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Department of English Language and Literature

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Visiting Scholars

Information for International Visiting Scholars

The Department English Language and Literature of the University of South Carolina welcomes visiting scholar requests from international scholars who would benefit from the experience of interacting with our faculty and graduate students. The number of such scholars who can visit us at any one time is necessarily limited. For this reason, it is important that you let us know as early as possible of your potential interest (so that we may quickly determine whether an invitation might be extended to you).

Note: We can offer visiting scholar status only to persons holding a terminal M.F.A. degree (or suitably equivalent experience/qualifications) or a Ph.D.. If you have a terminal degree in your discipline, we can begin to discuss the possibility of your coming here as a visiting scholar. If you only have an M.A. degree, and have not yet completed the Ph.D. or M.F.A. (as appropriate), you are welcome to apply to one of our graduate programs. We offer a Ph.D. in English which would require approximately three-four years to complete. Here is information on our doctoral program, and an on-line graduate school application that can be started if you go to this link.

Inquiries about visiting scholar status should be addressed to the Department Chair:

Postal address:
     Dr. Susan Courtney, Department Chair
     Department of English
     University of South Carolina
     Humanities Office Building
     Columbia, SC 29208, USA

(803) 777-7120 (Phone)
(803) 777-9064 (Fax)
E-mail address:

Materials required for making a visiting scholar application:

In order to be considered for visiting scholar placement with the Department of English at USC, we request that you submit the following materials (electronically, if possible):

  • A current curriculum vitae.
  • A one-two page statement outlining your research or creative goals and plans for your stay here. In this statement, you should clearly indicate which faculty member (or members) you hope to have mentoring you.
  • An indication of how you will be supported during your visit here.

The Process:

Upon receipt of the above materials, we will circulate them to (the relevant) faculty. If a department faculty member agrees to serve as your mentor and the department feels that your visit here would be mutually beneficial, then the department will issue an invitation to you and you can begin making the appropriate arrangements.

What we can provide to visiting scholars:

If you are accepted as a visiting scholar, you would be officially affiliated with the University of South Carolina during your stay here. University of South Carolina can provide you with library privileges and other support as detailed in the webpage for International Support for Faculty and Staff. You would be entitled to audit courses (that is, sit in on lectures without receiving academic credit) at the discretion of the instructor for those courses. The staff members of the International Support Office are listed on the Human Resources staff page. Additional helpful information on visas and the visa process is available from the International Visitors Office of the National Academies.

What we cannot provide to visiting scholars:

Employment or other forms of financial support. Office Space.


A visiting scholar who wishes to reserve University Housing should contact the office for University Housing. If the Department of English is asked to guarantee the reservation of university housing, the reservation must be accompanied by a non-refundable deposit equal to three months rent (which will be applied to your rental when you get here).


Getting the appropriate visa can often take months, so it is important that you begin the process early. The Department of English cannot respond to visiting scholar requests in less than one month, so you should factor this into your timetable.

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