Contextual Information

(Also see our Placement Statistics page for more information about job placements for our PhDs.)

Since 2001, the Department of English has placed 60.1% of graduating PhDs in tenure-track jobs. Below, you will find some comparisons that help make sense of this number, including comparative placement rates, special factors in PhD placement, and differences by field.


English PhD Tenure-Track Placement: Comparative Graph

The graph above compares the OSU English Department's PhD placement rate with other institutions.  The MLA last published national tenure-track placement in 2007; OSU's rate of 60.1% compares favorably with the 2007 national rate of 55%.  We have also included data from the English Departments of Stanford and University of Pennsylvania.  We chose those two institutions in part because their placement rates might give some sense of how OSU compares with other prestigious programs and in part because those departments make available complete, comprehensive placement data.

  Graph of T-T Placements: OSU vs. Other Institutions

Current applicants to graduate school in English as well as current graduate students should be aware that the job-market for tenure-track positions has deterioriated considerably after the "Great Recession" 2008.  The graph above shows the number of faculty jobs in English advertised by the MLA each year since 2001.  As it shows, there has been a significant decline in faculty job postings since 2008.

    English PhD Tenure-Track Placement: before and after 2008

The decline in tenure-track job openings has affected OSU's placement rates.  Between 2001 and 2008, OSU placed almost 71% of its PhDs in tenure-track positions.  After 2008, that rate has declined to a little over 50%.  Other institutions have seen similar declines, as the comparative data from Stanford show.

English PhD Tenure-Track Placement: RCL vs. Literary Fields

Both before and after 2008, the tenure-track job-placement rate for OSU English PhDs has been different for different broad fields.  As the graph above shows, PhDs in Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy (RCL) have a significantly higher rate of landing tenure-track jobs than PhDs in literary fields.  Since 2001, graduates in RCL have a placement rate of over 76%; during that same period, graduates in literary fields have a rate of about 56%.