Course Requirements (before 2012)

The PhD requires 18 credits (six courses) beyond a 30-credit MA. Twelve of those PhD credits must be taken as seminars (four 700-level courses).  The degree assumes conversance with the major body of English and American literature as well as familiarity with bibliography, research methods, and other necessary tools of the trade.   To achieve such conversance, PhD students who have not already done so at the MA level must complete courses in the following categories:

  1. One course in Rhetoric, Linguistics, or English Language 
  2. One course in Critical Theory or Genre
  3. 2 courses in Literature in English prior to 1800 
  4. 2 courses in Literature in English after 1800

Newly admitted PhD students entering the program with an MA from another institution should meet with the Director of Graduate Studies (hereafter DGS) to have their academic record evaluated; the DGS will establish that the student has fulfilled distribution requirements or recommend courses that will enable their completion. Those admitted as MA/PhD students will meet the requirements given above by fulfilling the MA course distribution requirements. All PhD students should select courses with two primary goals in mind: 1) filling in gaps in their knowledge of literary history, and 2) developing an area of scholarly expertise and the skills necessary to work independently in that area.