University of Rochester

Rochester's English Department Selected for National Education Study

February 12, 2003

The Department of English at the University of Rochester has been selected to participate in a multi-year research project aimed at improving doctoral education in the United States.

Participants in the study, titled the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, will analyze their existing graduate programs, design and evaluate new programs for their discipline, and share their findings.

"Though our department is small compared to other Ph.D.-granting departments in the United States, our size has encouraged versatility and coherence, and our participation places us alongside programs at Columbia, Duke, Indiana, Michigan, Toronto, and Washington University," said Thomas Hahn, professor and director of graduate studies in English. "This study brings important professional interchange and will increase our national profile."

Funding for the project is provided by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In announcing the initiative, the sponsors noted that evolution of the disciplines, as well as general changes in education and society, make the doctoral degree critical to the continued improvement of all American education, from elementary to graduate school.

The project includes 54 partner departments and allied departments in chemistry, education, English, and mathematics. Rochester's English department has been designated an allied department; allied departments pursue the same project goals and strategies but with less sponsor support.

The Department of English in the College of the University of Rochester currently has approximately 50 students enrolled in it doctoral program and 15 students working toward their master's degree. The graduate program in English is organized around three broad-based areas of study: contemporary writing, text and medium, and literature and history.

The department has 22 full-time and 10 adjunct, visiting, and postdoctoral faculty members, who include six Guggenheim Fellows, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist, as well as recipients of numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation.