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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and the College of Arts and Letters, students must meet the department requirements specified below:

1. Core Course: For students enrolling in Fall 2016 or later, complete ENG 802: Literary Criticism and Theory. This course in criticism, theory, and method is designed to introduce students to the stakes and practices of current literary and cultural scholarship. Offered in Spring.

2. Proseminars: In your first year, attend a series of 4 – 6 workshops programmed by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and led by members of the Graduate Committee. These proseminars may require reading or other preparation. They will introduce students to the profession, research methodologies, and practical strategies for succeeding in graduate school.

3. Course work: Complete at least 21 credits of additional course work. Students may count up to nine credits of course work from other departments (excluding cross-listed courses) toward the degree. In order to count towards the degree, courses from other departments must be in related fields and must focus on issues of criticism and theory, literary and cultural history, or multinational or global literary traditions. In order to encourage historical breadth, students are required to complete at least one course that covers literature before 1800 and one course that covers literature after 1800. Courses taken during the M.A. program may count toward either of these requirements. Not more than three credits of independent study may be used to satisfy the course-work requirement. All required course work must be completed before students may enroll in doctoral dissertation research credits (ENG 999); any exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies. The total grade-point average for all course work must be at least 3.5.

4. Comprehensive Examination Course: For students enrolling in Fall 2016 and later, complete ENG 820 (a 1-credit Pass/Fail course) in the spring semester of Year 2. According to university recommendations, Ph.D. students should choose their guidance committee chair in the fall of their 2nd year. Students will choose their chair, who will then become faculty of record for this course. To pass the course, the student must meet regularly with the chair, prepare according to the chair’s recommendations (such as reading a reasonable number of texts in the major field or critical problem), choose the rest of the committee, file the Guidance Committee Report on GradPlan and, by the end of Exam Week, submit a substantial draft of the proposal and lists.

5. Foreign-Language Requirement: Complete a language requirement at the college level. The language requirement for the Ph.D. is intended to provide students with the tools they need to conduct research in languages other than English. Each student should work in consultation with the guidance committee (or with the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies) to determine which language or languages is/are most appropriate for the student's research topic and which one of the following two options best fulfills this objective, considering the student’s chosen area of study:

Option A: Demonstrate advanced reading proficiency at the college level in any language other than English. This may be done by taking course work in the language at the 400 level or above (the student may take the course pass/fail, but in order to pass, must receive a 3.0 or higher) or by passing an advanced reading comprehension and translation exam. Examples include German 400, French 400, Spanish 400, or Russian 410.

Option B: Demonstrate second-year proficiency at the college level in two languages other than English. This may be done by completing course work through the 200 level or by passing an examination of reading comprehension.

6. Doctoral Dissertation Research Credits: All doctoral students must register for and successfully complete a minimum of 24 credits and no more than 36 credits of doctoral dissertation research (ENG 999).

7. Comprehensive Examination: Pass the Ph.D. comprehensive examination and oral defense.

8. Pre-Dissertation Examination: Pass a pre-dissertation examination that consists of an oral presentation based on a written proposal of the dissertation.

9. Dissertation Defense: Pass a final oral examination in defense of the dissertation.

10. Submit Dissertation to Graduate School: Within one semester of defending, format and submit dissertation to Graduate School. During this time, final revisions, if required by guidance committee, must be completed and approved. Apply for graduation.

Any substitutions for these requirements must be approved by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies.