The program offers professional education and training for students who wish to pursue careers in post-secondary teaching, research, administration, and other fields in which analytical, organizational, and communication skills are required. The curriculum of courses, area seminars, and candidacy examinations will provide students with the knowledge and background preparation necessary for doctoral-level expertise in literary and/or performance studies; the PhD dissertation will require original research that contributes significantly to knowledge in the humanities.
The program is designed to prepare students for academic and other professional careers that require applied research skills. Students will obtain professional grounding in the academic study of literary, performance, and cultural histories and theories, and in new directions in English, theatre, literary, and performance studies. Graduates of the program will have acquired experience in traditional academic activities such as conducting independent research, preparing scholarly publications, and designing and teaching courses in their field of specialization; the program will also fill the need to provide future members of the professoriate with specialized training that will prepare them for the academic job market. The program will also guide candidates in adapting their skills to a variety of non-academic careers in areas such as multi-media research technologies and computer applications, publishing, journalism, arts and theatre administration, government, social services, and law.