Ph.D. Coursework

Students in the doctoral program will develop individualized plans of study in consultation with advisors. Students will transfer the credits from an accredited MA program (for up to 18 credits, and complete 42 hours of graduate coursework (in the first 2-2.5 years of the program, if attending full time) to equal the 54 hour coursework requirement. This followed by comprehensive exams and dissertation research:


  • 3 credit hours of doctoral proseminar
  • 6 credit hours in research methods
  • 12 credit hours in core courses
  • 15 to 18 credit hours in courses in an area of specialization
  • 3-6 credit hours in of Internship
  • 18 credit hours of dissertation research

English 610: Doctoral Proseminar (3 credit hours). In their first semester, all PhD students enroll in the Doctoral Proseminar in Rhetoric and Professional Communication, which introduces them to the program, processes, and disciplines that make up the PhD Program. Student will also draft their Qualifying Portfolio in this class.

Research Methods (6 credit hours). Students must successfully complete two courses in research methods. The English Department offers five methods courses. With the advisor’s approval, students may also substitute methods intensive courses from within the department or relevant methods courses offered in other departments across the university.

ENGL 600. In the Fall semester following the completion of coursework and in preparation for doctoral comprehensive exams, students should register for 3 credits of ENGL 600 with the faculty member teaching the course. In order to maintain full-time status, they can also enroll in additional credits of ENGL 600 with their individual advisors. Student remain enrolled in English 600 until the time they pass comprehensive exams.

Note on Transfer Courses (up to 18 credits). Students must apply 18 hours of master’s level work to the 54-hour coursework requirement with departmental approval. In the case that such course meet requirements, they allow students to take additional electives. In consultation with an advisor and the Doctoral Committee, students petition for transfer credits when they submit their qualifying portfolio and file the program of study with the Graduate School.

ENGL 700 (18 credit hours). In the semester after the successful completion and defense of doctoral comprehensive exams, students enroll in ENGL 700 as they research and write their dissertations (these 18 hours are in addition to the 54 credit hour coursework requirement). Students must be enrolled full time in the semester in which they defend their dissertation.