English, PhD—Advanced Entry

The PhD program seeks to train students to be productive scholars and teachers in the fields of both literary studies and rhetoric and composition. In course work, students read and analyze the important texts, current issues, and critical methodologies of the discipline. Drawing on the breadth of this preparation, students demonstrate their ability to recognize and produce scholarly arguments in designing the three comprehensive field papers in areas of scholarly interest and competence corresponding to recognized and emerging fields of study. Finally, the dissertation offers students an opportunity to design a focused research project in consultation with a dissertation advisor. Throughout the program, faculty works closely with doctoral students to develop their scholarly and professional identities in preparation for careers in academia.

Academic Standing/Progress

To be considered in good academic standing, PhD students must be making progress toward their degree requirements, including maintaining a 3.500 minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) and completing the comprehensive examination within one year of finishing course work.

Doctoral Degree Candidacy

Students entering with a relevant MA must complete 24 semester hours, complete the language requirement, and pass the comprehensive examination.  

General Regulations

Program requirements are described in the CSSH Graduate Programs General Regulations and the Graduate Program in English PhD Guide. Both documents are updated annually. 

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.


Annual progress review
Two languages
Comprehensive exam 
Doctoral degree candidacy
Dissertation prospectus
Public prospectus/dissertation work-in-progress presentation
Dissertation defense

Core Requirements

ENGL 5103Proseminar4
Writing and the Teaching of Writing
ENGL 7392Writing and the Teaching of Writing4


Complete 16 semester hours of ENGL courses.16


Exam Preparation
Exam Preparation—Doctoral (Only needed for PhD students who have completed coursework but have yet to complete the comprehensive exams. Not repeatable.)
Complete the following (repeatable) course twice:
Dissertation Continuation
Following completion of two semesters of ENGL 9990, registration in the following class is required in each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is completed:
Dissertation Continuation

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

24 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.500 GPA required