The PhD in English at Florida State University prepares graduates for a variety of academic, alt-academic, and even non-academic positions across the nation. FSU English PhDs hold tenure-track positions, teach at four-year research institutions, join the faculty of private secondary academies, become Fulbright fellows, earn competitive postdoctoral fellowships, direct writing centers, edit literary magazines, curate rare book collections, and bring their expertise in the written word to careers in publicity, grant management, government, and instructional software development, among others. In addition to placing at research and teaching institutions across the country and abroad, our graduates have gone on to the Folger Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, NPR, and Public Radio International.
Even in a fluctuating job market, our program maintains a solid placement record, due in part to our holistic approach to "placement." Graduate placement in FSU English is a year-round activity, and our graduate students and recent PhDs benefit from several kinds of professional support. First and most importantly, in the Fall semester, students who are actively on the market or finishing up in that year have the option of enrolling in a credit-bearing practicum, where they meet and work weekly on the preparation of their written materials; on interview, job talk, teaching demonstration, and campus visit protocols (both pre- and post-COVID); and on related professionalization topics that are unique to academic and alt-academic positions. In this practicum, job seekers form a supportive peer cohort as they conduct the search from start to finish and articulate a professional trajectory beyond graduate school.
That trajectory continues into the Spring semester, through a series of workshops, roundtables, and information sessions on topics ranging from navigating the interview process, to applying for dissertation fellowships, to teaching in the secondary academy, to shaping an alt-, post-, or non-academic career in various industries, to practicing career discernment. Throughout the year, the English Department’s Graduate Placement Committee also organizes mock interviews; hosts and provides feedback on job talks and teaching demonstrations; and helps students review and perfect their materials. And the department provides a robust collection of placement materials that get updated on a regular basis.
All of this activity culminates in an April orientation that readies students to either begin or renew their search into the following year. In sum, at FSU English, we take placement seriously and conduct it as an outgrowth of -- not an addendum to -- students' own rigorous professional trajectories.
Read more about the placement committee in English major Sara Sanfilippo's artlcle, "Job placement resources offer English graduate students tools necessary to improve future options."
Please contact Tarez Graban, Director of Placement, at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions or with inquiries about where our students have placed.
English graduate students might also find FSU’s Career Center helpful in offering support while seeking both academic and non-academic positions: https://www.career.fsu.edu/students/graduate-students.
Several professionalization and networking resources are also available through FSU’s Graduate School:
and other resources for assisting the non-academic job search are available online: