Department of English

Graduate

PhD Program

Typical PhD Schedule

Click here for information about taking additional courses, language courses, and other courses not traditionally falling within the graduate program of study.

Year One*

  • Fall Semester
    • Three five-credit courses, plus ENG 500 Graduate Colloquium (one credit)
  • Spring Semester
    • Three five-credit courses
    • Apply for next year's Departmental Teaching Apprenticeship (indicating preferences).
    • Either take, or prepare to take, the Language Exam.

*Students who arrive with an MA degree may petition the DGS to transfer up to 30 credit-hours toward their programs of study, thus essentially reducing the required period of coursework from two years to one. Talk with the DGS early on if you are interested in pursuing this path. 

Year Two**

  • Fall Semester
    • Coursework
    • Departmental Teaching Apprenticeship
    • For those intending to teach for the WSAP in the third year (strongly encouraged***), now is the time to apply; deadlines (usually the end of the fall semester) and details are set by the WSAP.
      (***If, for some reason, you are already certain you will not be entering a profession that involves teaching, talk with the DGS about alternative options.)
  • Spring Semester Summer 

**Specific credit allocations currently in transition; see DGS with any questions.

Year Three

  • Fall Semester
    • 15 credits for exam preparation (ENG 595 Research)
    • Teach one course through the WSAP.
    • Some students will take the Qualifying Exam this fall. Note that the Dissertation Prospectus is due within three to six months of completing the exam.
    • Course descriptions due to the WSAP for fourth-year teaching; deadlines and details set by the WSAP.
  • Spring Semester
    • 15 credits for exam preparation (if needed): note that Qualifying Exams must by taken absolutely no later than the end of this academic year. The Dissertation Prospectus is then due within three to six months from exam completion-date. 
    • Teach one course through the WSAP.

Year Four

  • Fall Semester
    • Dissertation Writing: Students generally register for ENG 997, receiving 0 credits but retaining their full-time status. 
    • Teach one course through the WSAP.
    • The Dissertation Prospectus must be filed absolutely no later than the end of the fall semester of the fourth year.
    • Consider inviting your advisor to observe your teaching at some point this year, so that he/she may comment on it when recommending you for jobs.
    • Apply for a Dean's Dissertation Fellowship for next year (requires that you also apply for external funding).
  • Spring Semester
    • Dissertation Writing: Students generally register for ENG 997, receiving 0 credits but retaining their full-time status. 
    • Teach one course through the WSAP.
    • At the end of this year your two-year contract with the WSAP will expire. You will now need to decide whether to re-apply to the WSAP (and continue to receive the WSAP's supplemental stipend). Students opting not to do so will still need to engage in some alternative form of professional development in order to continue receiving their base-level stipends. In some cases these options could carry their own supplemental stipend; see the DGS for more information.
      • Possible options include: 
        • Internship in Rare Books and Special Collections
        • Off-site Internship (e.g., at a press, an archive, or a museum)
        • Teaching for the Susan B. Anthony Institute or adjuncting within the Department (e.g., for a faculty-member on leave)
        • Serving as a Research Assistant to a faculty-member
        • (Note that such alternatives are also available to students in their third and fourth years, but would be recommended only to those who are absolutely certain that they will not be entering jobs that incorporate teaching of some kind. Talk with the DGS if you are considering any of these routes.)
    • If appropriate, begin assembling job-application materials for next fall, in preparation for placement workshops. (See your advisor, the DGS, and/or this year's faculty placement officer for more details.)

Year Five

  • Fall Semester
    • Dissertation Writing: Students generally register for ENG 999, receiving 0 credits but retaining their full-time status. 
    • In addition, students may teach; engage in some other form of professionalization; write full-time with the support of a dissertation fellowship; or etc.
    • Students on the job market will participate in faculty-led placement workshops
    • Apply to teach for the WSAP in your sixth year as a Dudley Doust Fellow; deadlines and details set by the WSAP. Note that the Doust is competitive; fifth-years who anticipate needing a sixth year of funding, then, should also apply for external fellowships and other support (see the Department website for more details; talk also with the DGS, your advisor, etc.).
  • Spring Semester
    • Dissertation Writing: Students generally register for ENG 999, receiving 0 credits but retaining their full-time status. 
    • In addition, students may teach; engage in some other form of professionalization; write full-time with the support of a dissertation fellowship; or etc.

Year Six

  • Fall Semester
    • Same as Year Five
  • Spring Semester
    • Same as Year Five