Contemporary American Literature Reading list
Building on a record of excellence in the student's M.A. preparation in the broad range of English and American literature, the Ph.D. student in literature should work toward increased sophistication in his/her scholarship. The Ph.D. student should continue to strengthen and deepen an understanding of three distinct but related areas of expertise, contributing toward a scholarly focus. At least one of these areas should be a historical period. A second field should be a related historical period, literary theory, or rhetoric, and the third field should be a specific individualized area of inquiry. The career of a Ph.D. student should be marked by increasing independence in thinking and writing about literature. Working toward these objectives advances the student's competence in writing the scholarly dissertation. The Ph.D. in Literature constitutes solid preparation for scholarly publication and expert undergraduate and graduate teaching.
The concentration in Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy prepares doctoral students with the intellectual training and resources to become scholars and teachers of writing who understand teaching as a reflective practice.
Fall Admission: February 1
Spring Admission: November 1
Minimum Requirements for Admission
M.A. in English or M.F.A. in Creative Writing
3.5 g.p.a. in graduate studies
Studies in one foreign language (Student can complete this requirement while in residence.)
GRE general test
Academic transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended
The scores for the GRE general test
Three letters of recommendation
The student’s statement of intent (1-2 pages)
A 15-25 page critical writing sample with bibliography
Requirements of the Degree
36 hours of coursework
Foreign language. Students must demonstrate reading knowledge of two foreign languages or intensive knowledge of one foreign language.
3 written comprehensive examinations
1 oral comprehensive examination
Distribution of Coursework
3 hours of Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English
6 hours of bibliography, literary theory, or rhetoric. If students have taken a course in one of these areas for the M.A., this requirement will be waived, allowing the student an additional 3 hours of elective course work (but not a reduction in the total hours required).
27 hours of literature, including:
9 hours in early literature
6 hours in later literature, and
12 hours of elective courses, each contributing to the student's areas of expertise. Students should select each of these courses in consultation with the graduate advisor and his/her faculty mentors. Early British literature is defined as British literature before 1800 and early American literature is defined as American literature before 1865.
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