|THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG|
|Table of Contents > College of Arts & Sciences|
6.8 DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH (EN)
Chairperson: Professor Catherine Davies, Office: 105 Morgan Hall
Graduate Director: Professor Fred Whiting, Office: 225 Morgan Hall
The department offers programs leading to the master of arts, the master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages (Applied Linguistics/TESOL), the master of fine arts in creative writing, and the doctor of philosophy.
Applicants for graduate work in English are required to take the Graduate Record Examination general test and the writing test. Each applicant should submit a sample of his or her critical writing (normally an essay of 10–20 pages written for an upper-level English course or an excerpt from a senior thesis). Unconditional admission to the MA degree program in English is dependent upon the student's having satisfied the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School. Conditional admission may be allowed under the stipulations outlined in the general admission policy of the Graduate School. Application materials should be received by January 2 to ensure full consideration for admission for the following fall term; applications received after January 2 will be reviewed for admission, but they may not meet the deadlines for fellowship or assistantship consideration.
Additional information for all degree
programs in the Department of English is in the
Criteria section of this catalog.
With the exception of students admitted into the master's program to pursue a concentration in Renaissance studies, composition-rhetoric, or applied linguistics /TESOL (requirements for those programs follow), all candidates for the master's degree are required to take a total of 30 credits, including the following: 3 hours in bibliography and research (EN 537 Introduction to Graduate Studies, which is normally offered every fall and which students are encouraged to take in their first semester, for maximum benefit); 3 hours of critical theory (EN 535 Literary Criticism, EN 536 Advanced Modern Criticism, or EN 635 Seminar in Literary Criticism); and 3 hours of composition pedagogy (EN 532 Approaches to Teaching Composition). All master's students must take at least three courses at the 600 level. Students not writing the thesis (Plan II) will take 6 credits of electives to acquire the 30 credits for completion. Students writing a thesis (Plan I) will take 6 thesis hours. Students with teaching assistantships must take the summer practicum before their first semester of service and the practicum courses EN 533 and EN 534 during the year in which they begin teaching.
Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog for all programs in the Department of English.
Plan I (thesis plan) students must complete at least 24 semester hours of coursework in English before writing the thesis, which must be a historical, critical, or otherwise analytical treatise. Thesis-plan students must take 6 semester hours of thesis research (EN 599) in addition to their 24 hours of coursework for a total of 30 hours. At least three of these courses must be at the 600 level. For additional information regarding the master's thesis in English, visit the departmental website and contact the director of graduate studies in the English department.
Plan II (non-thesis plan) students must take at least 30 semester hours of coursework in English. At least three of these courses must be at the 600 level. See the course requirements for all master's students cited above. During the fourth semester of the program, students must pass a written comprehensive examination as their “capstone experience.” See details below.
Degree requirements for the MA in English with a concentration in Renaissance studies. Students admitted as candidates for the master of arts in English with a concentration in Renaissance studies are required to take the following: 3 hours in bibliography and research (EN 537 Introduction to Graduate Studies); 3 hours of critical theory (EN 535 Literary Criticism, EN 536 Advanced Modern Criticism, or EN 635 Seminar in Literary Criticism); 3 hours in medieval literature; 3 hours of Shakespeare (EN 566); 3 hours of non-Shakespearean Renaissance literature (either EN 565 Renaissance Drama or EN 563 Studies in 16th-Century English Literature); 3 hours in interdisciplinary coursework subject to the approval of the Strode committee; 3 hours of a Renaissance seminar; 3 hours in the Shakespeare in Performance Practicum (a course offered every other spring, in years when there is not a Strode seminar); and 3 hours of composition pedagogy (EN 532 Approaches to Teaching Composition). Each student pursuing this concentration must also take 3 courses at the 600 level. A student writing a thesis (Plan I) will take 6 thesis hours (EN 599) and in consultation with the director of the Strode Program, drop 3 hours of coursework from his or her Renaissance concentration.
Degree requirements for the MA in English with a concentration in Composition, Rhetoric, and English Studies (CRES). Students admitted as candidates for the master of arts in English with a concentration in composition-rhetoric are required to take the following for a total of 30-32 hours: 3 hours in bibliography and research (EN 537: Introduction to Graduate Studies); 3 hours of writing workshop (EN 538: Research and Critical Prose Workshop); 3 hours in EN 620 or other linguistics; 3 hours in EN 532: Approaches to Teaching Composition; 3 hours in history of composition-rhetoric (EN 638: History of Rhetoric-Composition Part I or EN 658: History of Rhetoric-Composition Part II); 3 hours in EN 512: Computers and Writing; 12 hours in approved general electives; and (for teaching assistants) 2 hours in teaching practicum (EN 533/534). Students must take at least three courses at the 600-level. A student writing a thesis (Plan I) will take 6 thesis hours (EN 599) and in consultation with the field advisor, drop 6 hours of coursework from his or her concentration. A student not writing a thesis (Plan II) will satisfy the graduation requirement by completing EN 538 with an oral defense of the paper generated in that course.
Master's comprehensive written exam. The master's comprehensive written exam is designed to be a “capstone experience” for the student. During the third semester of the program (fall semester of the second year), each student must propose four questions based on his or her coursework, along with a list of courses taken and papers written for them, to the MA Exam Committee. The committee, composed of the Graduate Faculty, will rewrite the questions for each student for the exam, which will be scheduled immediately after spring break in the student’s final semester of the program. The student will choose two of the four questions and devote one and a half hours to each question. Exams will be expected to display a fluent and grammatically correct prose, organizational cogency making for clarity of presentation, an ability to analyze texts impressively, and a certain conceptual sophistication in framing arguments. The exams will be graded as Distinction, Pass, or Fail. A student will be allowed to retake the exam before the end of the semester in the event of a failure.
Foreign language requirement. A reading knowledge of one foreign language is required. The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by one of the following: (a) the certification through the appropriate department of a "B" average or the equivalent of two years of undergraduate- or graduate-level study in a single foreign language, completed within five years of admission to the master's program; or (b) passing the foreign language reading examination prepared by the Department of Modern Languages and Classics; or (c) completing a specially-designed two course sequence (Fall + Spring) in either French, Spanish, or German, for the purpose of reading comprehension. Students who are not native speakers of English may use their native language to fulfill this requirement. Students may petition their program director and/or the Graduate Studies Director for exceptions to these guidelines.
Requirements for the MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Applied Linguistics/TESOL) Degree
A candidate for admission to the MA-TESOL degree program must satisfy the minimum conditions for regular admission to the Graduate School (including a grade point average of 3.0 overall and an acceptable score on the general test of the Graduate Record Examination). Each applicant must also submit a sample of his or her academic writing. In addition, those who are not native speakers of English must submit a TOEFL score of at least 100 (iBT) or 600 (PBT); and must submit an audiotape demonstrating their speaking proficiency in English. For those who took the PBT TOEFL, scores on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and Test of Written English (TWE) are also desirable as part of the application. Students may be required to take appropriate courses in speaking and writing at the English Language Institute. Application materials should be received by January 2 to ensure full consideration for admission for the following fall term; applications received after January 2 will be reviewed for admission, but they may not meet the deadlines for fellowship or assistantship consideration.
Students will be required to complete 30 semester hours for the degree: 24 hours of required courses and 6 hours of department-approved electives or of thesis research.
Students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination at the end of their coursework; the examination is normally given once a year, in February. The examination will cover all the major areas of study.
An optional thesis may be written under the guidance of the TESOL faculty. Please see the Graduate School’s general requirements for the master's thesis, outlined under Degree Requirements earlier in this catalog.
To earn the degree, native speakers of English must demonstrate proficiency in a second language; students whose native language is not English must demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in spoken and written English.
For further details about the program, visit the departmental website and contact the coordinator of the Applied Linguistics/TESOL program.
Requirements for the MFA Degree in
Requirements for the PhD Degree in English
In addition to the Graduate School 's general requirements for the PhD degree, the Department of English has the following specific requirements:
Admission. Applicants for admission to the PhD program in English are required to take the general test and the written test of the Graduate Record Examination. Each applicant must submit a sample of his or her critical writing (normally an essay of some 20 pages written for a course, or a portion of a master's thesis) and must normally have a grade point average of 3.5 or better for his or her master's courses or equivalent graduate work. Application materials should be received by January 2 to ensure full consideration for admission for the following fall term; applications received after January 2 will be reviewed for admission, but they may not meet the deadlines for fellowship or assistantship consideration.
Courses. There is a minimum requirement of 30 hours beyond the master's degree (earned here or elsewhere), of which no more than 15 hours can be at the 500 level. To meet University requirements, doctoral students must have 48 credit hours. This means that 18 credit hours earned at the master's level must be formally transferred and applied to the requirements for the doctoral degree. Only credit earned during the six-year period preceding admission to the doctoral program may be considered for transfer. If a student's master's degree is more than six years old at admission, therefore, that student may have to complete up to 18 additional hours of coursework. (See the Transfer of Credit section for doctoral degrees under Degree Requirements in this catalog.) Doctoral students whose work at the master's level does not meet the course distribution requirements of the department's MA program (see Requirements for the MA Degree in English) may be required to complete those distribution requirements with courses taken toward the PhD in addition to their regular coursework. Twenty-four hours of dissertation research are also required.
To be admitted formally to candidacy for the PhD degree, all students must receive a pass in EN 637 Workshop in Academic Writing, which will normally be taken in the final year of coursework.
Foreign languages. The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by one of the
following options (with the understanding that students may petition their program director and/or the Graduate Studies Director for exceptions to these guidelines):
A reading knowledge of two foreign languages: This reading knowledge can be demonstrated by either of the following: (a) the certification of at least a "B" average or the equivalent in two years of study of a single foreign language completed, as either an undergraduate or graduate student, within five years of admission to the PhD program; or (b) passing the foreign language reading examination prepared by the Department of Modern Languages and Classics; or (c) completing a specially-designed two course sequence (Fall + Spring) in either French, Spanish, or German, for the purpose of reading comprehension. The language used to satisfy the MA language requirement—whether gained here or at another school—can satisfy one of the languages required for the PhD program. Students who are not native speakers of English may use their native language as one of the two required languages.
Advanced proficiency in one foreign language: Advanced proficiency can be demonstrated by (a) an undergraduate major in the language completed within five years of admission to the PhD program; (b) the certification of at least a "B" in two advanced literature courses (300-level or higher) taught in the foreign language. Students who are not native speakers of English may use their native language to fulfill this requirement.
Preliminary examination. After finishing coursework, the student must apply to the Graduate School for Admission to Candidacy for the Doctoral 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. The written preliminary examination will be given at a date agreed upon by the student and his or her examination committee in consultation with the director of graduate studies. The oral conference concerning the dissertation prospectus can be scheduled after the student passes the written examination, when the student and dissertation director agree that the prospectus is ready (date to be arranged by the student in consultation with the graduate studies director and the dissertation committee). The examination and conference will be governed by the following guidelines:
A. Written preliminary examination (see specific procedures for rhetoric and composition): The written preliminary examination will be of two to four hours in duration in the field or genre of the dissertation. The examination committee will consist of three faculty members from the English department chosen by the student for their expertise in the field. The precise nature of the examination—its length, the type and number of the questions to be asked and answered—will be negotiated between the student and the committee. The fields and genres from which students normally choose the examination specialty include the following:
Fields: Old and Middle English, Renaissance (including Shakespeare), 17th century, Restoration/18th century, 19th-century British, modern British, early American, late American, rhetoric and composition.
Genres: drama, fiction, poetry, intellectual prose, literary theory (e.g., deconstruction, new criticism, new historicism, psychoanalytical criticism).
At the beginning of the semester prior to the semester in which the written preliminary examination is to be taken, the student—working with his or her committee—will formulate a reading list of 30–40 works from which questions will be drawn.
The purpose of the written preliminary examination is to demonstrate competence in the student's area of specialization.
Students who fail the written preliminary examination may take it a second time. Students who fail the examination a second time will not be allowed to continue doctoral work.
B. Dissertation prospectus conference and dissertation defense: The conference concerning the dissertation prospectus will be a one-hour discussion between the student and his or her dissertation committee. Generally, that committee will be composed of the dissertation director, plus three other graduate faculty members from the department and one graduate faculty member from outside the department.
The conference will focus on both the soundness of the prospectus and the student's readiness to undertake the research and writing of the dissertation. The purpose of the conference is to help the student begin the writing of the dissertation, to identify areas of potential difficulty, and to prepare the student for the project that lies ahead.
Once the written preliminary examination has been passed and the dissertation prospectus conference completed, the student and his or her dissertation committee must complete an application to candidacy and submit it to the Graduate School. The graduate studies director will notify the Graduate School that the written preliminary examination has been passed and the dissertation prospectus conference completed.
Once the prospectus conference is completed, then the student may proceed to the dissertation. The dissertation defense consists of an oral defense of the dissertation before four English department graduate faculty members (including the director) and an external graduate faculty member. Normally, the members of this committee are those faculty members who formed the dissertation prospectus conference committee. They will be appointed by the director of graduate studies in consultation with the student, who will have a clear understanding with the faculty members involved of whether they will be able to read the dissertation and conduct the final oral examination during summer months or during sabbatical leave if necessary. Faculty members have the prerogative to serve on a committee when they are not teaching; it is the student's responsibility to schedule investigation, writing, and examination in time periods acceptable to members of the committee. All five members of the dissertation committee must have time to read and analyze the dissertation before the oral examination on the dissertation; final approval of the dissertation must be received at least six weeks before graduation.
Teaching experience. All candidates for the PhD degree are required to have college or university teaching experience in English composition or literature before they graduate. Teaching assistants in all programs must enroll in EN 532 Approaches to Teaching Composition, unless they have taken the course or its equivalent previously. They must also complete the summer practicum before their first semester of service and enroll in EN 533 and EN 534 during their first year of teaching service.
Admission to the doctoral program with a BA degree. Those who wish to apply for admission directly to the doctoral program after completing a BA in English must have shown superior aptitude for English at the undergraduate level and satisfy the Graduate School’s normal requirements for admission.
The PhD (except for CRES; see below) consists of 48 hours of coursework. Twenty-four of those hours are required. The first 24 hours must be satisfied by coursework specified below in section A. While completing those 24 hours, the student will be given an oral examination, passage of which determines whether the student continues in the program.
A. The first 24 hours: 3 hours in bibliography and research (EN 537 Introduction to Graduate Studies, which is normally offered every fall and which students are encouraged to take in the first semester, for maximum benefit); 3 hours of critical theory (EN 535 Literary Criticism, EN 536 Advanced Modern Criticism, or EN 635 Seminar in Literary Criticism); and 3 hours of composition pedagogy (EN 532 Approaches to Teaching Composition).
See description above for the comprehensive written exam.
B. The second 24 hours: These hours will consist of elective
courses, except for
Academic Writing. To be formally admitted to candidacy for the PhD
degree, all students must receive a pass in this course, which will
normally be taken in the final year of coursework.
CRES (Composition, Rhetoric, and English Studies) Degree Requirements. The CRES PhD Specialization requires 48 hours of coursework, 24 dissertation hours, 2 hours of teaching practicum (for teaching assistants), and successful completion of the written and oral components of the CRES exam. Students who have prior graduate degrees or coursework may transfer up to 18 hours.
A. The CRES curriculum: CRES students must take 12 hours of core English requirements: 3 hours in EN 537: Introduction to Graduate Studies, 3 hours of critical theory (normally EN 535, 536, or 635), 3 hours in EN 538: Research & Critical Prose Workshop, and 3 hours in EN 637: Workshop in Academic Writing. Students must take 15 hours in core CRES requirements: 3 hours in EN 532: Approaches to Teaching Composition, 3 hours in EN 652: Theories of Teaching Composition, 3 hours in EN 653: Composition-Rhetoric Research Methodology, 3 hours in the history of composition-rhetoric (EN 638 or EN 658), and 3 additional hours in either EN 512: Computers and Writing or an additional history (EN 638 or EN 658). Students will take 9 hours in CRES electives, 9 hours in approved general electives, and 3 hours in linguistics (EN 620: English Linguistics or other). Students who have a teaching assistantship will take EN 533 and EN 534.
B. The CRES preliminary examination. A doctoral student wishing to write a dissertation in CRES must pass both the written and oral components of the preliminary examination. The written preliminary examination for candidates in CRES will be four hours in duration and will require candidates to respond to two of four topics prepared according to the guidelines available in the office of the CRES director.
If the candidate passes the written preliminary examination, the CRES faculty will conduct an oral examination of the candidate at the first convenient opportunity for both the candidate and the faculty. For the oral examination, the candidate will be responsible for material from all four topics—the two not covered on the written examinations as well as the two that were. Candidates intending to write a dissertation in composition studies must pass the oral examination. Students who fail the written preliminary examination may take it a second
time. Students who fail the examination a second time will not be allowed to finish doctoral work.
C. CRES dissertation and prospectus defense. CRES students who have passed the preliminary examination are free to form a dissertation committee consisting of a director from the CRES faculty, three other faculty members of the English department, and a faculty member from outside the department. The candidate's dissertation prospectus must be approved by his or her dissertation committee and then defended in an oral examination conducted by this same committee. (For more information, see the description for the dissertation and prospectus under the general PhD requirements above).
D. Other requirements: Of the 48 hours taken, 24 must be at the 600 level.
The foreign language requirements, written and oral preliminary examination requirements, dissertation and dissertation research hour requirements are the same for students who enter with a BA and those who enter with master’s degrees.
Graduate Credit for 500-Level Courses
Graduate students enrolled in 500-level courses that are also offered at the 400 level are expected to perform extra work of an appropriate nature. Graduate credit will not be granted at the 400 level.
Time Limit for All Degrees
All requirements for the MA, MA in Applied Linguistics / TESOL, and MFA degrees must be completed within six years. The PhD degree must be completed within seven years from the time of admission to the doctoral program. Students enrolling in the BA to PhD program have eight years in which to complete their degrees.
Writing: Special Topics.
Recent topics have included "American Madness:
the Literary Figurations of Unreason"; and Thoreau, Dickinson, and related
EN 660 Seminar in Old English Literature.
EN 661 Chaucer.
Three hours. The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, and selected minor poems.
Includes advanced study of Chaucer's language and the 14th-century milieu.
EN 662 Middle English Literature Exclusive of
Chaucer. Three hours.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG