Graduate Programs in Literature

The Graduate Program in Literature brings together scholars, creative writers, and translators who share a commitment to transnational and interdisciplinary approaches to literary study and practice. The MA and PhD programs provide students with a flexible context in which to pursue research across a wide range of literary traditions, critical approaches, and theoretical debates. In addition to coursework in literary studies, students have the opportunity to participate in creative writing and/or literary translation workshops as well as seminars in other disciplines, such as film studies, the history of ideas, philosophy, and the visual and performing arts.

You will find the procedure for applying to the graduate program in Literature here.

Doctor of Philosophy in Literature

The PhD in Literature requires 60 semester credit hours (SCHs) minimum. Click here to access the degree plan template for the PhD in Literature.

Coursework: 42 semester credit hours

Forty-two semester credit hours of which at least twenty-one are taken as organized graduate-level courses in Literature (LIT).

Required Courses: 24 semester credit hours

  • LIT 6300: Proseminar in Literary Studies (must be taken during the first fall semester of enrollment in the program)
  • ARHM 6310: Team-Taught Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • LIT 7300: Writing Workshop (must be taken after the completion of at least 18 semester credit hours of coursework)
  • 15 semester credit hours of organized graduate-level LIT courses (not including “Field Exam Prep”)

Elective Courses: 9 semester credit hours

Nine semester credit hours of electives in any graduate-level courses offered by the School of Arts & Humanities.

Field Exam Preparation: 9 semester credit hours

  • 6 semester credit hours of LIT 8305: Field Exam Preparation
  • 3 semester credit hours of LIT 8305, VPAS 8305, or IDEA 8305

Foreign Language

Students in all PhD programs in the School of Arts and Humanities are expected to demonstrate intermediate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language (equivalent to two years of foreign-language study at the undergraduate level). Students must fulfill the language requirement before scheduling doctoral field examinations.

As part of its approval of a dissertation proposal, the Graduate Studies Committee will consider the appropriateness of a candidate's language preparation for the research or creative project. Faculty members chairing field examinations and dissertations should ensure that students possess the necessary language proficiency to carry out their proposed doctoral research.

Click here for more information related to satisfying the language requirement.

Doctoral Field Examinations

The doctoral field examinations consist of three written sections and an oral defense. The examining committee, composed of three members of the faculty (at least two of whom are faculty in the Literature Program), oversees definition and preparation of the three examination fields.

Initial committee formation must take place during the semester in which students complete thirty-six semester credit hours of coursework, which will typically be followed by nine semester credit hours of LIT 8305: Field Exam Preparation. Exams normally should be completed before the completion of 60 semester credit hours.

Dissertation

Students are formally advanced to PhD candidacy when they have successfully completed the doctoral field examinations and received final approval for dissertation topics. Students should submit a preliminary dissertation proposal for consideration during the oral section of the doctoral field examination. After that examination, a four-person supervising committee is formed, normally from the examining committee plus an additional faculty member, to oversee dissertation work. The supervising committee must then approve a formal dissertation proposal before the student submits it to the Graduate Studies Committee for final approval.

Each candidate then writes a doctoral dissertation, which is supervised and defended according to general University regulations.

Master of Arts in Literature

The MA in Literature requires 33 semester credit hours (SCHs) minimum. Click here to access the degree plan template for the MA in Literature.

Coursework: 33 semester credit hours

Thirty-three semester credit hours of which at least eighteen semester credit hours are taken as organized graduate-level courses in Literature (LIT).

Required Courses: 21 semester credit hours

  • LIT 6300: Proseminar in Literary Studies (must be taken first fall semester of enrollment)
  • ARHM 6310: Team-Taught Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • 15 semester credit hours of organized graduate-level LIT courses

Elective Courses: 12 semester credit hours

12 semester credit hours of electives in any graduate-level courses offered by the School of Arts & Humanities

Professional Option

Students in the professional option must complete thirty-three semester credit hours of coursework. They are not required to complete a portfolio or meet the foreign language requirement.

Research Option

Students in the research option must complete thirty-three semester credit hours of coursework, fulfill a foreign language requirement, and complete a portfolio.

Foreign Language

The research option MA degree requires demonstrated proficiency in an approved foreign language. Click here for more information related to satisfying the language requirement.

Portfolio

Two research papers or a creative project plus a scholarly essay originating in or completed for graduate courses are revised and presented in a portfolio for evaluation by a master's committee.