Four Year Plan

The Literature doctoral major requires the following:

  • Methods of Literary Study (3 hours)
  • 27 seminars hours in a selected Focus, either "Literary Traditions" or "Theory and Criticism"
  • 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, one of which is "Methods";  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.

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)
  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, with probable major advisor as Instructor for Spring "Individual Investigation: Prospectus"); contact Graduate Secretary to request Individual Investigation form, which must be completed for Spring registration).
  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; contact graduate secretary
  • Continue research and begin drafting dissertation
4 Fall Term (7th Semester)
  • Enroll for Dissertation I hours
  • Continue to write dissertation
  • Circulate and review chapters as completed
  • Participate in Placement Workshops
  • 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)