Doctoral Programs

Doctoral Programs

Graduate Academic Information

Doctoral Program Requirements


Transferring Ph.D. Credits

Ph.D. Exam Reading Lists

PhD in English with a Literature Emphasis Requirements


In order to receive the PhD in English with a Literature Emphasis degree, the student must fulfill through transferred or WMU earned credits the following requirements:

  • Core prerequisite courses:
    • ENGL 6150: Literary Criticism
    • ENGL 6300: Introduction to Graduate Studies
    • ENGL 6400: The Nature of Poetry
    • one (1) English language or linguistics course
  • Distribution requirements:Six (6) graduate level courses from the following list of required areas. Selection must include at least one course in American Literature and must not skip over two contiguous periods. Areas from which the six courses must be chosen:
    • American Literature before 1865
    • American Literature 1865 to 1945
    • Medieval Literature to 1500
    • Renaissance Literature (through Milton)
    • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
    • Nineteenth-Century Literature
    • Modern British Literature
    • Contemporary Literature
  • Teaching component: Students must take two (2) courses in teaching and pedagogy. This component can be fulfilled in one of two ways:
    • by taking
      • ENGL 6690: Methods of Teaching College Writing, and
      • either another three credits as a practicum in teaching in the discipline or a 3-credit theoretical course in the teaching of literature, composition, or English language; or
    • by taking six hours elected from courses or practica in the teaching of composition, literature, English language, or creative writing.
  • Area of Specialization:
    • Beyond their required courses, students will elect twelve (12) hours that constitute an area of specialization in preparation for their dissertation. Some credits from Master's level work and distribution requirements may be included in the Area of Specialization.

  • Non-traditional requirement: Students must take one (1) course that focuses on literature in English by an ethnic minority group, by women writers, by post-colonial cultures, or by other groups not traditionally emphasized in the canon.

  • Cognate Area: Students are invited to develop (with the approval of the Graduate Director) a Cognate or Support Area of 6-9 hours that complements their Area of Specialization. This may be selected from departmental courses or from courses taken in another department.

  • Doctoral Readings: After taking their Qualifying Examinations, Ph.D in Literature students must take 3-6 hours of ENGL 7110: Doctoral Readings in preparation for their Dissertation Prospectus Defense Examination.

  • Dissertation Hours: Students must take fifteen (15) hours of ENGL 7300: Dissertation Hours. Once a student has enrolled for ENGL 7300, he/she must continue to enroll in ENGL 7300 for at least one (1) hour during each Fall and Spring semester until graduation.

PhD in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis Requirement


In order to receive the PhD in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis degree, the student must fulfill through transferred or WMU earned credits the following requirements:

  • Core prerequisite courses:
    • ENGL 6150: Literary Criticism
    • one (1) forms course
    • one (1) genre specific course
    • one (1) English language or linguistics course
  • Distribution requirements: Six (6) graduate level courses from the following list of required areas. Students with a Creative Writing Emphasis must take a Contemporary Literature Course. Selection must also include at least one course in American Literature and must not skip over two contiguous periods. Areas from which the six courses must be chosen:
    • American Literature before 1865
    • American Literature 1865 to 1945
    • Medieval Literature to 1500
    • Renaissance Literature (through Milton)
    • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
    • Nineteenth-Century Literature
    • Modern British Literature
    • Contemporary Literature
  • Teaching component: Students must take two (2) courses in teaching and pedagogy. This component can be fulfilled in one of two ways:
    • by taking
      • ENGL 6690: Methods of Teaching College Writing, and
      • either another three credits as a practicum in teaching in the discipline or a 3-credit theoretical course in the teaching of literature, composition, or English language; or
    • by taking six hours elected from courses or practica in the teaching of composition, literature, English language, or creative writing.
  • Area of Specialization: Beyond their required courses, students will elect twelve (12) workshop hours in preparation for their dissertation. Some credits from Master's level work and distribution requirements may be included in the Area of Specialization.
  • Non-traditional requirement: Students must take one (1) course that focuses on literature in English by an ethnic minority group, by women writers, by post-colonial cultures, or by other groups not traditionally emphasized in the canon.
  • Cognate Area: Students are invited to develop (with the approval of the Graduate Director) a Cognate or Support Area of 6-9 hours that complements their Area of Specialization. This may be selected from departmental courses or from courses taken in another department.
  • Doctoral Readings: After taking their Qualifying Examinations, PhD in Creative Writing students must take 3-6 hours of ENGL 7110: Doctoral Readings in preparation for their Doctoral Readings Examination.
  • Dissertation Hours: Students must take fifteen (15) hours of ENGL 7300: Dissertation Hours. Once a student has enrolled for ENGL 7300 he/she must continue to enroll in ENGL 7300 for at least one (1) hour during each Fall and Spring semester until graduation.

PhD in English with an English Education Emphasis Requirement


In order to receive the PhD in English with an English Education Emphasis degree, the student must fulfill through transferred or WMU earned credits the following requirements:

  • Core prerequisite courses:
    • ENGL 6150: Literary Criticism
    • ENGL 6300: Introduction to Graduate Studies
    • One course in children's or adolescent literature
    • one (1) English language or linguistics course
  • Distribution requirements: Four (4) graduate level courses from the following list of required areas. Selection must include at least one course in American Literature and must not skip over two contiguous periods. Areas from which the six courses must be chosen:
    • American Literature before 1865
    • American Literature 1865 to 1945
    • Medieval Literature to 1500
    • Renaissance Literature (through Milton)
    • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
    • Nineteenth-Century Literature
    • Modern British Literature
    • Contemporary Literature
  • Teaching component: Nine hours of credit in graduate practica (ENGL 7130) for the following courses: ENGL 4790: Writing for the Secondary Teacher; ENGL 4800: Teaching of Literature in the Secondary Schools; and ENGL 1100: Literary Interpretation (or another undergraduate course by permission of the student's advisor).
  • Area of Specialization: Beyond their required courses, students will elect eighteen (18) hours that constitute an area of specialization in preparation for their dissertation. Some credits from Master's level work and distribution requirements may be included in the Area of Specialization.
    • English 5740: Grammar and the Teaching of Writing
    • English 6690: Methods of Teaching College Writing
    • English 6790: Composition Theory
    • English 6800: Advanced Methods in Teaching Literature
    • English 6810: Advanced Methods of Teaching Language and Composition
    • English 6910: Research and Scholarship in English Education
  • Qualitative Methods Course: EMR 6480: Qualitative Research Methods.
  • Cognate Area: Students are invited to develop (with the approval of the Graduate Director) a Cognate or Support Area of 6-9 hours that complements their Area of Specialization. This may be selected from departmental courses or from courses taken in another department.
  • Doctoral Readings: After taking their Qualifying Examinations, PhD in English Education students must take 3-6 hours of ENGL 7110: Doctoral Readings in preparation for their Dissertation Prospectus Defense Examination.
  • Dissertation Hours: Students must take fifteen (15) hours of ENGL 7300: Dissertation Hours. Once a student has enrolled for ENGL 7300, he/she must continue to enroll in ENGL 7300 for at least one (1) hour during each Fall and Spring semester until graduation.

Ph.D. Transfer Credits


Upon entering the PhD program with a Master’s Degree, students are automatically credited with thirty (30) hours towards the ninety (90) hour credit total they must achieve in order to graduate. If a student has earned more than one Master’s degree, or if he or she presents a particularly compelling professional record of service within academia or the professions, the Graduate Director may grant up to 45 hours towards the 90-hour total. However, this is the exception, not the rule. Once the Graduate Director has determined the number of transfer hours to be credited, he/she will meet with the student to see how his/her previous coursework can be used to fulfill PhD requirements. Courses that are used in such a manner are marked CR (Credit) and are not counted towards the student’s overall GPA.

 

Department of English
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Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5331 USA
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