2012 - 2013 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

English, Ph.D.



Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: December 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:

A master's degree is not required.

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:

Both the GRE General Test and the GRE Subject Exam in Literature are required. Verbal and subject test scores are the most important. A low score does not exclude an applicant from consideration, if other application materials are strong.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 105 iBT or 620 PBT.

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 ENG 9001 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:

ENG 9001:  Introduction to Graduate Study

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

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 protocol is an explanation and justification of the two reading lists in terms of professional aims. It demonstrates competence in generally recognized areas of teaching and scholarship and explains 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 are determined, in advance, by the student and the Preliminary Examinations Committee. The exam consists of a written and an oral component. The written exam is normally

taken in two sessions. The questions for each session generally do not exceed seven, from which the student chooses three. Members of the student's Preliminary Examinations Committee write the questions for the preliminary exam. The one-hour oral exam follows within three weeks of the written exam, and is conducted by the Preliminary Examinations Committee.

All members of the Preliminary Examinations Committee read the entire written examination and issue a grade of Pass or Fail. The essays are judged on the basis of their demonstrable mastery of the material on the list and their analytical strength. If two members of the committee grade the exam as failed, the student does not pass the written examination. Students failing the exam retake the entire exam no later than the following semester. Students who fail the written examination twice are dismissed from the program. After passing the written exam, the student proceeds to a one-hour oral exam. The oral must be held no more than three weeks after taking the written examination. At the oral, students should demonstrate their competence in both exam fields. They have the opportunity to discuss their written essays. The exam must be graded Pass or Fail. If the student fails the oral exam, it may be retaken once no later than the following semester. Students who fail the oral examination twice are dismissed from the program. If in the committee’s opinion the student’s combined performance on both the written and oral exams is exceptionally meritorious, the committee may acknowledge this by including the designation Preliminary Examinations Honors.

Students who are preparing to take 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 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 arranges 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 evaluates the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications.  The Committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of English

1020 Anderson Hall

1114 Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090



Department Contacts:


Sharon Logan



Director of Graduate Studies:

James Salazar




Joyce A. Joyce


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 the Rome Seminar in Art and Culture.

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 Polett Walk
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 hold tenure-track positions at colleges and universities. A smaller number are non-tenure track faculty, and some work in publishing, foundations, 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 in such locations as California, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin.


Not applicable.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are restricted from taking English courses.

Financing Opportunities

Students are encouraged to apply for a Teaching Assistantship, which includes 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 by December 15. The department makes funding offers on or before March 31.

Updated 2.12.13