English, PhD

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 BA must complete 42 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. 

Bachelor's Degree Entrance

Milestones

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

Course Work

Proseminar
ENGL 5103Proseminar3
Writing and the Teaching of Writing
ENGL 7392Writing and the Teaching of Writing3
Theories and Methods
Complete 6 semester hours from the following:6
Contemporary Critical Theory
Topics in Criticism
Topics in Literary Study (selected topics only)
Topics in Literature and other Disciplines (selected topics only)
Topics in Digital Humanities
Ethnography
Theorizing Gender and Sexuality
Directed Study (GCWS Consortium, selected topics only)
Rhetoric and Composition
Complete 3 semester hours from the following:3
Rhetorical Theory
Rhetorical Criticism
Composition Studies
Approaches to Teaching Writing
Topics in Rhetoric
Reading and the Teaching of Reading
Writing and the Teaching of Writing
Writing and Learning Across Curriculum
Topics in Writing
Composition Pedagogy
Responding to Learners
Writing and Reading in Content Areas
Medieval and Renaissance
Complete 3 semester hours from the following:3
Medieval Literature
Renaissance Literature
Chaucer
Shakespeare’s Tragedies
Shakespeare’s Comedies
Topics in Shakespeare
Topics in Medieval Literature
Topics in Renaissance Literature
Topics in Criticism (selected topics only)
Topics in Literature and other Disciplines (selected topics only)
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century
Complete 3 semester hours from the following:3
Topics in Early American Literature
17th-Century Literature
Restoration and Early 18th-Century Literature
Milton
Topics in 17th-Century Literature
Topics in 18th-Century Literature
18th-Century Novel
Topics in Literary Study (selected topics only)
Topics in Genre (selected topics only)
Nineteenth and Twentieth Century
Complete 3 semester hours from the following:3
Topics in American Literature (selected topics only)
Topics in African-American Literature (selected topics only)
Topics in 19th-Century American Literature
Topics in 20th-Century American Literature
Major American Novelist
Major American Playwright (selected versions of this course)
Major American Poet (selected versions of this course)
Major Figures in African-American Literature
19th-Century American Poetry
African-American Novel
Contemporary American Fiction
Victorian Literature
Topics in Romanticism
Topics in Victorian Literature
Topics in 20th-Century British Literature
Romantic Poetry
Victorian Poetry
Victorian Novel
Topics in Literary Study (selected topics only)
Topics in Poetry (selected topics only)
Topics in Literature and other Disciplines (selected topics only)
Topics in Comparative Literature (selected topics only)
Modern Poetry
Contemporary Poetry

Open Electives 

Complete 18 semester hours in the following subject area:18
ENGL or approved non-ENGL courses (e.g., INSH 7910, WMNS 7976).

Exam and Dissertation

Exam Preparation
Exam Preparation—Doctoral
Research
Research
Dissertation
Complete the following (repeatable) course twice:
Dissertation

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

  • 42 total semester hours required
  • Minimum 3.500 GPA required