Doctor of Philosophy in English with a Literature Emphasis

In order to receive the Ph.D. in English with a Literature Emphasis degree in the Department of English, you must fulfill through transferred or Western Michigan University 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 English language or linguistics course

Distribution requirements

Six 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

Take two courses in teaching and pedagogy. This component can be fulfilled in one of two ways:

  • Take ENGL 6690: Methods of Teaching College Writing, and either another three credits as a practicum in teaching in the discipline or a three-credit theoretical course in the teaching of literature, composition, or English language; OR
  • Taking six hours elected from courses or practica in the teaching of composition, literature, English language or creative writing.

Area of specialization

Beyond your required courses, elect 12 hours that constitute an area of specialization in preparation for your dissertation. Some credits from master's level work and distribution requirements may be included in the area of specialization.

Non-traditional requirement

Take one  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

Develop (with the approval of the graduate director) a cognate or support area of six to nine hours that complements your area of specialization. This may be selected from departmental courses or from courses taken in another department.

Doctoral readings

After taking your qualifying examinations, you must take 3-6 hours of ENGL 7110: Doctoral Readings in preparation for their Dissertation Prospectus Defense Examination.
Dissertation hours: Take 15 hours of ENGL 7300: Dissertation Hours. Once you enroll in ENGL 7300, continue to enroll in ENGL 7300 for at least one hour during each fall and spring semester until graduation.

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