2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Nov 13, 2019  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog

English Major, PhD


The PhD in English at UT combines breadth of study throughout the field of English with advanced work in various specialties. Students choose to pursue a PhD in one of three concentrations: Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies; Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics; or Creative Dissertation.

We have a world-class research library with special collections in British and American literary and cultural history, excellent financial support, and a nationally and internationally recognized faculty. Our students have many opportunities for collaboration with faculty through research and editorial assistantships, as well as informally through reading groups, poetry and fiction readings, and seminars with the Departments’ many visiting speakers.

We provide generous travel funds for research and for presenting at scholarly and creative work at conferences. The Graduate Students in English organization draws students together as an intellectual and social community with shared passions and aspirations. Many of our PhD graduates have gone on to tenure-track positions at research universities, comprehensive universities, and liberal arts colleges, as well as to postdoctoral fellowships and visiting appointments.

Concentrations (Required)

Creative Writing
Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies
Rhetoric, Writing and Linguistics

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • A prospective student may contact the Office of Graduate Admissionsfor application procedures or may review them on the Graduate Admissions website. For additional information, please visit the Graduate Studies in English pages through the Department of English website.
  • The Department of English does not accept students in non-degree or provisional status. A student who wishes to enter the department must apply in degree-seeking status for his/her application to receive consideration for admission to any graduate program in English.

Academic Standards

  • In all course work, students must normally maintain a 3.50 GPA.
  • Foreign Language Proficiency for all doctoral students: Candidates, regardless of concentration, must successfully complete the language requirement in one of the following ways:
    • Proficiency in two foreign languages. The DGS must approve the two languages.  The requirement for each language may be fulfilled in any of the following ways:
      • Completion of French 302 or German 332 with a grade of B or better.
      • Completion at the University of Tennessee or at a previous institution of any two semester courses at the 300 level or above in the foreign language or literature with at least a grade of B in each course.  If this option is chosen, all work must be done in the language (not in English translation) and must have been completed within five years of matriculation in the PhD program.
      • Passing the regular PhD foreign language examination as administered at the University of Tennessee. The foreign language examination is offered three times a year, during the Fall, Spring, and Summer. If students wish to be examined in a language that is not regularly offered by the Graduate School, they must make the case to the DGS that this language is pertinent to their dissertation.
      • Completing an undergraduate major or minor in a foreign language, whether the work is done at the University of Tennessee or elsewhere.  As in option b), work completed in the major or minor must be in the foreign language (not in translation) and must have been completed within five years of matriculation in the PhD program.
      • Completion of American Sign Language 111, 112, 211, and 212 at the University of Tennessee, or equivalent courses taken elsewhere.  While this option is intended primarily for students in the Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics concentration, students in other concentrations may petition the DGS for permission to use this option if they have competence in ASL and/or long-term professional goals related to its use.
    • Mastery of one foreign language. This requirement must be fulfilled in the following way: a passing grade on the language examination given by the University of Tennessee (see above) and completion of two semester courses given in the foreign language at the 400 level or above, including at least one course at the 500 or 600 level. A minimum grade of B must be received in each course.
    • Proficiency in one foreign language and intense study of the English language. This requirement must be fulfilled in the following way:
      • Completion of any of the five items under Proficiency in two foreign languages noted above;
      • Completion of ENGL 508  and ENGL 509  with a minimum grade of B in each course (one other course in the English language taught at the University of Tennessee could, with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, be substituted for one of these courses; a minimum grade of B must also be earned in that course).
        • PLEASE NOTE: the sequence of ENGL 508-509 is given only in alternate years. These courses will not count toward the minimum number of courses for the PhD if they are taken to fulfill the language requirement.  Moreover, anyone electing this language option may not take a PhD comprehensive examination in English language and linguistics.

Creative Writing

The PhD in English with a Creative Dissertation offers outstanding writers the opportunity to pursue a professional program that emphasizes both creative writing and English studies. Students, with the guidance of our excellent creative writing faculty, compose original creative work that culminates in a book-length manuscript. Students will complete all the degree requirements for the PhD and will be prepared to pursue university professorships.

Credit Hours Required

  • 78 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 54 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • A student must successfully complete a program of study, normally 8 to 10 full semesters as outlined below, approved by the candidate’s committee or the Director of Graduate Studies in English.
  • ENGL 600  (24 credit hours) Doctoral Research and Dissertation is required.
    • These represent the research for and writing of the dissertation. The research and dissertation will be directed by a faculty member of the department and approved by a doctoral committee of three or four other faculty members.
  • At least 54 credit hours beyond the BA (of which at least 30 credit hours must be beyond the MA), selected in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee, include at least
    • 21 credit hours at the 600-level
    • At least 15 credit hours at the 500-level or above (only 3 credit hours of ENGL 593  may be applied toward the MA and 6 credit hours after the MA)
    • A 3 credit hour course in teaching composition, ENGL 505 ; and
    • At least one Creative Writing course at the 600 level (ENGL 686  or another by petition).
    • At least three Creative Writing courses at the 500 level. These include ENGL 580 ENGL 581 , and ENGL 582  .  (ENGL 463 ENGL 464 , and ENGL 484  may be taken by special petition only.)

Non-Course Requirements

  • See Academic Standards (above) for Foreign Language Proficiency
  • A first-year review conducted at the end of the first year of PhD course work.
  • A comprehensive examination which may be divided as the department directs (see the English Department Graduate Studies web pages). The comprehensive examination is given twice a year, normally in February and September. Before a student may take it, he/she must have completed all required course work. A student must also have met all requirements for foreign languages before beginning the first part of the examination.
  • A one-hour examination on the dissertation and other related areas is required.
  • Two consecutive semesters as a full-time student are required. For students not on teaching assistantships, full-time consists of 9 or more credit hours of course work and/or dissertation credit hours each semester. For students on assistantships, full-time consists of at least 6 credit hours of courses and/or dissertation credit hours and 3 credit hours of teaching each semester.

Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies

The Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies PhD program builds on the department’s historic strength in literary studies.

The Department supports and values work in a wide range of fields, including British and American literary traditions, medieval studies, ethnic literatures, postcolonial and world literatures, critical theory, textual studies, film and queer and gender studies.

With interdisciplinary groups such as the Marco Institute; the twentieth century CAAS group; and the Race, Ethnic Studies, and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies group, PhD candidates have many resources on which to draw in their studies. Candidates are encouraged to take responsibility for a broad range of material while choosing a research focus that prepares them for advanced work in the field of English.

Credit Hours Required

  • 78 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 54 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • ENGL 600  (24 credit hours) Doctoral Research and Dissertation is required.
    • These represent the research for and writing of the dissertation. The research and dissertation will be directed by a faculty member of the department and approved by a doctoral committee of three or four other faculty members.
  • A student must successfully complete a program of study, normally 8 to 10 full semesters as outlined below, approved by the candidate’s committee or the Director of Graduate Studies in English.
  • At least 54 credit hours beyond the BA (of which at least 30 credit hours must be beyond the MA), selected in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee, include at least
    • 21 credit hours at the 600-level
    • At least 15 credit hours at the 500-level or above (only 3 credit hours of ENGL 593  may be applied toward the MA and 6 credit hours after the MA)
    • A 3 credit hour course in teaching composition, ENGL 505 ;
    • At least two courses in literature before 1800.
    • At least two courses in literature after 1800.
    • At least one course in methodology, research, or theory.
    • NOTE: These requirements may be satisfied with coursework from the MA degree.

Non-Course Requirements

  • See Academic Standards (above) for Foreign Language Proficiency
  • A first-year review conducted at the end of the first year of PhD course work.
  • A comprehensive examination which may be divided as the department directs (see the English Department Graduate Studies web pages). The comprehensive examination is given twice a year, normally in February and September. Before a student may take it, he/she must have completed all required course work. A student must also have met all requirements for foreign languages before beginning the first part of the examination.
  • A one-hour examination on the dissertation and other related areas is required.
  • Two consecutive semesters as a full-time student are required. For students not on teaching assistantships, full-time consists of 9 or more credit hours of course work and/or dissertation credit hours each semester. For students on assistantships, full-time consists of at least 6 credit hours of courses and/or dissertation credit hours and 3 credit hours of teaching each semester.

Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics

In the Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics Concentration, students develop their particular interests and research agendas in the history of rhetoric, rhetorical and writing theory, critical theory, composition research and pedagogy, literacy studies, technical communication, socio-linguistics, and second language acquisition. The program encourages interdisciplinary perspectives that make connections with other areas of English studies.

The concentration in RWL is designed to foster innovative and imaginative as well as rigorous scholarship and teaching. To that end, the core curriculum invites students to work across a broad range of RWL areas, including the history of rhetoric, theories of rhetoric and writing, critical theory, composition research and pedagogy, literacy studies, technical communication, applied linguistics, and second-language acquisition.

Credit Hours Required

  • 78 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
  • 54 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • ENGL 600  (24 credit hours) Doctoral Research and Dissertation is required.
    • These represent the research for and writing of the dissertation. The research and dissertation will be directed by a faculty member of the department and approved by a doctoral committee of three or four other faculty members.
  • A student must successfully complete a program of study, normally 8 to 10 full semesters as outlined below, approved by the candidate’s committee or the Director of Graduate Studies in English.
  • At least 54 credit hours beyond the BA (of which at least 30 credit hours must be beyond the MA), selected in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee, include at least
    • 21 credit hours at the 600-level
    • At least 15 credit hours at the 500-level or above (only 3 credit hours of ENGL 593  may be applied toward the MA and 6 credit hours after the MA)
    • A 3 credit hour course in teaching composition, ENGL 505 ; and
    • ENGL 585 ENGL 586 ENGL 682 .
    • One 600-level elective course from the Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics curriculum.
    • One elective course in Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics at either the 500- or 600-level.

Non-Course Requirements

  • See Academic Standards (above) for Foreign Language Proficiency
  • A first-year review conducted at the end of the first year of PhD course work.
  • A comprehensive examination which may be divided as the department directs (see the English Department Graduate Studies web pages). The comprehensive examination is given twice a year, normally in February and September. Before a student may take it, he/she must have completed all required course work. A student must also have met all requirements for foreign languages before beginning the first part of the examination.
  • A one-hour examination on the dissertation and other related areas is required.
  • Two consecutive semesters as a full-time student are required. For students not on teaching assistantships, full-time consists of 9 or more credit hours of course work and/or dissertation credit hours each semester. For students on assistantships, full-time consists of at least 6 credit hours of courses and/or dissertation credit hours and 3 credit hours of teaching each semester.