Advice for Prospective Graduate Students

Prepared by the SOLAR Network (Scholars of Literature and Religion)

We asked five SOLAR Network member scholars for one piece of advice they would give students to help them choose which universities or departments to apply to for postgraduate studies in literature and religion.

Here’s what they said:

–Identify current scholars whose work you admire and seek to study at or near their institution.

–Reach out to individual professors in programs that interest you. Ask if they would be willing to speak with you about their program and how your interests may fit with it. Also find out if any of your current professors know faculty in those programs.

–When considering who you might work with and be mentored by, don’t be rigidly bound by periodization. If you’re a prospective Romanticist, for example, an accomplished Medievalist interested in religion and literature might end up being the best conversation partner imaginable.

–Contact a few graduate students who are already in the program. They will always tell you the truth (from their perspective) about the faculty you might want to work with.

–Weigh the university you’re interested in beyond your department by checking the surrounding universities and region. Look for scholars at neighboring institutes, departments, and centers of study that are interested in questions of literature and religion with whom you can network. This kind of local networking can allow you to attend a highly-ranked graduate program that might not specialize in literature and religion by connecting and working with those interested in this intersection who are nearby.

Postgraduate Tips, May 10, 2022

SOLAR Network