2003 - 2005 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

English, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated together, after the deadline has passed.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with academic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

A student should have the equivalent of an undergraduate concentration in English with broad chronological coverage.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:


Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

Yes. English.

Statement of Goals:

The statement of goals should be approximately 600-1,000 words and should include the following: your research goals, your particular interest in the Temple English Graduate program, and your future goals.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Verbal and subject tests are the most important scores. A low score does not exclude an applicant from consideration, if other application materials are strong.

The GRE Subject Exam in Literature is required.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 620 on the paper-based test or 260 on the computer-based test.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should be an essay on literary criticism, not a piece of creative writing. It should represent the work that you want to continue in graduate school as well as the abilities you are bring to the program. The writing sample should be approximately 12-15 pages in length.

Advanced Standing:

Students who have earned graduate credits or a master's degree in English from another institution can transfer a maximum of 15 credits toward the course work requirement for the Ph.D. All transfer students must take Eng. 505 unless they have taken comparable courses elsewhere. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 15.

Program Requirements

Campus Location:

Students may take courses at the Main and Center City campuses. Also every summer, the department offers the Art and Cultural Seminar in Rome.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

In order to be certified as full-time, a student must engage in at least 9 hours of course work per semester, or the equivalent in supervised teaching, dissertation research, or writing. In special circumstances, the Department permits part-time enrollments, but such students are not exempt from the guidelines concerning reasonable academic progress toward the degree.

General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 48


Required Courses:

English 505: Criticism, Theory, Culture

8 courses in concentrated textual analysis, periodization, genre studies, critical methodologies, rhetorics, and advanced research.

5 elective courses.

6 credits of dissertation research.

Language Examination: Students must demonstrate either a reading knowledge of 2 foreign languages or superior knowledge of one.

Students must pass a preliminary examination after coursework, write and orally defend a dissertation.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The preliminary examination, together with successful completion of course work, should demonstrate special competence in two areas. Students define these areas by writing a protocol and by constructing two reading lists, one for each area. The examinations are taken in two separate parts. The protocol is an explanation and justification of the two reading lists in terms of professional aims. It will demonstrate competence in generally recognized areas of teaching and scholarship and how the fields chosen will advance the student's research.

Subject Areas/Major Components of the Preliminary Examination.

The subject areas will be determined, in advance, by the student and the Dissertation Advisory Committee. The examination will normally be taken in two sessions. The questions for each session generally will not exceed seven, from which the student will choose three.

At what point in the program is the student expected to take the preliminary examination?  The preliminary examination should be completed after approval of the protocol and reading list; usually one year after completion of coursework.

Writing the Questions for the Preliminary Examination. The members of the student's Dissertation Advisory Committee write the questions for the preliminary examination.

Evaluating the Preliminary Examination. The examination will be read by the student's Dissertation Advisory Committee. After reading the first part, each reader will complete a comment sheet, assessing its strengths and weaknesses. No grades will be assigned at this time. After the reading the second part of the examination, the committee will assess the second part and the examination as a whole, referring to the comments on the first part. At that time, each committee member will record a final evaluation of Pass with Honors, Pass, or Fail.

Criterion for Passing the Preliminary Examination.  The student's dissertation committee evaluates the preliminary examination and judges the essays for both analytic and scholarly expertise.

Administering, Scheduling, and Proctoring the Preliminary Examination.  Students who are preparing to write their preliminary examinations should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Advisory Committee Chairperson and register with the Graduate Secretary. The student and Chairperson will receive confirmation for the time, date, room, and proctor for the examination.


Dissertation Advising Committee Information.  The Dissertation Advising Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least three Graduate Faculty members. Two members, including the Chair, must be from the English Department. Committee compositions must be approved by the department's graduate committee. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of his or her academic progress.

Dissertation Examining Committee Information. The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advising Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the English Department. The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student will defend the dissertation.

Advisor/Committee Information. If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the department's Graduate Executive Committee and registered with the Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School.

Dissertation/Monograph Philosophy. The dissertation should demonstrate the ability to conceive, research, and write a scholarly project of at least 150 pages.

Philosophy of the Proposal. The dissertation proposal should identify the key issues to be investigated, demonstrate an awareness of the relevant scholarship in the field, and supply a detailed outline of the proposed dissertation.

Criterion for Passing the Dissertation and the Defense. The Committee will evaluate the student's ability to express verbally his or her research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. The Committee will vote to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

Dissertation Defense. Scheduling Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Advisory Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 15 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Secretary will arrange the time, date, and room.

Announcing the Dissertation Defense. After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room, for the defense, the student must send to the Graduate School (501 Carnell Hall) a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form at least 10 working days before the defense. The Department will post fliers announcing the defense.


Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of English
1020 Anderson Hall
1114 W. Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090



Department Contacts:


Belinda-Wilson Hagins


Program Coordinator:


Graduate Chairperson:

Peter Logan




Susan Wells


About the Program

The English program at Temple enjoys a high reputation for teaching and research in both traditional and innovative areas of literary history, as well as in literary criticism. Temple University is the only public university in the Philadelphia area offering a doctoral concentration in rhetoric and composition. The graduate program prides itself on providing students with the advantages of studying at a Research I institution in a diversity-filled urban environment.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Students may take courses at the Main and Center City campuses. Also every summer, the department offers the Art and Cultural Seminar in Rome.

Department Information:

Dept. of English
1020 Anderson Hall
1114 W. Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090




Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The Literature faculty is unusually productive in both emerging and traditional areas of literary scholarship. The doctoral program provides options for intensive study in critical theory, cultural theory, film theory, women’s studies, minority literatures, and in interdisciplinary methods. Traditional areas of study include renaissance, eighteenth century, nineteenth century, modern and contemporary literature, and rhetoric and composition.

Job Placement:

The majority of graduates from 2000-2005 hold tenure-track positions at colleges and universities. A smaller number are non-tenure track faculty, and some work in publishing, foundation, or corporate positions. Graduates tend to find placement in the Northeast, in a way that shows the program continuing to serve and enrich the region, as it has traditionally done. But increasingly, the program's graduates have taken jobs outside the region: California, Ohio, New York, and Wisconsin. (Figures are accurate as of April 2005).


Not applicable.

Interdisciplinary Study:

Students are encouraged to engage in serious interdisciplinary projects and to work closely with a faculty engaged in research and publications projects that take them regularly into the areas of history, psychology, philosophy, the arts, and non-print media.

Study Abroad:

The Rome Seminar in Art and Culture is offered during Summer I at Temple University's Rome campus, the Villa Caproni. This six-credit graduate seminar is designed to bring together the disciplines of aesthetics and cultural studies. In its interdisciplinary thrust, the seminar is intended to serve as a foundation for advanced study in the human sciences and to reflect the most current trends of thought in post-modern culture. Applicants are from advanced undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students in fields such as literature, film studies, philosophy, art, and social theory. The seminar entails an intensive program of classwork, field trips and guest lectures. The city of Rome is used extensively as a resource. Accommodations can be arranged in a Temple student Residenza, or students can make their own living arrangements in advance. All classes are taught in English.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are restricted from taking English courses.

Financing Opportunities

Students are encouraged to apply for teaching awards, which include a tuition waiver and a stipend for the nine months of the academic year. Conditions of the award are determined by the graduate student union contract with Temple University and currently require recipients to do a combination of teaching and other assignments. Applications are submitted along with admissions applications. The department makes funding offers on or before March 31.