews and job talks.
Of course, preparation for the academic job market begins much earlier. The graduate program is designed to prepare students for all the opportunities and responsibilities of teaching and scholarship. Our pedagogy seminar acquaints students with theories of pedagogy, while providing practical tools for instruction. Our Graduate Writing Seminar helps students transition from writing seminar papers to publishable articles. Princeton’s Collaborative Teaching Initiative encourages students to design and co-teach courses with faculty. Meanwhile, the Department’s committee advising structure ensures that multiple faculty members advise each student’s dissertation and are able to write informed letters of recommendation. The Department aims to support the intellectual work of all its members. The dissertations written at Princeton are scholarly, imaginative, and outward-looking.
Jobs Beyond the Tenure Track
The Department’s academic job placement statistics are very competitive, but we also support students who decide to use their PhDs in non-academic careers. We partner with the Graduate School and the Center for Career Development, both of which are dedicated to helping PhD candidates and recent graduates explore a wide range of career opportunities.
Job Placement Resources
The MLA offers an excellent guide to the Doctoral Student Career Planning, written for faculty but equally valuable to students. Additionally, two Princeton PhDs—Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius—have written a guide to taking the doctorate outside the academy: “So What Are You Going to Do with That?” We also recommend Katina L. Rogers’s Putting the Humanities PhD to Work.