The UTSA Ph.D. in English is helping shape the future of the profession with its focus on Latina/os and writing. The Ph.D. Program exists to help fill a void of Latina/o college and university professors and to promote teaching Latina/o literatures and cultural studies, thus addressing the lack of opportunities for minority students to learn to teach, research, and write as college or university faculty members. Its unique nature arises from its structure of requiring all doctoral students to take at courses in Latina/o Studies and Rhetoric/Composition, and is the only U.S. Ph.D. in English program requiring at least 6 hours in Latina/o Studies. All graduates are qualified to teach in Latina/o literatures and cultural studies, rhetoric/composition, as well as their dissertation-area specialty.
The program goals are to: contribute to the mission and strategic directions of the university by emphasizing Latina/o literatures, including the cultural and literary production of U. S.-based Latina/o; strengthen the university’s role as a Hispanic-Serving Institution; and fill a need at the local, state, and national levels.
The program has graduated a total of 20 Ph.D.s, 12 of them, or 60%, being Latina/o students. Of current doctoral candidates, 46% are Latina/o; of all currently enrolled 52% are Latina/o.
Eighty-five percent of dissertations are in Latina/o studies. Most students complete a service-learning component in programs at community grassroots organizations. They also have the opportunity to teach courses in Mexican American and multi-ethnic literatures as well as in women’s studies and queer studies.
The students are engaged in research that is already shaping the scholarship in the field of Latina/o studies. Their publications and presentations at professional national conferences such as NACCS, ASA, MLA, and CCCC demonstrate that their work is of the highest caliber. They have taken tenure track jobs at a variety of institutions of higher education.