Doctoral Program

Until Further Notice:

The ILA PhD Program Is Not Accepting Any New Students

Doctoral Program

The ILA is devoted to exploratory, problem-based interdisciplinary graduate education. Students work with a faculty committee on specific research questions, theories of interpretation, and/or areas of cultural study. The methods, materials, and objects with which a student works are defined by both the demands of the particular research project and the interests and expertise of the ILA faculty. Given the commitment to an expansive interdisciplinary perspective, students usually find themselves working with affiliated faculty in other departments and schools of the university with which the ILA maintains close relations.

The graduate training offered in the ILA equips students to define and execute a viable, original research project, master the methods appropriate to this project, work collaboratively, generate undergraduate courses based on their research, present their scholarship to a general, non-technical public through a wide range of media, and define their knowledge and expertise within an ever-changing world.

The ILA has a number of areas of concentration or specializations.  These include the study of health, disease and medicine in society; public health; embodiment, gender, sexuality and queer theory; psychoanalysis; race and migration; American Studies, with a particular emphasis on African American, Asian American, Native American and southern regional cultures; memory studies; intellectual history (ancient and modern); visual culture and digital media, popular culture, public scholarship.


Students take three required courses, including ILA Foundations, Research Design and Pedagogy. In addition, students take seven or eight elective courses, chosen in consultation with their advisor. Students usually complete their coursework requirements by the end of their second year.

Qualifying examination and dissertation
In the fall of their third year, students complete a qualifying examination in three areas, followed by the submission and defense of a dissertation prospectus and bibliography. In their fourth year and beyond, students are expected to work full time on the research and writing of their dissertation.

We typically have approximately 45 students in residence and admit 3 - 5 new full-time students each year.

This Program Is No Longer Accepting Applications