October 1, 2014  

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Doctoral Program in English Earns National Ranking in U.S. News and World Report

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Southern Miss English Department Chairman Dr. Eric Tribunella

According to U.S. News and World Report, The University of Southern Mississippi has the 134th best English doctoral program in the nation. The rankings are determined by peer assessments, and this milestone represents the national reputation of Southern Miss English faculty and students and their extraordinary productivity.

“We are extremely proud of this development, which reflects the hard work of so many faculty,” said Dr. Eric Tribunella, chair of the Department of English.

In the past year alone, members of the English faculty have published five books and more than a dozen research articles, in addition to numerous short stories and poems, and both faculty and graduate students have participated in national and regional conferences by presenting scholarship or reading creative work.

“This recognition speaks not only to the tremendous productivity of the department, but also its scholarship and creative activities,” added Tribunella.

The department has enjoyed a long history of excellence, from the time when it boasted top scholars in medieval and southern literature to today, as it maintains strengths in fields such as creative writing, children’s literature and contemporary literature and theory.  The department’s dual focus on craft and criticism presents an especially unique opportunity for students to learn from both literature scholars and writers of fiction and poetry.

Tribunella says the national ranking provides Southern Miss an opportunity to showcase the Department of English’s accomplishments on a national stage.

“Our ranking enables us to recruit excellent undergraduate and graduate students by allowing us to point to the growing national standing of the department,” said Tribunella.

The work of English faculty has been published in some of the most prestigious journals or literary magazines and by highly esteemed presses with rigorous review processes.  Prospective students are excited by the possibility of working with faculty of this caliber, and applicants often apply to the English graduate program because they have read the works of particular faculty members, with whom they then want to study.

The ranking also reflects the fact that the English department includes a mix of very experienced faculty with established reputations as excellent teachers, scholars, and writers, and newer faculty who are working hard to make important contributions to their fields by publishing books, articles, stories, and poems.  This mix creates an exciting energy that helps drive faculty success.

Dr, Steven Moser, dean of the College of Arts and Letters is also proud of the progress and direction of the Department of English.

“The U.S. News and World Report ranking shows the well-deserved recognition of our excellent program and is a testament to the strength of our facility, staff and students, who make the program in English the best in the Gulf South,” said Moser.

Admission deadlines for students interested in the department's graduate programs are Oct. 15 for enrollment in the spring semester, and Feb. 15 for enrollment in the fall semester. For more information about the Southern Miss Department of English, including its programs, faculty and activities, online visit www.usm.edu/english.