2006 - 2007 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.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic abilities.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

The applicant should have the equivalent of an undergraduate concentration in English with a broad chronological range.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:


Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in English is required.

Statement of Goals:

The statement of goals should be approximately 600-1,000 words in length 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 needed to be accepted: 620 paper-based, 260 computer-based, or 105 internet-based.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should be a literary critical essay, 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 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 coursework requirement for the Ph.D. All transfer students must take English 505 unless they have taken comparable courses elsewhere. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 15.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 48


Required Courses:

English 505: Criticism, Theory, Culture

9 courses in concentrated textual analysis, periodization, genre studies, critical methodologies, rhetoric, advanced research, and pre-1800 literature

4 elective courses

6 credits of dissertation research

Internship: No internship is required.

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

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The preliminary examination, together with successful completion of coursework, should demonstrate special competence in two areas. Students define these areas by writing a protocol and 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 explain how the fields chosen will advance the student's research.

The preliminary examination should be completed within one year of finishing coursework.  The subject areas will be determined, in advance, by the student and the Preliminary Examinations Committee. The exam will normally be taken in two sessions. The questions for each session generally will not exceed seven, from which the student will choose three.  Members of the student's Preliminary Examinations Committee write the questions for the preliminary exam.

The student's Preliminary Examinations Committee will review the examination.  After reading the first part, each reader will complete a comment sheet, assessing its strengths and weaknesses.  No grades will be assigned at that time.  Within two weeks, all comment sheets should be submitted to the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies, who will notify the Chair of the Preliminary Examinations Committee, who is responsible in turn for summarizing the results for the student.  After 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, which will be kept on file in the Graduate Office. The student's Preliminary Examinations Committee will judge the essays on the basis of their demonstrable mastery of the material on the list and their analytical strength. At that time, each committee member will record a final evaluation of Pass with Honors, Pass, or Fail.  The comments on the second part and the final assessment should be given to the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies, who will contact the Chair of the Preliminary Examinations Committee and inform the student of the results.  If the student passes, s/he will move on to the dissertation prospectus stage.  If the student fails, the Chair of the Preliminary Examinations Committee should submit a plan for repeating the examination or some part of it.

Students who are preparing to write their preliminary examinations should confirm a time and date with the Chair of their Preliminary Examinations Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary. The student and Chair will receive confirmation of the time, date, room, and proctor for the examination.

Dissertation 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.


The dissertation should demonstrate the student's ability to conceive, research, and write a scholarly project of at least 150 pages.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee oversees the student's doctoral research and consists 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 her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This Committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory 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.

If a student wishes 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.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Examining 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. After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room for the defense, the student must send to the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form at least 10 working days before the defense. The department will post flyers announcing the defense.

The Dissertation Examining Committee will evaluate the student's ability to express verbally her/his 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.


Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

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



Department Contacts:


Belinda Wilson


Program Coordinator:

Peter Logan



Program Coordinator :

Peter Logan




Shannon Miller


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:


Courses may also be taken at the Center City campus.  Every summer, the department offers an 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 coursework per semester, or the equivalent in supervised teaching, dissertation research, or writing. In special circumstances, the department permits part-time enrollment, but no student is exempt from the guidelines concerning reasonable academic progress toward the degree.

Department Information:

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



Interdisciplinary Study:

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


Affiliations include the Association of the Departments of English and the Modern Language Association.

Study Abroad:

The Rome Seminar in Art and Culture is offered during Summer I at Temple University's Rome campus, the Villa Caproni. This 6-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. Applications 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.


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 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.

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 perform a combination of teaching and other assignments. Applications are submitted along with admissions applications. The department makes funding offers on or before March 31.

Updated 4.10.07