PRO: Professional Research Option

Our Customized Independent Study

This option for second-year graduate students is a three-credit independent study in which students identify one or a cluster of jobs or professions in which an advanced degree in literature is of benefit. In the course of the semester, students will research the career options of interest, identifying one or two fields as the focus of their work. They must generate a research paper that explores the history and future prospects of the field of interest, as well as current information about the requirements of the work, geographical information about centers of activity for the profession, and desirable employers. This research should include at least two meetings with professionals who work in the field. The paper must also analyze how advanced study of literature serves to enhance the students' desirability in the profession in question. As part of their final project, students must develop a cover letter outlining the ways their particular training makes them suitable to work in this field. Students will make their research available to other students in the program by uploading their final project onto a special section of the Graduate English Program blog.

Recent PRO Projects Include:

  • Blogging for Hire: Exploring the Career Potential of Writing on the Web
  • Writing for the Web, a Research Project on Content Writing and Editing on the Internet
  • Professional Book Editing
  • Copywriting for Graduate Students in English Literature
  • Academic Librarianship, The role of Instruction in the Academic Library
  • The Past, Present, and Future of Book Editing
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for Adults at U.S. Colleges for Academic Purposes
  • Public Relations
  • Development: Exploring the Career Potential of Fundraising for Not-for-Profits
  • Innovations and Opportunities in the eBook Industry
  • Exploring the Role and Responsibilities of Today’s English Educator
  • Jobs in Social Media
  • Public Radio

Abstracts of these projects can be found on our Graduate Program blog, the YAWP. Final copies of the projects can be found in the Graduate Lounge in the English Department. Current students interested in the Professional Research Option should contact Dr. Evan Radcliffe to discuss their potential research.

Contact Us

Villanova University
Department of English
St. Augustine Center
Room 402
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085

Dr. Evan Radcliffe
Graduate Program Director
Phone: (610) 519-4648

Brooke Erdman
Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: (610) 519-7826