Oct 17, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Doctor of Philosophy - English


Plan Description


The PhD program is a highly specialized program designed to develop a capacity for research, original thought, and writing and to equip students for careers in the teaching of English at the college or university level and in writing, editing, and publishing. The doctoral program has two subplans.

The traditional PhD focuses on literary study, although a concentration of six credits may be earned in composition studies. Each 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, or a special topic approved by the student’s advisory committee. Coursework is devoted to developing a high degree of professional expertise in these areas of specialization. Such knowledge is tested in a qualifying examination and is also the basis upon which the student writes a doctoral dissertation.

Offered in partnership with the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute, the PhD with Creative Dissertation centers on the study of English and American Literature and includes coursework in English and creative writing, a qualifying examination (based on three areas of specialization, as described above), and a creative dissertation, typically a collection of poems, literary nonfiction, or short stories; a novel; or a cross-genre manuscript. 

Admission and degree requirements for each Ph.D. program are described below.


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

Admission and degree requirements for each Ph.D. program are described below.

Learning outcomes for specific subplan can be found below:

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission & Registration Requirements.

  1. All applicants must possess a B.A. in English or a related field from a regionally accredited university. Applicants to the Post-Master’s Literature subplan must possess an M.A. in English or a related field from a regionally accredited institution with at least 21 graduate credits and a graduate GPA of 3.50 or better. Applicants to the Creative Dissertation subplan may possess either an M.A. in English or a related field as stated above or an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from an accredited institution.
  2. Applicants must submit the following:
  • A statement of purpose describing the applicant’s area of interest, reasons for undertaking graduate study in this area, relevant experience, and future intellectual and career goals.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to speak to the applicant’s qualifications and potential for doctoral study, research or creative activity, and teaching in the chosen field.
  • For the literature Ph.D., a writing sample of 15-20 pages demonstrating the applicant’s ability to write lucidly and originally and to conduct a sustained reading of one or more literary or cultural texts by effectively engaging with secondary sources. Samples are typically either essays originally written for upper-division or graduate English courses or excerpts from longer works.
  • For the Ph.D. with Creative Dissertation, a sample of fiction, literary nonfiction, or poetry, of 40-100 pages. The strength and quality of the writing sample are the primary bases for selection for admission.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post-Master’s Literature


Total Credits Required: 48

Course Requirements


Elective Courses – Credits: 33


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

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


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.

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.

Only 6 credits of Independent Study can be applied to the program.

Only 3 credits of ENG 798 (Doctoral Research) can be applied to a program.

Demonstration of competency in one foreign or computer language. Competency in a foreign language is demonstrated either by passing a translation examination administered by the English Department or by earning a B or better in WLC 198 or in an upper-division or graduate course in the literature of a language, taken within seven years of enrollment. Competency in a computer language is demonstrated by successful completion of an appropriate project supervised by UNLV faculty, with approval of the student’s academic advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

In consultation with their advisor, a student will organize a dissertation Advisory 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.

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.

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 Advisory 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 Advisory Committee. The doctoral dissertation involves original thought and superior scholarship on a topic or author in English or American literature, or world literature in English.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Creative Dissertation


Total Credits Required: 48

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits in one of the following:

Elective Courses – Credits: 30


Complete 30 credits in non-creative writing English courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


Of the required 36 course credits, all credits must be taken at the 700-level.

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.

Only 6 credits of Independent Study can be applied to the program.

Only 3 credits of ENG 798 (Doctoral Research) can be applied to the program.

Demonstration of reading knowledge of one foreign language. Reading knowledge is demonstrated either by passing a translation examination administered by the English Department or by earning a B or better in WLC 198 or in an upper-division or graduate course in the literature of a language, taken within seven years of enrollment.

In consultation with their 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.

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. The Qualifying Examination is normally taken at the end of the second year or at the beginning of the third.  

A student pursuing the Ph.D. in English with Creative Dissertation is expected to write the dissertation in fiction, poetry, or literary nonfiction throughout all three years of the program, under the supervision of the student’s Advisor.  The Prospectus for the Creative Dissertation is only approved, however, after a student has passed the Qualifying Examination.  The Prospectus must be approved by the student’s Advisory Committee, which includes the Advisor.

Subplan 3 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s Literature


Total Credits Required: 75

Course Requirements


Elective Courses - Credits: 21


Complete 21 credits in graduate-level advisor-approved English courses.
 

 

After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Arts - English.

Elective Courses - Credits: 36


Complete 36 credits in graduate-level advisor-approved English courses.

Dissertation - Credits: 12 credits


Degree Requirements


Of the required course credits, all credits must be taken at the 700-level. Six of these may be earned with a concentration in Composition Studies.

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.

Only 6 credits of Independent Study can be applied to the program.

Only 6 credits of ENG 798 (Doctoral Research) can be applied to a program.

Demonstration of competency in one foreign or computer language. Competency in a foreign language is demonstrated either by passing a translation examination administered by the English Department or by earning a B or better in WLC 198 or in an upper-division or graduate course in the literature of a language, taken within seven years of enrollment. Competency in a computer language is demonstrated by successful completion of an appropriate project supervised by UNLV faculty, with approval of the student’s academic advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

In consultation with the advisor, the student will compile a portfolio to be assessed in order to receive an MA in English en route to receiving the Ph.D.

In consultation with their advisor, a student will organize a dissertation Advisory 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.

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 Ph.D. Requirements.

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 Advisory 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 Advisory Committee. The doctoral dissertation involves original thought and superior scholarship on a topic or author in English or American literature, or world literature in English.

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 their degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend their dissertation or creative dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here