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Presidential Graduate Assistantships in English

The Department of English at Arizona State University is pleased to announce two Presidential Graduate Assistantships:

  1. in English Education to support students researching the teaching of premodern critical race studies, and
  2. in Literature to support students researching early modern critical race studies.

These Assistantships are part of a university-wide initiative (The LIFT Initiative), representing “ASU's commitment to Black students, faculty and staff and other underrepresented groups and individuals,” specifically in this case establishing graduate assistantships to advance the careers of outstanding students.

Terms: Recipients of the Presidential Graduate Assistantships will receive five years of support for their graduate studies (Fall 2023-Spring 2028). The first and fifth year will not require teaching. During the second, third, and fourth years the PGA will teach 3 classes per year for Writing Programs within the English Department, with the possibility of in-area teaching as an advanced PhD candidate. 

The PGA award includes: 
  • 5 years of Graduate Assistantship funding paid each year as a 9-month stipend (currently $21,879 per year), with

    • additional funding paid as a supplement to the stipend:

• to cover start-up expenses ($2,000 at the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester and $1,000 at the beginning of the Spring 2024 semester)

• to support research when the student is admitted to candidacy prior to their fifth year ($2,000)

• to support summer research for 4 summers ($6,000 each summer)

    • 5 years of tuition remission (2022-23 cost of tuition that is remitted for students enrolling in 9 credit hours is $26,460 for international, $24,498 for non-resident and $12,014 for Arizona residents)
    • health insurance (value of ASU individual health insurance premium for 2022/23 is $2,765 per academic year)

The ASU Commitment: The goal of the Presidential Graduate Assistantship program is to create opportunities for PhD students from underrepresented groups to advance their careers, and it provides sponsoring units the opportunity to develop their community practices in service of the ASU Charter. A Presidential Graduate Assistantship award recipient will be in a cohort of approximately 30 other graduate students at ASU. This is a highly competitive university-wide award and is only offered to our top graduate student prospects upon highest recommendation of the faculty in their programs.

Critical Race Studies at ASU: Premodern critical race studies is a crucial and fast growing field within literary and cultural studies, and ASU, which houses the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS), is recognized as a leader in this field. The RaceB4Race symposia (coordinated by ACMRS), for example, draw hundreds of scholars, teachers, and students to programming that explores the history and legacies of racial formations. Moreover, our English Education program is noted for training future leaders in inclusive educational practices and culturally sustaining pedagogies. This area has a strong track record of placing graduates in tenure track positions in colleges and universities across the country, training teachers in English language arts, and in researching literacy practices of ethnically and linguistically diverse student populations. Premodern literature, particularly Shakespeare, is a core curricular requirement in secondary schools, but few secondary English language arts teachers receive training in ways of approaching the teaching of these texts using culturally sustaining methods. Together, these programs in the English department meet this important societal need.

Inclusive Culture: ASU’s English Department was awarded a constellation hire in premodern critical race studies to diversify our professoriate. As a result, we have five new BIPOC scholars who work on various aspects of early modern literature on our faculty and we have a strong network of faculty who can mentor and support research projects in premodern critical race studies. Additional research and community support is offered through ACMRS.


Application deadline: January 1, 2023

Candidates must submit an official ASU application for the English Education or Literature PhD program. The following supplemental documents must be uploaded into the online application:

  1. Statement of Purpose: A well-considered, one to two-page, single-spaced statement of purpose in which candidates explain how their experiences have prepared them for the program. Please include within this statement at least a paragraph outlining your qualifications and eligibility for the Presidential Graduate Assistantship.

  2. Academic Writing Sample: A critical or research paper relevant to the field.

  3. CV: A curriculum vitae that outlines educational background, relevant experience, honors, and publications.

  4. Three Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation must be from faculty members familiar with the applicant’s academic performance or administrators (for applicants in English Education) who can speak to the applicant’s potential.

For more information on how to apply visit: Graduate Application Procedures

Should you have additional questions about the program or application procedures please contact the graduate program office at