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How is the English PhD program at CUNY?

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What do people think about attending the Graduate Center, CUNY for an English PhD? What is the culture like? Job placements? Any knowledge about the quality of the program would be appreciated. Hearsay or actual firsthand experience are welcome. 

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Honestly, I applied there because it was a doable commute for me. I knew nothing about it except what I read on their website. Their English department is ranked pretty high and they are part of the consortium with Columbia, Fordham, NYU, etc. I think you can take a few classes at these other schools. I am not holding out hope of getting in there since I didn't reach out to any faculty, but it still looks like a great program! 

Hopefully others who are more knowledgeable can chime in. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In terms of the "feel"  or "intra-department dynamics" aspects of it, I don't know as I have not been to the ASW yet. I do know that their cohorts are larger than the average PhD program with roughly 18-20 people in each year, meaning there are about ~100 graduate students at the GC.

I also know CUNY's Graduate Center is pretty highly regarded for its strong emphasis on cultural studies. Their main-line faculty are all in gender studies, postcolonial studies, critical race studies, etc. They have consortial faculty, i.e. their employment is hosted at other colleges, that teach at the Graduate Center as well, so periodization seems doable. As someone intensely interested in period (eighteenth-centuryist!), this will be something I will be asking about at the open house.

Their funding package: nationally, it's very nice with five years of $26k with Y1 teaching free, and Y2-Y5 1:1 teaching load. However, it is not as competitive for its ranking since similarly ranked schools like Rutgers and NYU have much less teaching (usually only two to three years, not four). Other schools are also a little bit more generous by maybe $1-$3k a year, but that's not a deal breaker in terms of difference. Plus, New York is expensive and 26k seems hard to live on for this city. I will also be looking into conference funding, but I get the impression it is competitive. (If someone knows better, please chime in!)

Placement: it seems comparable with similarly ranked schools, perhaps even a little bit better? This is much harder to gauge though.

But as others have noted, that consortium is something else since Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers, and NYU are all very close. (Columbia and NYU more so, but Princeton and Rutgers seem manageable for a once-a-week seminar.)

Edited by bpilgrim89
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I would also like to hear if anyone has insights into the culture of the program or has any further information that can't be easily gleaned from their website, especially since I've just started my research into English programs.   

I'm definitely interested in CUNY will likely apply because of their emphasis on cultural studies (as bpilgrim pointed out).  It also helps that Wayne Koestenbaum and Robert Reid-Pharr are there, both of whom are essayists (part of me wonders if it's possible to squeeze in some creative writing critique time with them).  Further, I believe SUNY Stony Brook is also a part of the consortium, and they have a pretty continental-heavy philosophy department (at least last I looked into them, which was awhile ago; their faculty/specialization makeup may have changed since then), which is of potential interest for me.  

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