Literature Program

PhD Program Requirements


The PhD program requires 48 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree, including

  • 18 hours of approved graduate-level coursework transferred in from a master’s program (only credits earned in the last six years will be considered)
  • 30 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree (earned here or elsewhere)

Doctoral candidates will also complete 24 hours of dissertation research and two hours of teaching practicum (EN533/534). To be formally admitted to candidacy for the degree, students must pass EN 637: Workshop in Academic Writing, which is normally taken in the final year of coursework.

Visit the UA Graduate Catalog for information about the PhD program, including degree and course requirements.

Language Requirement

PhD students must demonstrate reading knowledge of one foreign language.

Exam and Dissertation

After finishing coursework, the student must be formally admitted to candidacy for the degree. To meet this requirement, each student must pass a written preliminary examination, and engage with his or her dissertation committee in a one-hour conference concerning the dissertation prospectus.

Once the prospectus conference is completed, the student may proceed to the dissertation.

View our Exam and Dissertation page for information on the preliminary exam and dissertation prospectus.


Doctoral candidates are required to have college or university teaching experience in English composition or literature. All teaching assistants must enroll in EN 533/534: Teaching College English during their first year of service.