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Graduate Literature :: Degrees

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

MA | PhD

The MA in literature develops literary, critical, and creative knowledge, preparing candidates for a variety of professional careers and/or further graduate study.  The MA requires a minimum of 33 hours of coursework, to be distributed as follows:

MA Literature Requirements Beginning Fall 2010

(Click here for program requirements prior to Fall 2010.)

PhD Preparation (33 credits beyond the BA)

I. Required Courses (2 courses / 6 credits)

  • ENG 6009 Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • 1 Critical Theory Course (either ENG 6018 Criticim & Theory I or ENG 6019 Criticism & Theory II)

II. Historical Distribution* (4 courses / 12 credits)

  • 1 Medieval or Renaissance course (including 17th-Century)
  • 1 18th-Century course (British tradition or Early Literature of the Americas)
  • 1 19th-Century course (Either British tradition or Literature of the Americas)
  • 1 20th-Century course (Either British tradition or Literature of the Americas)

III. Cultural-Critical Studies* (2 courses / 6 credits)

  • Two courses in ethnic literature (including African-American, Latino/a, post-colonial), world literature, women’s literature or gender studies, critical theory, film, genre

IV. Elective Credit (2 courses / 6 credits)

  • Students taking ENC 6745 Practice in Teaching Composition must use this as an elective if they count it toward the 33 credits in the degree.

V. Portfolio and Defense (3 credits)

  • 3 directed study hours (ENG 6916) to prepare portfolio
    In their fourth and final semester (excluding summer terms), MA students will submit a portfolio for review to a three-member faculty committee six weeks prior to the Graduate School deadline for thesis/dissertation submission. Upon submission, the student and chair of the committee will establish a defense date with the Graduate Program Specialist.

*Of the 6 courses in II and III, 2 must be from British traditions and 2 from American traditions.

NOTE: No CRW courses will be allowed to satisfy degree requirements in the literature track. Only 1 practicum will be allowed to satisfy degree requirements (including ENC 6745). One Directed Study may be used to substitute for degree requirement with the approval of the Graduate Director.


PhD

The PhD is designed to produce teacher-scholars who have a good general knowledge of critical theory, literature, and composition, as well as a specialized knowledge in their field of concentration.

The PhD in English involves a minimum of 30 hours of course work beyond the MA degree, exclusive of credits devoted to the foreign language requirement and the doctoral dissertation. A minimum of 90 hours after the BA degree is required. Included in these required hours must be (if not already taken at the MA level) are the following:

PhD Literature Requirements Beginning Fall 2010

(Click here for program requirements prior to Fall 2010.)

  • ENG 6005 Scholarly Writing and Research (3)
  • ENG 6018 Criticism & Theory I or ENG 6019 Criticism & Theory II (may have been taken at the MA level) (3)
  • 1 theory-rich course (3)
  • ENG 7939 Doctoral Seminar (2)** (must be taken twice in conjunction with a course)

Note: PhD students must take one practicum in teaching or in tutoring for the Writing Center. ENC 6745 Practice in Teaching Composition (3) is required for Teaching Assistants. Students are allowed to take up to two practica as part of their 30-credit requirement.

**PhD students are required to take two 6000-level courses in their chosen field(s) of specialty as doctoral seminars. By the second year of PhD coursework, the student should identify the courses to be applied to the seminar requirement. He or she will register for the regular three-credit course; additionally the student will register for a one-credit seminar hour (ENG 7939) that will be taken in conjunction with the approved course. The student should take this 6000-level course in his or her dissertation area with one of his or her major professors. The student should meet with the instructor as soon as he or she has identified this course as a seminar course, and the two should agree in writing on the details of the work to be done for the seminar hour. The Graduate Program Specialist will manage registration for seminar hours.

While taking the 6000-level course, the seminar student is expected to do extra work in preparation for writing a dissertation. For example, he or she could be responsible for teaching or leading a portion of a class on a particular work and writing a 25-30 page essay based in research on material from the class, which would substitute for one of the writing assignments in the 6000-level course. Satisfaction of this requirement must be approved by the instructor and the Graduate Director.

Additional PhD Literature Requirements:

  • Demonstrated proficiency in one foreign language
  • A PhD qualifying exam
  • A minimum of 10 dissertation hours (no maximum)

Foreign Language
Before taking the PhD qualifying examination, a student must fulfill the foreign language requirement while enrolled in the PhD program at USF. The student may fulfill this requirement by demonstrating a reading knowledge of a foreign language. English may not be used to fulfill this requirement even for those students for whom English is a second language. Students of early English Literature are strongly encouraged to learn Old English in addition to their one foreign language. Reading knowledge of a foreign language must be demonstrated at the PhD level; work from a previous degree will not satisfy the requirement (although it may enable a student to pass a proficiency examination). Reading knowledge may be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  • Place beyond level IV in a language placement test (administered by the World Languages Department)
  • Earn a “B” or better in the special courses Reading for French, German, or Spanish offered for graduate students;
  • Earn a “B” or better in two semester courses of an intermediate foreign language (i.e., Spanish III and Spanish IV);
  • Earn a “B” or better in a fourth semester foreign language course (i.e., Spanish IV)
  • Earn a “B” or better in a second semester Latin course (Beginning Latin II)

In light of the reduction of the foreign language requirement (from two to one), students are strongly encouraged to pursue a graduate certificate, particularly in Rhetoric and Composition. Work toward a graduate certificate would not need to be completed before the semester when the student takes the PhD exam.

PhD Qualifying Examination
The examination qualifying the student for candidacy for the PhD degree in literature can be taken only after the requirements for course work and foreign language are met. The examination consists of three, three-hour sections written respectively on the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of PhD exam week (usually the ninth week of the semester). Students will be tested in the major field on Days 1 and 2 and in the minor field on Day 3. An oral examination will take place after the written exam has been evaluated by committee.

Students should refer to the PhD Handbook for approved major fields in literature.

When students pass their examination (minimum score of Pass), they are ready to submit paperwork to advance into candidacy.

Dissertation
A student may not register for dissertation hours until officially admitted to candidacy. In order to be admitted, the student must have successfully completed the following steps: finished all class work, fulfilled language requirements, passed the qualifying exam, and established a PhD dissertation committee that has been approved by the Department, College, and Graduate School. This committee should consist of one major professor and three additional members. The graduate student’s first obligation once admitted to candidacy will be preparing a prospectus.

PhD Literature Requirements Prior to Fall 2010

  • ENC 6319 Scholarly Writing for Publication
  • ENG 6009 Bibliography for English Studies
  • ENG 6018 Studies in Criticism and Theory I
  • ENG 6019 Studies in Criticism and Theory II

Additional requirements:

  • A doctoral seminar credit (ENG 7939) attached to two 6000-level courses
  • LAE 7376 Problems in Advanced Composition Instruction
    OR
    LAE 7390 Problems in Advanced English Instruction and Scholarly Research (this requirement may be waived for students who have extensive teaching experience)
  • Demonstrated proficiency in two foreign languages; or one foreign language and one tools-of-research area
  • A PhD qualifying exam
  • A minimum of 10 dissertation hours (no maximum).

Doctoral Seminar Requirement

PhD students are required to take two 6000-level courses in their chosen field of specialty as doctoral seminars. By the second year of PhD coursework, the student should identify the courses to be applied to the seminar requirement. He or she will register for the regular three credit course; additionally the student will register for a one-credit seminar hour that will be taken in conjunction with the approved course. The student should take this 6000-level course in his or her dissertation area with one of his or her major professors. The student should meet with the instructor as soon as he or she has identified this course as a seminar course, and the two should agree in writing on the details of the work to be done for the seminar hour. The graduate program assistant will manage registration for seminar hours. While taking the 6000-level course, the seminar student is expected to do extra work in preparation for writing a dissertation. Namely, he or she could be responsible for teaching or leading a portion of a class on a particular work and writing a 25-30 page essay based in research on material from the class, which would substitute for one of the writing assignments in the 6000-level course. Satisfaction of this requirement must be approved by the instructor and the Graduate Director.

Foreign Language/Tools of Research Requirement

Before taking the PhD qualifying examination, a student must fulfill this requirement by demonstrating a reading knowledge of two foreign languages. English may not be used to fulfill this requirement even for those students for whom it is not a first language. Competency in a foreign language will normally be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  • Place beyond level IV in a language placement test (administered by the World Languages Department)
  • Earn a “B” or better in the special courses Reading for French or German offered for graduate students;
  • Earn a “B” or better in two semester courses of an intermediate foreign language (i.e., Spanish III and Spanish IV);
  • Earn a “B” or better in a fourth semester foreign language course (i.e., Spanish IV)
  • Earn a “B” or better in a second semester Latin course (Beginning Latin II)
  • Alternatively, a student may meet this requirement by demonstrating competence in one foreign language and by demonstrating competence in an additional tool-of-research related to the student's area of specialization. This competency may be demonstrated by completing nine hours of coursework in a second academic discipline. The additional work may be in computer science, history, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, or other approved fields. Since the courses available in these disciplines may vary from time to time, students must obtain the advance approval of the Graduate Director to ensure that the particular courses they intend to take will fulfill the requirement. With the approval of the Graduate Director, students may also fulfill this requirement by attending seminars or special courses at other universities.

Qualifying Exam

After completing 30 hours of coursework, the language and tools-of-research requirements, and all incomplete grades, a student may take the Ph.D. examination. The exam will consist of three, three-hour written sections, the content of which depends on the student's specialization.

Dissertation

A student may not register for dissertation hours until officially admitted to candidacy.  In order to be admitted, the student must have successfully completed the following steps: finished all class work, fulfilled language and tools-of-research requirements, passed the qualifying exam, and established a PhD dissertation committee that has been approved by the Department, College, and Graduate School. This committee should consist of one major professor and three additional members.