PhD in English
Applicants must submit a writing sample of scholarly work. The student must have an MA degree in English or the equivalent. No transfer of credit is granted toward fulfillment of the eight semester courses required for the degree.
Eight semester courses (32 credits) are required for the degree, of which not more than four may be taken in one semester. Of those eight semester courses, at least six (for students entering the program prior to 1/1/2013) or seven (for students entering the program after 1/1/2013) must be elected from courses numbered 700 or higher. With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, one directed study course may be elected as one of the eight required courses. Doctoral students must take at least one course that focuses primarily on critical theory, critical method, or the history of criticism. This requirement is considered satisfied if such a course was included in the student’s MA degree program.
For students entering the program prior to 1/1/2013, coursework for the doctoral program (taking into consideration courses taken for the MA) must include at least one course in each of the following periods or areas, broadly defined:
- Medieval literature or history of the language/linguistics
- British literature 1485–1660
- British literature 1660–1832
- British literature 1832–1900
- American literature to 1900
- Literature in English 1900 to the present
For students entering the program after 1/1/2013, coursework for the doctoral program (taking into consideration courses taken for the MA) must include at least two courses in each of the following categories:
- History of the language/linguistics or medieval literature
- Literature in English 1660–1860
- Literature in English 1860–present
All doctoral students are expected to take GRS EN 698 and EN 699 (supervised teaching of English language and literature) if they hold a teaching fellowship.
Course Credit in Related Fields
As part of the total program of eight semester courses required for the degree, doctoral students may, with the approval of their advisor, elect two semester courses at the graduate level in related areas. A course elected to fulfill the foreign language requirement may be counted as a related course.
Foreign Language Requirement
The doctoral student shall fulfill the foreign language requirement by demonstrating either advanced-level proficiency in one language or intermediate-level proficiency in two languages (for intermediate-level requirements, refer to the MA in English page). The language in which a student demonstrates advanced proficiency may be the same language used to demonstrate intermediate proficiency for the MA. Languages chosen must have relevance to literary studies in English; the Director of Graduate Studies determines which languages are appropriate to fulfill the requirement.
Advanced proficiency in a language can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
- By achieving a score of 650 on the SAT II language test currently offered in French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Latin.
- By completing with a grade of B or better one literature course at the graduate level (courses numbered 500 or higher) in an approved language.
- By passing at an advanced level a non-credit graduate-level reading course (GRS LF 621 or equivalent) as certified by the course’s instructor.
- By passing a one-hour translation test administered by the department.
Intermediate proficiency in a language can be demonstrated as described above for the foreign language requirement for the MA in English. A student wishing to fulfill the requirement with a language for which there is no available examination (for example, Hebrew or Greek) may ask first to have the language approved and then to take a written translation examination. Requests should be discussed with the student’s faculty advisor, then forwarded in writing to the Director of Graduate Studies.
A student who successfully completes a literature course at the graduate level in a foreign language can count the course toward the eight-course requirement for the PhD; only one such course will be accepted toward fulfilling the eight-course requirement. The language requirement must be fulfilled before the PhD qualifying oral examination is scheduled.
Transfer of Credit
No transfer of credit for graduate work completed prior to admission to the PhD degree program in English and American Literature is granted toward the eight semester courses required for the PhD.
Comprehensive Oral Examination
To be admitted to doctoral candidacy, the student must pass a comprehensive oral examination in a major area of literary study defined by the student in consultation with the advisor. The area chosen for examination is normally related to the student’s anticipated dissertation topic.
The student must be in residence for at least one continuous academic year, i.e., enrolled as a full-time student.
The dissertation is a substantial work of original scholarship. Doctoral candidates write their dissertations under the supervision of two readers, normally professors of the department.
Final Oral Examination
Upon completion of the dissertation, but before its final approval, candidates present themselves for the final oral examination, which is based principally on the dissertation and related problems in the area of the candidate’s specialization. The primary purpose of the final oral examination is to allow candidates to demonstrate the ability to discuss clearly, objectively, and critically their methods and conclusions, as well as their knowledge of the related material.
For further information about the graduate program in English, interested students should consult the department’s website or contact the department’s Director of Graduate Studies.
Courses are listed in three categories: creative writing, language and linguistics, and literature.
- CAS EN 503, 504 Fiction Workshop
- CAS EN 505, 506 Poetry Workshop
- CAS EN 507 Seminar in Creative Writing: Fiction
- CAS EN 508 Seminar in Creative Writing: Poetry
- CAS EN 509, 510 Exercises in Dramaturgy
- GRS EN 706 Writing Plays
Language and Linguistics
- CAS EN 513 Modern English Grammar
- CAS EN 515 History of the English Language I
- CAS EN 516 History of the English Language II
- CAS EN 518 Linguistic Problems in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language
- CAS EN 521 Middle Ages Medieval Romance
- CAS EN 525 Literature of the Seventeenth Century I
- CAS EN 527 Literature of the Eighteenth Century I
- CAS EN 529 Romantic Age
- CAS EN 531 Victorian Age
- CAS EN 533 American Literature: Beginnings to 1855
- CAS EN 534 American Literature: 1855 to 1918
- CAS EN 535 Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry
- CAS EN 542 The Rise of the Novel
- CAS EN 543 The Nineteenth-Century English Novel
- CAS EN 544 The Modern British Novel
- CAS EN 545 The Nineteenth-Century American Novel
- CAS EN 546 The Modern American Novel
- CAS EN 547 Contemporary American Fiction
- CAS EN 566 Milton
- CAS EN 572 Studies in American Literary Movements
- CAS EN 576 Studies in Literature and Gender
- CAS EN 578 Studies in British Writers
- CAS EN 579 Studies in American Writers
- CAS EN 580 Studies in American Writers
- CAS EN 582 Studies in Modern Literature
- CAS EN 584 Studies in Literature and Ethnicity
- CAS EN 585 Contemporary American Poetry
- CAS EN 586 Studies in Anglophone Literature
- CAS EN 587 Studies in African American Literature
- CAS EN 591 Studies in Literature and Society
- CAS EN 592 Studies in Literature and Society
- CAS EN 593 Studies in Literature and the Arts
- CAS EN 594 Studies in Literature and the Arts
- CAS EN 595 Studies in Literary Topics
- CAS EN 596 Studies in Literary Topics
- CAS EN 604 Literary Criticism I
- GRS EN 606 Literary Criticism II
- CAS EN 665 Critical Studies in Literature and Society
- GRS EN 666 Critical Studies in Literature and Society
- GRS EN 675 Studies in Literature and Gender
- GRS EN 680 Critical Studies of American Writers
- GRS EN 686 Studies in Anglophone Literature
- GRS EN 694 Critical Studies in Literature and the Arts
- GRS EN 695 Critical Studies in Literary Topics
- GRS EN 696 Critical Studies in Literary Topics
- GRS EN 699 Teaching College English
- GRS EN 727 Enlightenment, Philosophy and Fiction
- GRS EN 730 Romantic Selves
- GRS EN 743 Victorian Ideas of Culture
- GRS EN 744 The Novel in Theory and Practice
- GRS EN 745 Problem of the South in American Literature
- GRS EN 746 Fiction and Social Theory in the 1950s
- GRS EN 748 Turn of the Century U.S. Literature
- GRS EN 751 Idolatry, Images, Iconoclasm
- GRS EN 727 British Poetry from 1660 to 1780 in Cultural Context
- GRS EN 763 English History Play
- GRS EN 787 Birth of Modern Drama
- GRS EN 788 Transnational Modernism
- GRS EN 790 Theories of Gender and Sexuality
- GRS EN 792 Introduction to Recent Critical Theory and Method
- GRS EN 794 Postcolonial Literature and Theory
- GRS EN 993, 994 Directed Study in English
Metropolitan College Courses
A limited number of courses are offered in Metropolitan College (MET) under the auspices of the Department of English and are approved for graduate credit for students enrolled in the MA and PhD programs. For further information, see the Metropolitan College Bulletin.