Unlike a traditional Ph.D. program, where all of your coursework is completed in one field, coursework in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program is divided between a primary discipline and a co-discipline. After completing coursework, you will take comprehensive examinations in both disciplines and then begin work on a dissertation.

We are a group of engaged faculty who work in a variety of fields of study. Before you apply to the program, review the faculty pages to identify faculty members who conduct research in your area of interest and who may be willing to serve on your dissertation committee. Our department’s particular strengths are:

  • American Studies
  • Manuscript and Print Culture
  • Medieval Studies
  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Transatlantic Studies
  • Women and Gender Studies

Many I.Ph.D. students pair English with one of the following co-disciplines:

  • Art History
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • History
  • Humanities Consortium

The UMKC Catalog outlines the minimum I.Ph.D. academic regulations and the discipline-specific requirements for English. These sections of the catalog provide guidelines for establishing a program of study, forming a supervisory committee, preparing for and completing comprehensive exams, and writing and defending the doctoral dissertation.

Application Requirements and Process

The application process is competitive. We look for applicants who have completed an M.A. in English or the equivalent coursework.

January 15 is the deadline for fall semester admission. Because the university closes over the winter holidays and classes may not resume until after Martin Luther King Day, prospective students should initiate contact with the department’s discipline coordinator and faculty in November. Be sure to allow enough time for all of the materials to arrive by the deadline. When you complete your online application, you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Academic information, including institutions attended, degrees earned, GPA, foreign language experience, honors and awards, and relevant work experience
  2. Writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing abilities in the humanities in up to 15 pages of recent academic prose (upload file)
  3. Statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s academic and professional objectives in an essay of 500-600 words, discussing in detail their interest, research, and writing in their emphasis area (upload file)
  4. Resume/Vita (upload file)
  5. Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s readiness for graduate study written by three professors or others who know the applicant’s abilities and potential well (provide email addresses and recommenders will receive instructions to upload letters)
  6. GRE score of 60 percent or higher on the verbal aptitude section (submit official scores using code 6872)
  7. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended (mail to UMKC Office of Admissions, 5100 Rockhill Road, 120 Administrative Center, 64110)
  8. Graduate Teaching Assistantship application materials, if applying, including a 250-500 word teaching statement addressing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for teaching, and an academic writing sample from an upper-level college course (upload files)