English Graduate Degrees at the University of Houston
Our programs offer several paths to careers in writing, teaching, scholarship, criticism and related cultural professions.
Our degrees in literary studies combine a focus on global literatures with new approaches in poetics, transnational and empire studies, critical race studies, translation studies, environmental studies and LGBTQIA+ studies. Literature students may also pursue a concentration in rhetoric, composition and pedagogy.
Our creative writing program offers two graduate degrees: the M.F.A. in Creative Writing and the Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature. Through workshops, independent studies, and literature courses, Creative Writing faculty work with students to challenge their understanding of themselves as writers and to deepen and critically reflect on the aesthetic, ethical, and political assumptions behind their writing.
Additionally, our graduate programs are strengthened by the vibrant, multicultural setting that is the City of Houston. With a dynamic visual and performing arts scene, the Houston metropolitan area supplies a wealth of aesthetic materials.
To learn more about what our programs have to offer, visit the pages below. Instructions on how to apply can be found on the respective degree page.
Recent Job Placements
We track where our students land jobs after graduation. View this .pdf for a list of recent job placements for our English and creative writing graduate students.
The Creative Writing Program is a member of the Cynthia Wood Mitchell Center for Collaboration among the Arts at UH, along with the schools of Art, Music, Theatre, and the Blaffer Gallery. The Mitchell Center sponsors collaborative work in the arts through curriculum initiatives, through visits by artists, by supporting artistic productions, and by providing fellowships to graduate students. Its core course on collaborative arts offers twenty students (five each from Art, Creative Writing, Music, and Theater) the opportunity to plan and produce collaborative projects.
Gulf Coast Magazine
Begun by Donald Barthelme and Philip Lopate, Gulf Coast is the nationally-distributed, student-run journal housed within the Department of English. Gulf Coast differs from many other literary journals in its commitment to exploring visual art and critical art writing as well as creative writing. Executive editors, past and present, include Mark Doty, Claudia Rankine, Nick Flynn, and (currently) Francine J. Harris. Current readership exceeds 3000.
Publishing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, Gulf Coast prides itself on its eye for talent. The journal has received numerous honors over the years, and its authors are regularly included in the Best American, O. Henry, and Pushcart anthologies. In one year alone, Heather McHugh chose David Shumate’s “Drawing Jesus,” which first appeared in Gulf Coast, for The Best American Poetry, and Stephen King listed Peter Bognanni’s “The Body Eternal” and Sandra Novack’s “Memphis,” both premiering in Gulf Coast, among the 100 Distinguished Stories in The Best American Short Stories. Authors who were published by Gulf Coast early in their careers have won the Yale Younger Poets Award, the APR/Honickman Prize, the National Poetry Series, and the Juniper Prize. Gulf Coast-featured artists Robyn O’Neil and Amy Blakemore have been selected for the prestigious Whitney Biennial.