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The graduate program in English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill offers a rigorous placement program, providing coaching to graduate students entering the academic job market. Each year, the department designates two faculty members to work closely with job seekers. Beginning in the spring prior to job season, these placement officers work with students individually to polish all job-related materials, including application letters, dissertation abstracts, teaching portfolios, and research statements. Placement officers also collaborate with students to evaluate search strategies and are available for guidance and support at the MLA as well. Students on the market participate in mock interviews with full committees made up of UNC faculty; if you have been invited to an interview via Skype, your mock interview will be structured accordingly, giving you an opportunity to rehearse in the most authentic circumstances possible. Placement officers coordinate mock job talks for students to practice with UNC faculty and fellow graduate students; job-seekers thus leave for actual campus visits anticipating the difficult questions that may arise and having been given the feedback necessary for success. When offers come through, placement officers provide support through the negotiation process as well. For students who do not find positions during their first season on the market—and for those who leave the university to pursue short-term positions elsewhere—our placement officers remain available for continued support.

Placement Calendar

  • April – job placement review & summer planning meeting; request teaching observation
  • May-August – Draft job materials; sign up for Interfolio; request faculty recommendation letters; sign up for MLA job list
  • August – job market kick-off meeting
  • September-October – draft and revise job materials in collaboration with placement co-directors
  • October-December – apply for academic positions
  • November – mock job interviews
  • January-February – mock job talks
  • March-April – job offers and negotiations

Throughout the year, students can also expect a series of workshops, held in collaboration with the Director of Graduate Studies. These cover topics such as how to craft a winning cv, alt-ac career options, academic publishing strategies, writing excellent conference papers, and creating effective abstracts.

UNC-Chapel Hill, Placement Record:

This rigorous training pays off. Our department places at a rate well above the national average, and our graduate students have been hired into excellent tenure-track positions, postdoctoral fellowships, lectureships and visiting assistantships, and careers outside of academia. The list of hires from our department includes the following:

Tenure Track

Oxford University
University of Florida-Gainesville
University of Indiana-Bloomington
Florida State University
Colorado State University
University of Vermont
University of Kansas
Spring Hill College
Linfield College
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Oklahoma State University
University of Rhode Island
Concordia University-Chicago
University of North Carolina-Greensboro
University of North Carolina- Asheville
Appalachian State University
North Carolina Wesleyan College
Virginia Military Institute
Portland State University
Virginia Tech
Texas Tech
Seoul National University

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Stanford University
Duke University
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Alabama


Vanderbilt University; Center for Medicine, Health, and Society
Boston University
North Carolina State University
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Center for the Study of the American South 

Visiting Assistantships/ Lectureships

Davidson College
Case Western Reserve University
American University
Baylor College
Elon University
Wake Forest University
University of Massachusetts- Lowell
University of Connecticut
University of Alabama

 Positions outside of academia

Durham Academy (preparatory school)
School of Science and Math (preparatory school)
York Secondary School (Monterey, CA; preparatory school)
Google (business manager)
University of North Carolina Press