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Unsure about What Degree to Pursue


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I am trying to set the wheels in motion to apply for a Ph.d. program in 2014 (to attend in the fall of 2015). However, I'm uncertain about what degree to pursue. I have two masters degrees (Creative Writing and Theatre). My undergrad degree was in Women's Studies. I'm very much interested in language, literature, drama, cultural and feminist studies - basically everything and the kitchen sink.

I have two goals: 1) learn as much as I can about as much as I can and 2) find a full-time teaching job at a college (so that my sons can receive an education). I want to study something I love, but I also want to pick a degree that will help me in the job market. I'm trying to decide between English, Women's Studies, Theatre, Composition & Rhetoric, and Performance Studies. I love all of these subjects; I have taught and would love to teach any one of these subjects. Any thoughts?


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I would really sit down and go through the topics and think about them. Because with a PhD, it's likely you'll end up doing a dissertation at some point that will be super specific - IE, in English, an example would be The Use of a Semicolon in Moby Dick. While I'm guessing you can learn a lot in your courses, the main goal of a PhD program is often to turn out good researchers, or researchers-to-be, anyways. From what I've heard (I'm still an undergrad - applying this fall) the job market isn't that great, to be honest. Not for most humanities, not for anyone. We just hired a new faculty at my department but it's the first one in three years.

Have you done any research? Worked with a mentor on a project or anything? Research can be quite...hard at times. To work for months on a project only to get told "nope, we don't like it, do it again" just plain sucks sometimes. I've been assisting with stuff (entering surveys and the like) for about two years, and started my own projects/some big ones last year and have one poster with three presentations and an award, and hope to repeat it bigger and better this year. But it is grueling.

If you are seriously considering a PhD, I'd recommend looking more at what research interests you instead of necessarily what subject. :) And especially with women's studies, it seems somewhat easy to combine it with media and the like.

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