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University of Cambridge Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :06 Feb 
International :06 Jan 
EU :06 Jan 

PhD English (American Literature)

 Course Level
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

19989 GBP
7626 GBP
7626 GBP

Application fee

International 50 GBP
National 50 GBP
Faculty of English
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
GMAT (avg)600

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About this course

American literature thrives at every level of the faculty's activity: our Ph.D. cohort is fed by the M.Phil. in American Literature, which consistently attracts an international group of students, particularly from the United States. External examiners regularly remark on the exceptional quality of work produced on the M.Phil., and many M.Phil. students stay on for the Ph.D. We also welcome PhD applicants with Master's Degrees from many other institutions. The research community in Cambridge is enhanced by the Keasbey Research Fellow in American Studies, based at Selwyn College. American Literature is also usually the most popular undergraduate optional paper, and dozens of students write dissertations on American topics every year.

One of the general editors of the Cambridge Edition of the Complete Fiction of Henry James is based in the faculty. Activities involving graduates, postdoctoral research fellows and senior Faculty members include a fortnightly seminar in American literature in term-time, which combines internal and invited speakers, film-screenings, and reading group discussions. One highlight of the academic year is the annual American Literature symposium, a one-day event run by and for graduate students, as a testing ground and showcase for M.Phil. and Ph.D. work in progress.

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Eligibility Criteria


IELTS: 7.5 (7 in each element.)

TOEFL: 110 (25 in each element.)

Score: Grade A or B (with at least 193 in each individual element) plus a language centre assessment.

Score: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 in each individual element)

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Course Modules

Faculty members' research interests span the period from the seventeenth century to the present, in poetry, prose, drama, puritan and colonial literature, and wilderness writing. Work in the faculty embraces a wide range of approaches – close-reading, cultural history, comparativist and theoretical approaches, among others. Several faculty members are also particularly interested in transatlantic cultural connections. Individual special interests include:
Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, the History and Idea of the Great American Novel, Short Stories, Sport and literature, Autobiography and Life Writing, the Culture of Modern Museums and Collecting, Henry James, Modernist Poetry and Periodical Culture, Susan Howe, Poetic Sequences, Literature and Political Violence, Poststructuralism, the American /Viet Nam War, nineteenth-century popular theatre, T. S. Eliot, Notebooks, Revisions and Drafting, Jack Kerouac, Frederick Douglass.

Students studying American topics also take advantage of the strength of American History in Cambridge, organising joint seminars, reading groups and film screenings. In 2005 Faculty members in History and English jointly organised the British Association of American Studies’ 50th Anniversary Conference: the opening session featured panels on topics ranging as widely as Gay Rodeo, James Baldwin in Turkey and Appalachian culture.

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How to Apply

You should thoroughly research your prospective course, its requirements, deadlines and course costs before you think about completing and submitting the online application form.

Having fully researched the course you are interested in, make sure you now have the relevant information you need to apply:

  • Course name
  • Application and funding deadlines
  • The relevant required supporting documents (e.g. transcripts, CV, etc.) in pdf format to upload.
  • Email addresses for your academic referees. You should ensure you have theirconsent before you apply.
  • A choice of up to two colleges to consider your application.
  • Apply Online using the GRADSAF

When you have completed the necessary preparation, and you are ready to begin your online application, you should take note of the following important information.

  • There is an application charge of (GBP Sterling) £50 per application. You can make the payment by providing your credit card details to our secure server when you submit the online application.
  • Your application is not complete without the required supporting documentationwhich can be uploaded via your self service account after you submit the online application form.
  • You will need to submit a separate application, with separate supporting documents, for each course you wish you to apply for.

Upload Supporting Documentation

Once you have submitted your application, you will be given access to your Self-Service Account. You will have 14 days from submission of your application to upload all mandatory documents.

Please check your course's entry to see what supporting documents you will be required to submit. These will also be listed on your self-service account once you have submitted your application. For more information on what the specific requirements of each document are, and how to submit them, please see the section on Supporting Documentation

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