Nov 29, 2023
The Doctor of Philosophy in English is designed to meet the needs of future scholars and writers. The program requires all candidates to have broad knowledge of English and American literature, acquaintance with non-traditional literature, practical and/or theoretical background in the teaching of English, and a specialization in one or more of the discipline’s fields—literature, creative writing, and English education.
Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examinations General Test and forward their scores to the Department of English. Applicants must fill out an application through the Graduate College at www.wmich.edu/apply.
On admission, students should consult with the graduate director at the earliest opportunity concerning their program of study.
For more detailed information, see the English department’s graduate web page: www.wmich.edu/english/academics.
Competitive doctoral teaching assistantships are awarded each year.
Candidates entering with an MA or an MFA are credited with up to 30 hours. Those entering directly from a baccalaureate program will be expected to complete the courses designated as “required” as early as possible in their studies.
1. Required Courses (equivalent courses from other institutions are accepted)
a. For candidates in literature and language or English education (6 hours)
An approved course in the student’s area of specialization.
b. For candidates in creative writing (9 hours)
- An approved course in the student’s area of specialization (i.e., contemporary fiction, poetry, or drama)
- An approved course in modern literary forms
2. Area of Specialization
a. For candidates in English education
- An approved course in Children’s/Adolescent Literature
b. For candidates in creative writing
- Twelve hours of workshops
3. Elective credit
Candidates in literature will take a minimum of 24 hours of elective credit, candidates in English education will take a minimum of 12 hours of elective credit, and candidates in creative writing will take a minimum of 9 hours of elective credit.
4. Cognate or support area (3 hours)
English education candidates must take:
5. Teaching component (6 hours)
a. For candidates in literature and language or creative writing
Six hours of credit elected from courses or practica in the teaching of composition, literature, English language, or creative writing.
b. For candidates in English education
Six hours or graduate practica (ENGL 7130) at least one of which must be in the teaching of English education.
6. Candidacy Examination
After satisfying course requirements, students will take three four-hour written examinations and an oral examination over their chosen areas. These examinations should be completed within three years of admission. May be repeated twice.
7. World Language Requirement
By examination or by completion of coursework students must demonstrate basic reading competence in at least one world language. The world language requirement should be completed prior to taking the candidacy examination.
8. Doctoral Readings and Oral Examination (3 to 9 hours)
Near the completion of course work and before beginning the dissertation, students will take a course of readings designed by the candidate in conjunction with a faculty supervisor. An oral examination over the chosen books will follow.
9. Dissertation (15 hours)
The dissertation is to be a book-length manuscript of scholarship, criticism, research, or creative writing composed of either a single piece of work or a coherent collection of shorter pieces that are methodologically, structurally, or thematically related.