Students are expected to proceed in a timely manner toward the completion of the degree. The maximum time limit for completing the Ph.D. degree is ten years from the date of matriculation in the program. A total of 60 hours of graduate-level coursework in English is required, no more than 12 of which may be applied from master’s-level work, and no more than 12 from dissertation research credit (ENGL 7640). In order to advance to candidacy, students must successfully pass preliminary examinations in two areas. One area must be selected from one of the standard examination areas; the other examination may be selected from another standard area or may consist of a customized examination constructed by the student in consultation with a student-formed examination committee. A primary area of concentration is established by completion of at least three courses (9 credit hours) in the general area, passing a preliminary examination, and writing a dissertation in the area. The secondary area of concentration may be established by completion of three courses (9 credit hours) in the area or related areas and passing a preliminary examination in the area. Students may list both areas of concentration on letters of application for employment as appropriate.
Ph.D. candidacy is granted only when the student has successfully passed preliminary exams in both areas.
Preliminary examinations must be taken and passed before students may enroll in Dissertation Research (ENGL 7640). The Doctoral Readings (ENGL 7909) course may be taken while students take the preliminary examinations. Students should have fulfilled all distribution requirements before taking preliminary exams and are strongly encouraged to have completed the world language requirement as well.