About the Ph.D. in English

The Ph.D. Program in English at UCI is especially noted for its strength in critical theory and literary history.  The English Ph.D. Program addresses all aspects of the literatures in English throughout the world. We have designed our Ph.D. programs to be as flexible as possible, in order to allow students to customize their course work and their Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations to fit their own intellectual interests. As a result, we have very few fixed requirements in order to allow each student’s course of study to be shaped in close consultation with faculty mentors. Students are encouraged to take seminars in other programs to gain experience of various forms of critical theory and its history. In addition to the emphases in Critical Theory, Feminist Studies, Asian American studies, Visual Studies, and Rhetoric, the PhD faculty and students participate jointly in research clusters.  These clusters change as faculty and students interests converge and diverge; at present they include:

Students may enter the graduate program in English with either a B.A. or an M.A. degree. Fifteen courses are required for the Ph.D. After completing nine courses and the language requirement, students take their M.A. examination, which consists of a committee discussion of a revised seminar paper and extensive academic advising. Students proceed to the Ph.D. by taking an additional six seminars and choosing a four-person examination committee for their qualifying examination. The qualifying examination tests students on works listed under three different categories: a primary field, which should be the student’s field of professional specialization; a secondary field that complements or supplements the primary field; and theory and/or criticism. The examination itself consists of written and oral parts. After advancing to candidacy following successful completion of the Ph.D. qualifying examination, students write a dissertation under the supervision of a three-person dissertation committee, which they select.

To view more information about the Ph.D. Program in the Department of English, go to the Graduate Program section of the current UCI General Catalogue.