English (Ph.D.)

https://cola.unh.edu/english/program/phd/english

The English program offers a Ph.D. in English which allows students to specialize in one of two tracks:

Literature

Our graduate program offers you the opportunity to explore the formal, historical, cultural, and theoretical dimensions of diverse forms of the written word. As a student in our program, you will develop a deeper understanding of canonical and innovative approaches to literature in English, including both such nationally-defined traditions as British and American literatures, and traditions organized around other principles, such as Postcolonial or African American literatures. Organized to reflect the changing profession of literary study--its history, its methodologies, and its production of new knowledge--the program includes the study of literature in cultural and historical contexts, the study of representations of identity, comparative approaches to literature, theoretical perspectives, gender studies, and cultural studies. The program offers you both broad-based and specialized courses on a variety of literary topics, and students may supplement their course of literary study with graduate offerings in related subjects and departments, including courses in composition, creative writing, languages and linguistics, history, and sociology, among others.

Rhetoric, Literacy, and Composition Studies

Created in 1985, our program is designed to prepare experts in composition theory, research and pedagogy who can contribute to the evolving knowledge in the field through rigorous research and scholarship. In addition to a specialization in composition studies, students will develop a secondary area of specialization such as applied linguistics, critical theory, English as a second language, English teaching, linguistics or literature.

One of the major strengths of the program is the opportunity to work closely with nationally-known faculty in composition studies in developing research and teaching expertise. We hold high expectations for students but work to create a supportive atmosphere where exams and coursework are matched to individual needs and interests.

Ph.D. students in English normally hold graduate assistantships with the teaching load of one course per semester. Teaching opportunities include First-Year Writing, ESL Composition, Creative Nonfiction, Technical Writing, and Persuasive Writing, as well as Critical Analysis and Literature Courses. Some students also work in Robert J. Connors Writing Center and the Writing Across the Curriculum program. 

The Ph.D. program combines the essential guidance and discipline of coursework with the equally essential freedom of independent study and research.  Students choose between two areas: literature or rhetoric, literacy, and composition studies.

Ph.D. students normally hold assistantships and teach under supervision; such teaching is considered a vital part of the student's professional training. 

Students must demonstrate basic proficiency in two languages or advanced proficiency in one. Basic proficiency may be demonstrated by passing a departmental examination or by receiving a grade of B or better in a fourth­-semester college-­level language course. Advanced proficiency is demonstrated by passing a rigorous departmental examination.

Literature

The doctoral program in literature is designed to train students to be teachers and scholars.  All students must pass a general examination in English and American literature, a more specialized qualifying examination, an oral defense of their dissertation.

Students who enter this program with a B.A. degree will complete thirteen courses, of which eight must be seminars. The other courses must be at the 800 or 900 levels and must include ENGL 910 Practicum in Teaching College Composition, ENGL 925 Graduate Study of Literature, a seminar in theory, and (ENGL 924 Professional Preparation).

ENGL 925Graduate Study of Literature4
ENGL 910Practicum in Teaching College Composition6
ENGL 814Critical Skills4
ENGL 924Professional Preparation2
Eight 900-Level Literature Seminars:32
Seminar: Studies in American Literature
Seminar: Literature of Early America
Seminar: Studies in 19th Century American Literature
Seminar: Studies in 20th Century American Literature
Seminar: Studies in Shakespeare
Seminar: Studies in Milton
Seminar: Studies in 18th Century Literature
Seminar: Studies in the Victorian Period
Seminar: Studies in 20th Century British Literature
Seminar: Studies in Post-Colonial Literatures in English
One 800-900 Level Elective 14
ENGL 999Doctoral Research0
Total Credits52

Students who enter this program with an M.A. degree will complete nine graduate courses, of which four must be seminars. The other courses must be at the 800 or 900 level and must include ENGL 910 Practicum in Teaching College Composition, a seminar in theory, and (ENGL 924 Professional Preparation).

ENGL 910Practicum in Teaching College Composition6
ENGL 814Critical Skills4
ENGL 924Professional Preparation2
Four 900-level Seminars:16
Seminar: Studies in American Literature
Seminar: Literature of Early America
Seminar: Studies in 19th Century American Literature
Seminar: Studies in 20th Century American Literature
Seminar: Studies in Shakespeare
Seminar: Studies in Milton
Seminar: Studies in 18th Century Literature
Seminar: Studies in the Victorian Period
Seminar: Studies in 20th Century British Literature
Seminar: Studies in Post-Colonial Literatures in English
Two 800-900 Level Electives 18
ENGL 999Doctoral Research0
Total Credits36

RHETORIC, LITERACY, AND COMPOSITION STUDIES

The program in composition studies is designed to train experts who are qualified to teach general courses in literature or linguistics in the teaching of composition. Students in composition studies will complete 10 graduate­-level courses of which four must be seminars. The other courses must be at the 800 or 900 levels and include ENGL 910 Practicum in Teaching College Composition and ENGL 918 Research Methods in Composition. Students will take a combined general and qualifying examination that focuses both on the theory of composition and rhetoric, and on a secondary area of specialization. Their dissertation work will be on a topic in composition.

ENGL 910Practicum in Teaching College Composition6
ENGL 918Research Methods in Composition4
ENGL 912Historical and Theoretical Studies in Rhetoric 14
ENGL 916History of Composition 14
Two Composition Electives:4
Issues in Second Language Writing
Spec Top/Composition Studies
Special Topics in English Teaching
Teaching Literature and Literacy
Theory and Practice of Composition
Special Topics in Composition and Rhetoric
Two Electives in a Related Field 28
Two Electives 38
ENGL 999Doctoral Research0
Total Credits38
  • Broad understanding of texts, theoretical paradigms, intellectual traditions, and the methodologies of their field.
  • Expertise in critical writing and speaking that adheres to the conventions of the field.
  • Expertise in a specific area of literary or composition studies developed through original research and writing the dissertation.
  • Pedagogical skills for effective college teaching as both an expert and a generalist.
  • Professionalization in the professorate.