Best PhD for Writing Careers

Jan 25, 2019

Individuals who are trying to launch a career in writing may consider pursuing a Ph.D. in order to develop skills or obtain new ones and increase their chances of being successful in chosen professions. Below, we will learn about a few different Ph.D. programs that are the best for individuals who seek writing careers.

Best Ph.D. Programs for Careers in Writing

Ph.D. in English

Ph.D. programs in English are widely available at universities around the country. These may be ideal for individuals who are interested in writing careers because English Ph.D. programs often allow for a wide degree of customization and flexibility based on a student's interests and specific career goals. Some programs offer concentration or specialization areas, with options like creative writing and comparative literature. In terms of structure, the first years of these programs are typically spent taking coursework while the final years of the Ph.D. program are spent doing research and writing a doctoral dissertation. Additionally, Ph.D. programs in English often require that doctoral students work as teaching assistants, which entails instructing undergraduate English courses. For individuals who are interested in working as English professors to supplement a writing career, this opportunity provides them with valuable professional experience.

Ph.D. in Communications and Media Studies

Individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in journalistic and media writing may want to consider enrolling in a Ph.D. program in communication and media studies. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of this field, these programs are also typically very customizable depending on a student's interests, offering concentration and specialization areas in different types of communication. For example, a student interested in beginning a career as a political writer may be inclined to find a program that offers a political communication concentration area, while students interested in studying the role of media, itself, could pursue a specialization in an area like media uses and effects. These programs could prepare students for a variety of writing careers in academia and the government, as well as private industry.

Ph.D. in Education

Another option for students interested in writing careers is to pursue a Ph.D. in another field of interest, thereby gaining expertise which could then be used to support a writing career. Individuals who are involved in the field of education may want to enroll in a Ph.D. in education program, which could allow students to take courses and pursue research in subfields of education that are most interesting to them. For example, some students interested in developing writing curriculum could find a program that has a concentration available in curriculum studies, while individuals who are more drawn to working as a writer in educational policy could pursue this area of study. Students can typically complete Ph.D. programs in education in around 4 or 5 years, with the first couple of years being devoted to coursework and the final years spent conducting research towards the completion of a doctoral thesis.

Admission Standards of the Best Ph.D. Programs for Writing Careers

Because there are a number of Ph.D. programs in different fields that can help students begin a successful writing career, admission standards for these will vary by field of study and from school to school. Generally speaking, Ph.D. programs will expect students to have completed at least a bachelor's degree by the time they begin their doctoral studies, with some programs further specifying the need for a master's degree. Because many of these programs are multidisciplinary in nature, applicants from a wide range of undergraduate studies may be eligible. However, some programs may require that applicants have pursued a similar degree at the bachelor's level. For example, a Ph.D. program in English with a focus on creative writing will likely require an applicant to have previously completed a similar degree and to provide samples of their creative writing work.

The best Ph.D. programs for those in pursuit of writing careers are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, such as English, education, and communications. In general, applicants will submit any past undergraduate or graduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and application form, in addition to the possible requirement of GRE scores and writing samples.

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