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Department of English

Graduate Studies

About The Graduate Program in Englishgraduate


Students with a B.A. enter the M.A. program; students with an M.A. enter the Ph.D. program. Registration in at least 9 credits during a regular semester is considered full-time registration. Teaching Assistants are considered full-time with registration in 6 credits.

Requirements for the M.A. (total of 30 credits)

  1. 27 credits of course work, including ENG 514 (Studies in Critical Theories)

For specialization in Literature and Culture:

  1. ENG 510/511 (Introduction to Professional Study)
  2. coursework that reflects a balance of period coverage and specialization
  3. 3 credits for MA Thesis or MA Non-Thesis option

For specialization in Rhetoric:

  1. WRT 512
  2. WRT 524
  3. WRT 645
  4. Recommended: WRT 599

Requirements for the Ph.D. (total of 72 credits)

  1. 30 credits for the M.A. (completed before entering Ph.D. program)
  2. 24 credits of course work including ENG 514
  3. Comprehensive exams (as per area of specialization: Literature and Culture or Rhetoric)
    PhD Exam Committee
  4. Dissertation proposal
  5. Dissertation
  6. Dissertation defense

For the specialization in Literature and Culture

  1. ENG 510/511 (Introduction to Professional Study)
  2. coursework that reflects appropriate balance of period coverage and specialization
  3. 18 credits of ENG 699 (dissertation research)

For the specialization in Rhetoric

  1. WRT 512, WRT 645 and WRT 647
  2. Recommended: WRT 524, WRT 999 if not funded on a TA
  3. If funded on a TA, 1 year of teaching in the Writing Center
  4. 18 credits of WRT 699 (dissertation research)

For the Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies, see


Special and Funding Opportunities:

  1. The department awards 28 Teaching Assistantships.
  2. All Teaching Assistants are eligible to apply for a teaching assignment in the Writing Center after their first year.
  3. The English department hosts annual contests, offering awards in the categories of creative non-fiction, poetry, short story and critical essay.
  4. There are a limited number of competitive Graduate School Fellowships and Scholarships.
  5. Other funding opportunities include tutoring in the Talent Development Program or teaching part-time.

Announcements for talks, positions, contests, etc. are sent via engrad, the graduate program listserv. All graduate students are automatically enrolled in engrad. Additional announcements, information, and opportunities are available via urirhetcomp, an informal Rhetoric and Composition Graduate Student and Alumni listserv. To join urirhetcomp, please email