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Four Year Plan

The Literature doctoral major requires the following:

  • 27 seminars hours beyond the M.A.
  • Passing the language requirement
  • Passing the Qualifying examinations
  • Filing Prospectus
  • Completion of the Dissertation
Doctoral advising activity is integrated throughout the program.  Ideally, students complete the program in four years: two years of coursework (15 hours or 5 seminars in the first year, 12 hours or 4 seminars in the second year). The following time-line sets out a Teaching Fellow's typical program plan for completion of the degree in four years. If you are not on fellowship, you may speed up the first two years by taking 3 seminars in each of 3 semesters.
Year Time Activities/Benchmarks
1 Fall Term
(1st Semester)
  • Take ENG 76101: "Methods for the Study of Literature"
  • Take 2 other seminars (1st-Year fellows teach 1 course) TFs Only:
    • if you do not have the equivalent, one will be "Teaching College English," or 
    • if you have the equivalent, participate in the Teaching Mentoring program
  • Review Program Requirements for your concentration (Literary Traditions or Literary Theory and Criticism)
  • Review Language Exam documents. Satisfy the language requirement or prepare to do so.  The language requirement must be satisfied prior to taking qualifying exams.
  Spring Term (2nd Semester)

  • Take 2 seminars: review Literary Traditions concentration requirements or Critical Theory concentration requirements, as necessary
2 Fall Term
(3rd Semester)
  • Take 2 seminars
  • Begin assembling Qualifying Exam Committee (3 graduate faculty)
  Spring Term
(4th Semester)
  • Take 1 seminar: take "Individual Investigation: Prospectus"
  • Form Qualifying Examination Committee (2 graduate faculty, who might also serve as Dissertation Committee Members)
  • Develop reading lists and rationales for Qualifying Exams with the advice of your examination committee
  • Begin preparing for Qualifying Examinations
3 Fall Term
(5th Semester)
  • Prepare for and take Qualifying Examinations
  • Enroll for Research or Dissertation I hours; see graduate secretary
  • Form Dissertation Committee
  • Complete Prospectus, meeting with Dissertation Committee throughout drafting process
  Spring Term
(6th Semester)
  • Defend and File a Notification of Dissertation Topic form (by March 1 for consideration for Pringle Fellowships)
  • Enroll for Research or Dissertation I hours; see graduate secretary
  • Continue research and begin drafting dissertation
4 Fall Term
(7th Semester)
  • Enroll for Dissertation II hours
  • Continue to write dissertation
  • Circulate and review chapters as completed
  • Participate in Placement Workships
  • Apply for jobs
  Spring Term
(8th Semester)
  • Enroll for Dissertation II
  • File for graduation early in semester
  • Complete dissertation
  • Dissertation Committee will meet (Preliminary to Defense Meeting)
  • Oral Defense of Dissertation (deadlines for defense and filing vary by semester; spring is typically mid-March, summer mid-July, fall mid-November)