Jul 17, 2024  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

English Ph.D.


Admission Requirements

  1. Possession of an M.A. in English from an 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. Applicants must send two sets of official transcripts from all universities attended; one set goes to the Graduate College and one directly to the English department. 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.
  2. Candidates must score in the 75th percentile rank or higher on the Verbal portion of the General Test and in the 50th percentile rank or higher on 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. 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.

Degree Requirements

  1. A total of 30 credits of approved course work beyond the M.A. degree, as follows:
    1. Twenty-four credits in English with grades of B or better, including:
      ENG 703 - Survey of Literary Criticism and Theory , required for students who have not taken an equivalent graduate-level course. Of the required 24 credits, at least 18 credits must be taken at the 700-level. Students writing a Creative Dissertation must take 24 credits in non-Creative Writing English classes. This may include:
      ENG 729 - Forms of Fiction or Poetry , to be taken only once.
    2. Six credits in an approved minor at the graduate level outside the department or in Composition Studies, with grades of B or better.
  2. Reading knowledge of two foreign languages or proficiency in one. Students in the Creative Writing track demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language.
  3. Superior performance 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 either 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.
  4. Doctoral dissertation involving original thought and superior scholarship on a topic or author in British, American, or third-world literature in English. The Creative Dissertation involves an original work of fiction or poetry of high quality and substantial length. (18 credits).

The total credits for course work and dissertation are a minimum of 48 beyond the M.A. degree. Courses taken to make up deficiencies or to fulfill the requirement in foreign languages (unless the minor is in a foreign literature) do not count in this total.

A brochure outlining in more detail the admission and degree requirements of the Ph.D. program, including the foreign language requirement, the possible areas of specialization, the minor, the Qualifying Examination, and a representative course of study, is available from the Director of Graduate Study.

Rogers’ Fellowships

The Department of English awards, each year, the Rogers’ Fellowships for select students with a Bachelor’s degree interested in the Ph.D. literature program. These Fellows will receive stipends of $25,000 for each of five years and will have all tuition and fees paid.