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Joint Program in English and Education

Degrees & certifications

Pursuing a doctoral degree in English and Education will allow you to explore the field of education in depth and in connection with the many topics that contribute to mastery of the English language and the way it functions and is transmitted and used in education.

Doctor of Philosophy in English and Education

The program allows you a wide latitude in pursuing a program tailored to your interests and professional aspirations. Student interests have included rhetorical theory, literacy studies, feminist theory, new media composition, disability studies, queer theory, applied linguistics, English language studies, ethnic studies, creative writing studies, and writing assessment. All students have the opportunity to pursue research projects collaboratively with faculty, including social justice- and activist-oriented research, in addition to individual dissertation research.

To date, we have an outstanding placement record for graduates who have chosen to pursue tenure-track faculty positions in education and English departments in colleges and universities; graduates also assume a broad range of careers in K-12 administration, educational nonprofits, and government-sponsored agencies.



This interdisciplinary program gives students an opportunity to take courses in both the Marsal Family School of Education and the Department of English as well as the rich offerings in other departments and programs at the University of Michigan. Students take courses that best help them address the questions they bring to graduate school and work with world-class faculty, JPEE students become part of a small and vibrant community of colleagues who share their interests and passions, serve as interlocutors and supporters, and build relationships that extend far into professional life.

Perhaps you are a former English major who has done some high school teaching, become deeply interested in how students become effective writers and readers, whetted your curiosity with an MA, and are now looking for the next step in your own learning.  Or perhaps you worked in a writing center as an undergraduate, went on to take an MA in rhetoric and composition or writing studies, have done some teaching at the college level, and would like to prepare to become a full-time scholar in the field. Or perhaps you were always fascinated by the ways that people both inside and  outside of school develop and carry out their reading and writing practices, took an MA in literacy studies or a related field, and would like to deepen your knowledge of literacy more largely.  If any of these profiles describe you, the Joint PhD in English and Education may be the right choice for you.

This is a small program--we typically accept five students per year, and we work closely with them to help them put together a program of study that suits their needs.  Students investigate a variety of topics including  the ways digital technologies change high school classroom dynamics, the influence of heritage languages on students learning science in English, and the role of race in the history of writing assessment. The majority of our students take tenure track positions in schools of education or departments of English, and a few move into other academic positions or find employment in school districts. We work with each of them to assure that they are well prepared for a challenging job market.

If this sounds like the right program for you, we encourage you to get further information from our website
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
Chair, Joint Program in English and Education

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Enroll in the Joint PhD in English and Education and change lives—yours, and your students'.


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[email protected]
Phone: (734) 763-6643
Fax: (734) 936-1606



610 E. University Avenue
Room 4204
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259

Office Hours

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.