The decision to enroll in a PhD program is not only an educational choice; it is also a career choice. At Ohio State's Department of English, we feel that it is important to let prospective and current graduate students know as much as possible about the career outcomes of our graduates. The following information provides detailed information about the jobs our English PhD alums currently occupy and our overall job-placement statistics. The following materials also provide information about the resources our current PhD students can access as they plan for positions in and outside academia.
- Since 2001, we have placed 60.1% of our graduates – or 119 PhDs – in tenure-track faculty jobs.
- We have placed 18.1% of our graduates in non-tenure-track faculty jobs. These non-tenure-track jobs are usually short-term, temporary instructional positions. About 14% of our graduates currently hold long-term, permanent jobs in academia without tenure. These positions include faculty jobs at non-tenure granting institutions and jobs in academic administration. Administrative positions usually involve directing specialized academic programs, such as centers for interdisciplinary studies or for the teaching of writing.
- About 11% of our graduates hold positions outside academia. These positions are very diverse. We have PhDs who are lawyers, librarians and businesspeople.
- It is worth noting that job placement in tenure-track positions varies by field. Since 2001, we have placed 76.1% of PhDs specializing in rhetoric, composition and literacy in tenure-track jobs (35 of 46 students). In that same period, we have placed 56% of PhDs specializing in literary fields in tenure-track jobs (80 of 143 students).
- Avila, Beth. PhD 2016. Envirosite. Research and Content Analyst.
- Clinnin, Kaitlin. PhD 2017. University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
- Comer, Kathryn. PhD 2011. Portland State University.
- Ghosal, Torsa. PhD 2017. California State University, Sacramento.
- Harris, James. PhD 2017. Dickinson College. Visiting Assistant Professor.
- Haugtvedt, Erica. PhD 2015. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.
- Hill, Cecily. PhD 2015. National Humanities Alliance Foundation. Project Director.
- McCook, Nora. PhD 2017. Bloomfield College.
- Owen, Ben Novotny. PhD 2017. Epic Systems. Technical Writer.
- Owen, Kate Novotny. PhD 2017. Epic Systems. Technical Communications Specialist.
- Salter, Tiffany. PhD 2017. Bates College. Visiting Assistant Professor.
- Shaull, Erin. PhD 2015. Capital University. Adjunct Faculty.
- Shaw, John Brendan. PhD 2016. Central State University. Visiting Assistant Professor.
- Slefinger, John. PhD 2017. Saint Anselm College. Lecturer.
- Wilder, Sara. PhD 2017. University of Maryland.
- Bolton, Matthew. PhD 2011. Gonzaga University.
- Cyzewski, Julie. PhD 2016. Murray State University.
- Garvin, Kristina. PhD 2015. St. Joseph's University. Visiting Assistant Professor.
- Rojas, Theresa. PhD 2015. Modesto Junior College.
- Sweeten, David. PhD 2016. Eastern New Mexico University.
- Bollig, Chase. PhD 2015. Gonzaga University.
- Bryson, Krista. PhD 2015. Founder, Owner, Development and Communications Director, Write Good; Director of Development, Education and Employment Ministry, Inc.
- DeLuca, Katherine. PhD 2015. University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth.
- Haugtvedt, Erica. PhD 2015. Ohio State University, Lecturer.
- Hill, Cecily. PhD 2015. Director, Marketing and Communications, That Can Be Me, Inc.
- Istomina, Julia. PhD 2015. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Lecturer.
- Kennedy, Colleen. PhD 2015. University of Iowa.
- Kuzawa, Deborah. PhD 2015. Ohio State University, Engineering Education Innovation Center.
- Li, Wanlin. PhD 2015. Peking University.
- Patterson, Cassie. PhD 2015. Ohio State University, Assistant Director, Center for Folklore Studies.
- Richmond, Andrew. PhD 2015. Ohio State University, Lecturer.
- Wagner, Erin. PhD 2015. Urbana University, Lecturer.
- Wang, Wanzheng Michelle. PhD 2015. Nanyang Technological University, Visiting Assistant Professor equivalent.
- Brewer, Elizabeth. PhD 2014. Central Connecticut State University.
- Bruce Wallace, Karen. PhD 2014. Ohio State University, Lecturer.
- Herman, Jen. PhD 2014. Ohio State University, Engineering Education Innovation Center.
- Jenkins, Alexandra. PhD 2014. Teaching English in Korea.
- Kafantaris, Mira. PhD 2014. Ohio State University, Lecturer.
- Kurlinkus, Will. PhD 2014. University of Oklahoma.
- Manning, Brandon. PhD 2014. University of Nevada - Las Vegas.
- Park, Hyesu. PhD 2014. Bellevue College.
- Baker, Michael. PhD 2013. Florida Gateway College.
- Estes, Sharon. PhD 2013. Bucks County Community College.
- Griffy, Henry. PhD 2013. Ohio State University, Instructional Designer and Grants Coordinator, Office of Distance Education and eLearning.
- Hooks, Karin. PhD 2012. Loraine Community College.
- Horigan, Kate Parker. PhD 2013. Western Kentucky University, Folk Studies.
- Ishikawa, Chiaki. PhD 2013. Rikkyo University.
- Jansen, Anne. PhD 2013. University of North Carolina - Asheville.
- Jensen, Tim. PhD 2013. Oregon State University.
- Kelly, Erin. PhD 2013. Chico State University.
- Kwon, Kyounghye. PhD 2009. University of North Georgia.
- Kopec, Andrew. PhD 2013. Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne.
- Lewis, Christopher. PhD 2012. Western Kentucky University.
- McAllister, Brian. PhD 2013. Ohio University, Visiting Assistant Professor.
- Mehta, Suhaan. PhD 2013. Case Western Reserve University.
- Mendenhall, Annie. PhD 2013. Armstrong Atlantic University.
- Nixon, Elizabeth. PhD 2013. Ohio State University, Lecturer.
- Obermark, Lauren. PhD 2013. University of Missouri - St. Louis.
- Reno, Seth. PhD 2011. Auburn University - Montgomery.
- Stier, Adam. PhD 2013. Lake Erie College.
- Strandjord, Erika. PhD 2013. Concordia College.
- Voss, Julia. PhD 2013. Santa Clara University.
- Yan, Nancy. PhD 2013. Ohio State University - Newark, Lecturer.
- Anderson, Tiffany. PhD 2012. Youngstown State University.
- Banaji, Paige. PhD 2012. Barry University.
- Casey, Shawn. Columbus State Community College.
- Gerber, Amanda. PhD 2012. Eastern New Mexico University.
- Gonzalez, Christopher. PhD 2012. Texas A & M University - Commerce.
- Gonzalez-Posse, Maria. PhD 2012. Birkbeck College, University of London.
- Hart, Catherine. PhD 2012. Vanderbilt University, Lecturer.
- Hattaway, Meghan Burke. PhD 2012. Ohio State University. Lecturer.
- Judkins, Ryan. PhD 2012. University of Massachusetts - Boston.
- McCarthy, Erin. PhD 2012. Arizona State University, Assistant Director of Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
- McKain, Aaron. PhD 2012. Hamline University.
- Moreno, Christine. PhD 2012. Pike's Peak Community College.
- Omizo, Ryan. PhD 2012. University of Rhode Island.
- Thompson-Gillis, Heather. PhD 2012. Columbus State Community College.
- Birk, Tammy. PhD 2011. Otterbein University.
- Clark, Rachel. PhD 2011. Wartburg College.
- Clyburn, Tayo. PhD 2011. The Ohio State University, Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships and Mission, Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
- Comer, Kathryn. PhD 2011. Barry University.
- Deutsch, David. PhD 2011. University of Alabama.
- Easterling, Joshua. PhD 2011. Emporia State University, Lecturer.
- Fisher, Allison. PhD 2011. Strayer University.
- Hetrick, Nicholas. PhD 2011. The Wellington School.
- Peterson, Katrina. PhD 2011. Oklahoma State University, Visiting Assistant Professor.
- Schuler, Anne-Marie. PhD 2011. Central State University.
- Yergeau, Melanie. PhD 2011. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.
The following list is a complete list of institutions that have appointed Ohio State English PhD to tenure-track positions since 2001.
- Alabama State University
- Allen University
- Arcadia University
- Armstrong Atlantic
- Ashland University
- Auburn University - Montgomery
- Azusa Pacific University
- Bennett College (North Carolina)
- Boise State University
- Brigham Young University - Idaho
- Bucks County Community College
- College of Charleston
- College of Staten Island
- Canisius College
- Cedarville University
- Central State
- Clark University
- Clayton State University
- Coastal Carolina University
- Columbus State Community College
- Concordia College
- Denison University
- DeVry University
- Drew University
- Eastern New Mexico University - Portales
- Florida Atlantic University
- Florida Gateway College
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- Georgia College and State University
- Georgia State University
- Hallym University (Korea)
- Hamline University
- Indiana University/Purdue University - Ft. Wayne
- James Madison University
- John Jay College
- Kansas State University
- Kennesaw State University
- Kenyon College
- King Saud University
- Kutztown University
- Lake Erie College
- Lewis University
- Longwood University
- Lorain Community College
- Loyola Marymount (Los Angeles)
- McGill University
- Methodist University
- Miami University
- Miami University - Hamilton
- Michigan State University
- Muskingum College
- Nicholls State University
- Ohio Dominican
- Ohio State University - Mansfield
- Ohio State University - Marion
- Ohio University - Lancaster
- Oregon State University
- Otterbein College
- Pennsylvania State University - Brandywine
- Philadelphia University
- Purdue University
- Randolph Macon University
- Roanoke College
- Salve Regina University
- Santa Clara University
- St. Joseph's University
- Texas A&M University
- Texas A&M University - Commerce
- University of Alabama
- University of Calgary - Alberta (Canada)
- University of Dayton
- University of Delaware
- University of Indianapolis
- University of Maryland - Baltimore County
- University of Massachusetts - Amherst
- University of Michigan
- University of Missouri - Columbia
- University of Nevada - Las Vegas
- University of North Carolina - Ashville
- University of North Georgia
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Texas - San Antonio
- University of Wisconsin - Parkside
- University of Wisconsin - Stout
- Union College
- Wartburg College
- Washington State University
- Western Kentucky University
- Western Washington University
- Young Harris College
- Youngstown State University
Since 2001, the Department of English has placed 60.1% of graduating PhDs in tenure-track jobs. Below are some comparisons that help make sense of this number, including comparative placement rates, special factors in PhD placement and differences by field.
Percentage of PhDs Placed in Tenure-Track Jobs
The graph above compares the Ohio State English department's PhD placement rate with other institutions. The MLA last published national tenure-track placement in 2007; Ohio State'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 Ohio State compares with other prestigious programs and in part because those departments make available complete, comprehensive placement data.
Number of Jobs Advertised in MLA Job Information List (2001 -2015)
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" of 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.
PhD Tenure-Track Placements (Before and After 2008)
The decline in tenure-track job openings has affected Ohio State's placement rates. Between 2001 and 2008, Ohio State 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.
Tenure-Track Job Placement Rates, 2001-2016 (RCL vs. Literary Fields)
Both before and after 2008, the tenure-track job-placement rate for Ohio State English PhDs has been different for different broad fields. As the graph above shows, PhDs in rhetoric, composition and literacy 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%.
Graduate students are encouraged to begin planning their careers early in their tenure in English program.
- The Office of Alumni Career Management and The Office of Student Life's Career Connection provide assistance with professional development and career counseling.
- The Graduate School also provides an overview of Ohio State's career development services for our students.
- The Office of Alumni Career Management provides online career resources, individual career advising and career programming. The office also facilitates the Buckeye Network on LinkedIn and hosts the Buckeye Job Board, where full-time career opportunities are posted.
- Career Connection provides services for graduate and professional students interested in learning more about how to pursue a professional position in academia. They also provide individual career counseling, career assessment, career resources and career group counseling. Notably, Career Connection can help with developing materials needed to promote yourself to higher education institutions (i.e. cover letters and curriculum vitae). They also help improve interview skills through role play and videotaped mock interviews.
- The Versatile Ph.D. is a resource for members of the graduate community at Ohio State who are interested in exploring non-academic career options for graduate students. It is open to Ohio State faculty, staff and graduate student alumni who are within one year of finishing their degrees. To log in through the Ohio State page, visit the Graduate School's Career Guide.
- The Graduate School's Preparing Future Faculty program offers Ohio State graduate students the opportunity to experience firsthand the unique challenges and rewards of an academic career at a smaller college or university.
For students who wish to pursue an academic career, the Department of English provides placement officers to help guide students through the process of the academic job market. In 2019-2020, the placement officers are Professors Molly Farrell and Jacob Risinger.
The placement officers hold a meeting in the spring to share information about preparing to go on the job market when the MLA Job List is made available in the coming fall. Additionally, the placement officers are available to review application letters and other materials which students will be sending out in support of applications to academic positions. In October and November, the placement officers set up mock job interviews for those students who want the experience before going to the MLA Convention in early January. Sample job market materials are available in the graduate program office, 425 Denney Hall, and on BuckeyeBox. For access to the BuckeyeBox, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the training TAs receive in the First Year Writing Pre-Semester Workshop, graduate students can visit the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching to help teachers "excel in teaching, support student learning and experience the satisfaction that results from teaching well." Professional teaching consultants are available to discuss teaching techniques, developing course materials, designing courses or evaluating teaching efficacy. UCAT mantains a library of resources on teaching and learning and also hosts workshops, seminars and grant programs on teaching topics.
A variety of jobs and opportunities exist for people with MAs and PhDs in English. There is a shortage of people in the private sector who have the high-level critical reading and writing skills that graduate students in the humanities have — and those skills are needed. The department recognizes this and considers it important to provide support for students who want to find work outside of the academy. The most obvious options for non-academic jobs include business writing (i.e., corporate communications), public relations, technical writing, grant writing, communication consulting, corporate training and a wide array of jobs in publishing, but other career paths are available.
Visit The Chronicle of Higher Education's Career Network, with job listings, information and advice on careers both inside and outside academia. Also, visit two sites dedicated to providing information and resources about non-academic careers for Ph.D.s: The Versatile PhD, a website started by Paula Chambers (Ohio State Department of English PhD, 1999), and Re-envisioning the PhD.
Preparing for a Non-Academic Career
Consider becoming a member of a professional association that is relevant to your ambitions. Professional organizations usually publish journals that will provide invaluable information about their fields. The Association for Business Communication, for example, publishes The Journal of Business Communication and Business Communication Quarterly.
Take advantage of opportunities to teach in computer-supported classrooms and resources provided by the Digital Media Project. In the business world and in the academy, there is an increasing interest in electronically-mediated writing and other communication technologies. It is helpful to teach with computers because you learn how to adapt to computers other than your own and help others do the same. Even if you won’t be teaching, you almost certainly will be adapting to other people’s computers.
Additional Advice on Non-Academic Careers
- Attend departmental workshops on non-academic careers
- Enroll in graduate courses in other departments, but talk to your advisor before accruing too many extra-departmental hours
- Talk to graduates and current graduate students who are pursuing non-academic careers to find out how they arranged their programs to suit their needs
Finally, each year, the Graduate Program and the English Graduate Organization organize a range of events and opportunities for students to learn about various aspects of the profession, to develop and practice relevant skills and to prepare for academic and other careers.
The Department of English will allow each current English graduate student a total of two years of Dossier Service support for a nominal fee. English graduate students must utilize their two years of Dossier Service support while in funding (via department funding or fellowship) or within two years of graduation/having been out of funding. In order to take advantage of the Department of English Dossier Service, graduate students must follow the procedures below. It is the graduate student's responsibility to contact the appropriate program coordinator about transferring their dossier to another service when access to the English department's service has ended.
Open a Dossier Service file
- Obtain dossier forms from the appropriate program coordinator. PhD students: Kathleen Griffin, 425 Denney Hall, email@example.com. MFA students: cwMFA@osu.edu.
- Complete the Dossier Credentials Form.
- Complete the Request for Recommendation Form for each reference individual.
- Contact references to ask for letters of recommendation and obtain the reference’s signature on the Request for Recommendation Form.
- Turn in the Dossier Credentials Form and all Request for Recommendation Forms to the appropriate program coordinator.
Request that a new dossier is sent to a specific institution
- Dossier requests will be made by completing a spreadsheet which will be shared with you via Ohio State's BuckeyeBox. BuckeyeBox is a free online content storage, sharing and collaboration service available to Ohio State students, staff and faculty. For more information about BuckeyeBox and to sign up for your access, please visit: https://box.osu.edu/.
- Once you have set up your BuckeyeBox access, please notify the appropriate program coordinator that a dossier request spreadsheet can be shared with you.
- PhD students: Please send a message to Kathleen Griffin, firstname.lastname@example.org. MFA students: Please send a message to cwMFA@osu.edu.
- The program coordinator will reply with a message once a dossier request spreadsheet has been created and shared with you. Access your spreadsheet on BuckeyeBox and follow the prompts to open your spreadsheet. Click on “Edit” to update the spreadsheet.
- Populate all applicable fields within the spreadsheet. Please note that we will fill in the purple highlighted fields. Please populate each request on the spreadsheet individually; you may change the column widths to accommodate the information that you are entering on the spreadsheet.
- Notify the program coordinator when you’ve updated the spreadsheet with a new request.
- The coordinator will reply once the request has been sent and the spreadsheet has been updated.
- Check the updated spreadsheet purple highlighted fields to review the date when the dossier was sent for each request.
Within the same Dossier Service year, you may request multiple dossiers be sent to specific institutions. Continue to utilize the spreadsheet on BuckeyeBox so that an ongoing history is captured on one spreadsheet. Again, it is your responsibility to notify the program coordinator when you’ve updated the spreadsheet with a new request.