University General Course Catalog 2015-2016 
    
    Oct 16, 2019  
University General Course Catalog 2015-2016 ARCHIVED CATALOG: LINKS AND CONTENT ARE OUT OF DATE. CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISOR.

English, Ph.D.


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I. Contact Information


Valerie Fridland, Graduate Program Director
fridland@unr.edu
(775) 784-6689

Departmental Website:
http://www.unr.edu/cla/engl/graduate_program/0_graduate_overview.html

II. Brief Introduction


The Ph.D. program is designed for students preparing to be teachers and scholars at universities and community colleges. Two emphases are offered within this selective degree program: literature and rhetoric and composition.

  • The literature emphasis offers an individualized course of study in English or American literatures; students take comprehensive examinations on their selected period, genre, topic, and major author or work.
  • The rhetoric and composition specialization includes coursework in rhetorical history, composition theory and practice, advanced imaginative writing, rhetoric and criticism, and other areas in English studies.

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes


Declarative Knowledge: broad knowledge of several of the historical fields in, literary genres of, and major critical approaches to British, American, and World Literatures in English; or, broad knowledge of writing studies issues and methodologies; or, broad knowledge of linguistics issues and methodologies. Students will demonstrate specialized competence in the primary and secondary literature of an appropriate specialized sub-field of literature or writing or language.

IV. Admission Requirements


Applicants to the Ph.D. program must hold an M.A. in English or a closely related field with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Potential applicants without an M.A. in English should talk with the Director of Graduate Studies before applying to determine whether their graduate work is comparable to that expected. 

V. Program Requirements


Students design their programs of study following departmental guidelines in consultation with their advisory committees, complete comprehensive examinations in their fields of specialization, and pursue original research resulting in a dissertation of publishable quality. High proficiency in one foreign language (the equivalent of six semesters of college-level coursework), proficiency (the equivalent of four semesters) in two languages, or proficiency in one foreign language and in linguistics and language studies is required. Students in the program are strongly encouraged to participate in professional activities, including academic conferences. Thirty-one units of 700-level coursework are required. One unit of comprehensive examination (ENG 795  ) is required and is allowed to fulfill the 700-level requirement.

A. Literature Emphasis


The Ph.D. Literature emphasis is designed for people planning to pursue careers in scholarship and teaching at the college or university level. It is a rigorous but flexible emphasis in which individual programs of study are shaped through negotiation between the Ph.D. student and his or her advisory committee. Students in the program are strongly encouraged to participate in professional activities, including academic conferences.

i. General Requirements


General doctoral degree requirements.

ii. Course Requirements


a. Research Methods:

ENG 711 , Introduction to Graduate Study, is required and must be taken at the first opportunity; it is customarily taught each fall semester. Students who have had a graduate-level research methods course at another university should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies to see whether that course fulfills this requirement

b. Elective Courses:

The Ph.D. Literature emphasis does not require a specific core of courses. Rather, the student and his or her advisory committee plan a course of study, considering the student’s prior course work, primary areas of interest, planned examination fields, and long-term professional aspirations.

iii. Comprehensive Examination


Each student in the Literature emphasis will take comprehensive exams in four areas: period, genre, topic, and author or major work. The format for taking the exam is determined by the student and his or her advisory committee. Exams, which are open book, are offered in two formats: the student may write the exams in four areas in four hours each, over the span of a few days, or they may take one full day for writing each of the four exams. In either case, the questions will be designed to take about four hours to write. Students also, in consultation with their committees, may elect to write a formal paper in lieu of one exam. This paper will be based on a reading list very similar to the one used otherwise for the exam.

a. Period: Periods may be selected from the following list: Old English, Middle English, Renaissance to 1600 (including all of Shakespeare), seventeenth-century British (including all Shakespeare), eighteenth century British, nineteenth-century British, twentieth-century British, American to 1890, American since 1890, or a field of linguistics or philology to be defined by the student and his or her advisory committee. Students will be expected to be familiar with the literature, the literary history, and the intellectual history of the chosen period.

b. Genre: Genres may be selected from the following list: poetry, drama, fiction, intellectual prose, or a field of linguistics or philology to be defined by the student and his or her advisory committee. Students will be expected to know the major theories pertaining to their chosen genre, and the literature within their genre in the historical periods immediately preceding and immediately following their period of specialization.

c. Topic: The topic is a theme or focus selected by the student in consultation with his or her advisory committee. Normally this topic is suggested by the anticipated dissertation. The following list suggests the range of possibilities for the topic exam: feminist criticism, the elegy, rhetoric, stage history, literature and science, genre fiction, literary theory, Western American literature.

d. Major work or author: The major work or author will normally be chosen from the period and genre of specialization selected by the student, and will be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisory committee.

The written comprehensive examinations will be followed by an oral examination, as described under General Requirements. The student must register for ENG 795 , Comprehensive Examination, one credit, the semester he or she will be completing the oral exam.

iv. Dissertation Defense (final oral examination)


After the dissertation has been accepted by the candidate’s advisory committee, the committee will conduct an oral examination dealing with the dissertation and related topics. The defense will be approximately one and one-half to two hours in length.

Click here for a checklist of degree requirements for the Ph.D. English, Literature emphasis.

B. Rhetoric and Composition Emphasis


The PhD Rhetoric and Composition emphasis is intended for people planning to pursue careers in scholarship, teaching, and program administration at the college or university level. The emphasis offers a core of work in rhetoric and writing theory, coupled with focused study in other fields of English language and literature, with possibilities for interdisciplinary study as well.
Students in the program are active in professional activities of various kinds, e.g., publishing, participating in conferences, and serving as interns in community agencies, educational institutions, or businesses.

i. General Requirements


General doctoral degree requirements.

ii. Course Requirements


a. Required Course:

ENG 730 , The Craft of Writing, or a comparable course at the MA level, is required and should be taken at the first opportunity. It is customarily offered each fall semester.

b. Core Courses:

ENG 731 , Research in Composition and Rhetoric; either ENG 733 , Classical through Medieval Rhetoric, or 739 , Renaissance through Contemporary Rhetoric; and ENG 735 , Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition, are required of all students.

c. Elective Courses in Composition and Rhetoric:

In consultation with the advisory committee, each student plans a program of study in composition and rhetoric courses. These courses are to be selected from the following list: ENG 600A , 600B , 601B , 603A , 603B , 604A , 604B , 606A , 607B , 608B , 608C , 609A , 609C , 675B , 705 , 728 , 729 , 732 , 733 , 734 , 736 , 737 , 738 , 739 , 758, 778 . If approved by the student’s advisory committee, related course work may be taken in the College of Education, the School of Journalism, and such departments in the College of Liberal Arts as Anthropology, Psychology, and Speech/Theater.

d. Additional Area:

The student also develops expertise in another area, typically in a field of literature or language, but with interdisciplinary study possible as well.

e. Internship:

The student will complete a practicum or internship approved by the committee, including applied work in the field, documentation of that experience, and writing a paper and participating in a public forum discussing the implications of the internship. The internship may be taken for credit as ENG 736 .

iii. Comprehensive Examination (written)


Working closely with the advisory committee, the student will prepare a comprehensive examination portfolio. The student will work on the portfolio throughout his or her time in the program. Some materials will be drawn from the student’s ongoing coursework and professional development; others will be written expressly for the portfolio.
The comprehensive examination portfolio should cover the areas of research, teaching, and administration. Working together, the student and the advisory committee will determine the exact contents of the portfolio (there will be some flexibility according to the student’s career path and related areas of expertise). The following model illustrates the range, quantity, and quality of work to be included.

Research/Writing Practice:

- a bibliography of texts (including course readings and readings beyond coursework) compiled in consultation with the advisory committee
- an essay focused on an issue of professional interest that works toward a synthesis of several titles on the bibliography
- a researched article that has been submitted for publication
- samples of conference presentations
- samples of other professional writing
- reflective commentary on materials included in this section of the portfolio

Teaching/Administration:

- a substantial, current, polished statement of teaching philosophy
- four short papers that pursue focused study of pedagogical or administrative problems and involve research into how the problems have been and might be addressed (e.g., review of theoretical or observation-based studies, practical approaches, teacher-research)
- the written version of the student’s internship project
- samples of syllabi from courses that the student has taught or proposed
- sample materials from administrative work (e.g. workshop handouts from Core Writing Coordinatorship, tutoring hints from Writing Center, program designs)
- reflective commentary on materials included in this section of the portfolio

Additional Area of Expertise:

- a written examination, paper, or syllabus/course preparation, as determined by the advisory committee (syllabus/course preparation must involve research, development of a new syllabus, and a substantial course rationale)

Approval of the Portfolio:

The comprehensive examination portfolio must be reviewed, revised as necessary, and approved by the student’s advisory committee prior to scheduling the oral examination. The committee’s approval will rest on its members’ holistic, cumulative evaluation of how well the portfolio demonstrates:
- comprehensive coverage in the field’s histories, theories, and pedagogical practices
- development in understanding of the field’s fundamental professional practices
- fluent and substantial engagement with the field’s central issues and critical sense of future research needs in the field (historical, theoretical, practical, and/or observation-based)
- reflexivity of practice in the field’s central inquiries and activities
- critical sense of rhetorical situations (audiences, purposes, forums) for knowledge-making in the field
- growing expertise in a specialized area of inquiry that leads to dissertation research

iv. Comprehensive Examination (oral)


After the portfolio has been approved, an oral examination will be scheduled. The advisory committee will conduct an oral review of the student’s work in the comprehensive examination portfolio, not to last more than two hours, as described under PhD General Requirements. This examination will focus on the bibliography, the synthesis essay/article, and other aspects of the portfolio as determined by the advisory committee. The student must register for English 795, Comprehensive Examination, one credit, the semester he or she will be completing the oral exam.

v. Dissertation Defense (final oral examination)


After the dissertation has been accepted by the candidate’s advisory committee, the committee will conduct an oral examination dealing with the dissertation and related topics. The defense will be approximately one and one-half to two hours in length.
Click here for a checklist of degree requirements for the PhD English, Rhetoric & Composition emphasis.

VI. Total Units (73 units)


Up to 24 units from an M.A. may be approved to count towards the degree.

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