Curriculum Requirements

  1. Courses
    Ph.D. students must complete 54 credit hours (if entering with a B.A.) or 36 credit hours (if entering with an M.A.) of 600-level courses in literature and literary theory.
  2. Language Requirements
    A basic reading knowledge of two foreign languages or an advanced reading knowledge of one foreign language is required.
  3. Qualifying Examination
    All Ph.D. students are required to pass a qualifying examination.
    Students may not take the qualifying examination until they have:
    • completed the required Ph.D. coursework,
    • satisfied the foreign language requirement
    • enrolled for ENG 697.
  4. Dissertation
    Students may proceed with the dissertation after the dissertation committee has been appointed and the dissertation proposal has been accepted by the committee and approved by the department.
    The dissertation itself must be an investigation of a substantial critical or scholarly topic. A final oral defense of the dissertation is required.
    Further information on the department’s graduate programs is contained in the Guide to Graduate Study available from the Department of English and posted on the department Web site in the Graduate section.
    Students must complete their work within one year of the schedule set out in the Guide to Graduate Study.

Doctoral Concentration in Early Modern Studies

The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Concentration is an interdisciplinary concentration to be earned in conjunction with the individual Ph.D. requirements for the departments of English, History, and Modern Languages and Literatures (Romance Studies, Spanish, and French). Graduate students will continue to be housed in any one of the three departments and must fulfill the requirements of their discipline. To qualify for the Concentration, students must successfully complete a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and/or early modern studies in one or both of the other two departments, substituting for courses within their department; and a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and/or early modern studies within their home department. Thus, for example, a student whose home department is English would need to take two courses in medieval and/or early modern studies in English and then either two courses in History or MLL or one course in History  and one course in MLL.  A list of courses for the academic year is posted regularly on the website of the Center for the Humanities.

Doctoral Concentration in Caribbean Studies

PhD students in English pursuing the doctoral concentration in Caribbean Studies must take as part of their required course credit hours a minimum of four Caribbean-focused courses (12 credit hours) as shown below:

A minimum of two courses (6 credits) selected from the following:

ENG 658: Studies in Transatlantic Literature

ENG 665: Studies in African American Literature

ENG 666: Caribbean Literature

ENG 667: Caribbean Popular Culture

ENG 668: Studies in Race and Diasporic Literatures

ENG 686: Theories of Gender and Sexuality

ENG 687: Studies in Literature and Culture since 1950

ENG 688: Studies in Latino/a Literatures and Cultures

ENG 689: Comparative Americas Studies

A minimum of two courses (6 credits) selected from the following:

FRE 775: Topics in Francophone Studies

HIS 602: Africa and the African Diaspora

HIS 602: Africa in Cuba / Cuba in Africa

HIS 652: Race in Latin America

HIS 652: Travels through Latin America

HIS 654: Afro-Caribbean Religion: Healing and Power

HIS 654: Haiti in History

HIS 654: Caribbean Intellectual History and Social Movements

HIS 662: Slavery and Capitalism

HIS 669: Black Protest Thought

HIS 669: Rethinking African-American Culture

HIS 669: History of Global Slavery

HIS 708: Slavery in the Atlantic World

HIS 708: Atlantic Histories

HIS 716: Caribbean Field Prep

MLL 702: Bilingualism

MLL 703: Topics in Critical Studies of Language

MLL 721: Atlantic Crossings: Literature and Immigration in the Age of Globalization

MLL 727: Topics in Caribbean Studies

SPA 733: Topics in Colonial Literature

SPA 735: Topics in 19th Century Latin American and Caribbean Literature

SPA 736: Topics in 20th Century Latin American and Caribbean Literature

Or other courses with advisor or DGS approval.


The Department of English works to provide its students with a thorough understanding of literatures written in English; to introduce them to a range of critical and theoretical methodologies; to provide them with the skills needed to establish their own scholarly expertise within an area of specialization; to prepare them for careers in scholarship and research within the academy; to train them for teaching in two- and four-year colleges and in research universities; where appropriate, to transfer and develop those research, communication, and presentation skills to non-academic settings; and to assist them in obtaining appropriate employment inside or outside higher education.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of literatures written in English and master methods of literary and cultural analysis.
  • Students will develop a capacity for professional development, enabling the graduate to contribute to a profession or field of study.
  • Students will demonstrate excellence in teaching undergraduate writing and literature courses.