Oct 23, 2021  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
    
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Doctor of Philosophy - English


Plan Description


The Ph.D. program is a highly specialized program designed to train students for careers in teaching at the college or university level and to develop in them a capacity for research, original thought, and writing that ordinarily accompanies such careers. The doctoral program is focused on literary study although a concentration of six credits may be earned in composition studies. At the time of admission the student chooses three areas in which to specialize: (1) a chronological period, (2) a literary genre, and (3) either an additional chronological period, a major author chosen from outside the selected chronological period and approved by the graduate committee, or a special topic approved by the graduate committee. All subsequent course work is devoted to developing a high degree of professional competence and knowledge in the three chosen areas of specialization. Such knowledge is tested in a qualifying examination and is also the basis upon which the student writes a doctoral dissertation.

The department, in conjunction with the International Institute of Modern Letters, also offers a program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy – English with a Creative Dissertation. This program centers on the study of English and American literature and is designed to train students for careers in the teaching of English at the college or university level, as well as for careers in writing, editing, and publishing. The program of study includes course work in English and Creative Writing, a Qualifying Examination, and a Creative Dissertation. Differences in the requirements for admission and degree requirements between the two Ph.D. programs are indicated below. Additional details for the admission requirements and the degree requirements for each degree can be found on the English Department website.


For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Learning outcomes for specific subplan tracks can be found below:

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

  1. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission & Registration Requirements.
  2. Applicants must possess an M.A. in English from a regionally accredited institution with at least 21 credits in English and American literature on the graduate transcript and a graduate GPA of 3.50 or better.
    1. Students wishing to enter the Creative Writing Track may possess either an M.A. in English as stated above or an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from an accredited institution.
  3. Applicants must submit the following to the English department:
    1. Applicants must send one official set of transcripts from all colleges or universities attended to the Graduate College and one unofficial set directly to the English Department.
    2. Official scores on the Verbal portion of the General Test and the Literature in English Subject Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
    3. Three letters of recommendation specifically for Ph.D. study from professors of English.
    4. Two or three writing samples totaling at least 30 pages of literary criticism, history or analysis and offering substantial evidence of the student’s ability to do work at the doctoral level.
      1. Students wishing to enter the Creative Writing Track must submit a 50-page (or longer) writing sample of the candidate’s creative work, to be read and judged by the Creative Writing faculty.
    5. A letter of application to the Graduate Committee stating the applicant’s reasons for wanting to enter the program and the intended areas of specialization.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements


See Subplan Requirements below.

Subplan 1: English Literature Track
Subplan 2: Creative Dissertation Track

Subplan 1 Requirements: English Literature Track


Total Credits Required: 48

Course Requirements 

Required Course – Credits: 3

ENG 703 - Survey of Literary Criticism and Theory  

Elective Courses – Credits: 33

Complete 33 credits in graduate-level advisor-approved English courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12 credits

ENG 799 - Dissertation  

Degree Requirements 

  1. Of the required 36 course credits, all credits must be taken at the 700-level. Six of these may be earned with a concentration in Composition Studies.
  2. Courses completed at a grade below a B will not count towards the degree, and any student receiving more than one grade below a B will be separated from the graduate program.
  3. Only 6 credits of Independent Study can be applied to the program.
  4. Only 3 credits of ENG 798 (Doctoral Research) can be applied to a program.
  5. Demonstration of reading knowledge of two foreign languages or proficiency in one. Proficiency in a language is demonstrated by completion of two upper-division or graduate courses in the literature of that language with a B or better; or by passing a translation test administered and evaluated by English Department faculty fluent in that language.
  6. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  7. Qualifying Examinations: Superior performance is required on qualifying examinations in the student’s three areas of specialization. These examinations consist of three four-hour written exams: one in the historical period of specialization, one in the genre of specialization, and a third in an additional chronological period, a major author approved by the graduate committee, or a special topic approved by the graduate committee, and a two-hour oral examination. For more information visit the English department’s website here:  English Literature PhD Requirements.
  8. After passing the Qualifying Examination, and normally in the third or fourth year of the program, the student will begin a doctoral dissertation under the direction of an Advisor and a Thesis Committee approved by the Graduate Director of the Department. The Prospectus for this Dissertation must be approved, and the Dissertation written, under the close supervision of the Advisor and the Thesis Committee. The doctoral dissertation involving original thought and superior scholarship on a topic or author in English or American literature, or world literature in English.

Graduation Requirements 

See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Creative Dissertation Track


Total Credits Required: 48

Course Requirements 

Required Course – Credits: 6

Complete 6 credits in one of the following:

ENG 705 - Creative Writing  

ENG 796 - Independent Study  

Elective Courses – Credits: 30

Complete 30 credits in non-creative writing English courses.

Credits may include ENG 729 - Forms of Fiction or Poetry  , to be taken once.

Credits may not include ENG 791 - College Teaching in Language and Literature  

Dissertation – Credits: 12

ENG 799 - Dissertation  

Degree Requirements 

  1. Of the required 36 course credits, all credits must be taken at the 700-level.
  2. Courses completed at a grade below a B will not count towards the degree, and any student receiving more than one grade below a B will be separated from the graduate program.
  3. Only 6 credits of Independent Study can be applied to the program.
  4. Only 3 credits of ENG 798 (Doctoral Research) can be applied to the program.
  5. Demonstration of reading knowledge of one foreign language.
  6. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  7. Qualifying Examinations: Superior performance is required on qualifying examinations in the student’s three areas of specialization. These examinations consist of three four-hour written exams: one in the historical period of specialization, one in the genre of specialization, and a third in an additional chronological period, a major author approved by the graduate committee, or a special topic approved by the graduate committee, and a two-hour oral examination. For more information visit the English department’s website here:  Creative Dissertation PhD Requirements.
  8. After passing the Qualifying Examination, and normally in the third or fourth year of the program, the student will begin a doctoral dissertation under the direction of an Advisor and a Thesis Committee approved by the Graduate Director of the Department. The Prospectus for this Dissertation must be approved, and the Dissertation written, under the close supervision of the Advisor and the Thesis Committee. The doctoral dissertation involving original thought and superior scholarship on a topic or author in English or American literature, or world literature in English.

Graduation Requirements 

See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Plan Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy document to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.