The PhD requires a total of 60 credit hours of coursework, a qualifying written and oral examination, and a dissertation. According to Graduate School regulations, work on the PhD must be completed eight years from the time you have begun coursework applicable to the degree; if you entered with an MA, you will have six years from the time of beginning course work for the PhD.
|Intro to Graduate Study|
|Teaching College Composition|
|Independent Study-Doctoral Qualification|
|Select two of the following: 1||6|
|Textual Studies Courses|
|History of the Book to 1800|
|Media and Culture|
|Critical Theory Courses (at least one)|
|Contemporary Literary Criticism|
|Topics in Critical Theory|
|Marxist Literary Theory|
|Feminist Theory and Criticism|
At least one course must be in critical theory. Students should confer with Graduate Program Director when selecting courses to ensure that they are the best fit for their course of study.
All PhD students and students in thesis-based Master's degree programs must successfully complete UNIV 370 Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship or other approved coursework in responsible conduct of research as part of the degree requirements. It is strongly recommended that students complete this two-day training before beginning the dissertation/thesis stage of the program.
Doctoral students in English who have completed the MA degree will enter one of the following three specialized fields and must meet the course requirements defined for that specialization. Students will be free to change their field at any time, provided that they are able to fulfill the course requirements for the new field. Students may choose to specialize in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Nineteenth-Century Studies, or Modern Literature and Culture. Students will complete at least six (6) courses in their specialization, at least one (1) course in each of the other two specializations, and seven (7) 400-level elective courses of their choosing. Note that several of these requirements will be partly or wholly fulfilled by all students as a part of their MA study.
If a student has been required to take certain undergraduate courses as a condition of admission, those courses have priority over all other program requirements. Undergraduate courses cannot be counted towards the PhD degree requirements.
Medieval and Renaissance Literature Courses
|ENGL 440||Topics in Medieval Literature||3|
|ENGL 441||Old English Language & Literature||3|
|ENGL 443||Middle English Literature||3|
|ENGL 444||Medieval Drama||3|
|ENGL 450||Topics in Early Modern Literature & Culture||3|
|ENGL 456||Early Modern Drama||3|
|ENGL 457||Seventeenth-Century Literature||3|
Nineteenth-Century Studies Courses
|ENGL 470||Topics in Romanticism||3|
|ENGL 471||Poetry of Romantic Period||3|
|ENGL 475||Topics in Victorian Literature||3|
|ENGL 476||Victorian Poetry||3|
|ENGL 477||Victorian Prose||3|
|ENGL 478||Victorian Novel||3|
|ENGL 490||Topics in American Literature||3|
|ENGL 491||Early American Literature||3|
|ENGL 492||American Romanticism||3|
|ENGL 493||American Realism||3|
Modern Literature and Culture Courses
|ENGL 480||Topics in Modernism||3|
|ENGL 481||Modern Poetry||3|
|ENGL 482||Modern Drama||3|
|ENGL 483||Modern Novel||3|
|ENGL 484||Literature and Culture of the Jazz Age||3|
|ENGL 485||Contemporary Literature||3|
|ENGL 487||Postcolonial Literature||3|
|ENGL 488||20th Century Literature in English||3|
|ENGL 489||Magic Realism||3|
|ENGL 494||American Literature Since 1914||3|
|ENGL 495||Latino/a Literature||3|
|ENGL 496||African American Literature||3|
Prior to taking the Ph.D. qualifying examination, students pursuing a Ph.D. must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a language other than English, by passing a translation examination, by taking a graduate-level course in a foreign language and receiving a grade of B or higher, or by showing proof that one passed a graduate-level course or an exam as a graduate student at another institution. Languages accepted are French, German, Spanish, Italian and Latin (though others may be approved by the Graduate Program Director). Students are encouraged to discuss completion of this requirement with the Graduate Program Director soon after entering the program.
PhD Qualifying Examination
The PhD examination includes a written and an oral component. The written exam consists of three three-hour papers covering fields chosen by the student in consultation with his or her examining committee and the director of graduate programs. With the approval of their examiners, students must define three fields of the following kinds:
- An area of critical theory
- An author
- The literature of an historical period and/or genre, which may be additionally be focused on a particular subgroup
Students may include up to three fields of the last type, but only one field of any other type. Examples of fields of the third type might include:
- 17th-century British poetry
- Early modern women’s writing
- Postcolonial drama
- African-American literature, 1914–1959
- Contemporary working-class fiction of the US
- Modernist poetry
- Women's autobiography
Any or all of the exam fields may be related to the student's dissertation topic; however, some breadth across fields is expected. And although the selection of texts within each field will be influenced to some extent by the student's particular interests and approach, he or she will also be expected to demonstrate a general mastery of the field.
Field descriptions and reading lists are worked out by the student in consultation with his or her examining committee and must be approved by the examiners and by the Graduate Program Director well before the written examination is scheduled. (Exams are given in November, February, and April each year.) The Graduate Program Director will provide you with a packet of materials detailing all exam-related procedures. Reading lists are due several months before the exam date, and field statements are due one month prior to the exam. Students cannot schedule their exam times until the field statements have been submitted. The written examination is followed by a two-hour oral examination that is based on, but not limited to, the written portion.
Dissertation and Defense
Students advance to doctoral candidacy once they have completed all course requirements, fulfilled the Foreign Language requirement, passed the Ph.D. qualifying examinations, established a dissertation committee, and successfully proposed their dissertation (ideally within 6 months of completing the qualifying exams).
The selection of dissertation topic, director, and committee (two additional faculty readers) is made in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Once a student has a committee and a successful proposal, their progress will be monitored by their dissertation director, who will report on your work to the Graduate Program Director.
When your dissertation is completed, you will give a Final Public Presentation and Defense of your project, followed by a question-and-answer session led by your dissertation committee. Reader’s copies are due to the committee one month prior to the defense, with a reader’s ballot for each member. Once these ballots are submitted, the Graduate Programs secretary will announce the defense publicly. At the defense, students need to present the chair of the committee with the Graduate School ballot for approval of the dissertation.
Students should check the Graduate School calendar for deadlines on format check and submission of the dissertation and degree conferral timelines
Graduate & Professional Standards and Regulations
Students in graduate and professional programs can find their Academic Policies in Graduate and Professional Academic Standards and Regulations under their school. Any additional University Policies supercede school policies.