PhD in Literary Studies

  • Eight additional semester-long courses at the 400 and 500 level—These, selected in consultation with a faculty advisor, either focus on the proposed field of specialization and allied fields--in English or in other disciplines--or fill gaps in the student's background.
  • Professional Seminar (593) in the Teaching of Rhetoric (if not already satisfied at the M.A. level)
  • Students who would like to be eligible to teach lower-level literature or film courses should take a Professional Seminar (593) in theTeaching of Literature or Film or act as a teaching assistant for two semesters in a large lecture course. 
  • The Language Requirement (if not already satisfied at the M.A. level at Illinois) may be satisfied by demonstrating a reading knowledge of another language in one of the following five ways:
    • Completing the equivalent of three full years of undergraduate work;
    • Passing a proficiency exam administered by a UIUC foreign language department;
    • Passing a non-credit 501 language course with a grade of B or higher;
    • Fulfilling the Old English course sequence of ENGL 407 and ENGL 514 (on an Old English topic) with a B or higher; or
    • In consultation with the DGS, pursuing a plan of study to fulfill an alternative competency in a language such as Tagalog, Hmong, ASL, or computer programming (this list is not meant to be exhaustive).
  • Completion of a Special Field Examination (oral, written, or both)—The exam, administered by a committee of four faculty members selected by the student in consultation with an advisor and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, is based upon the student's approved Special Field list of primary and secondary sources, including a discussion of its rationale and relation to the proposed dissertation topic. For more information on preparing for the exam, see Advice for Special Field Exams.
  • Completion and two-hour oral defense of a dissertation—Students working on their dissertations are eligible for fellowship support or released time from teaching. All students in good standing and making good progress will ordinarily receive at least one semester free from teaching. A few students receive a year or more of fellowship aid to work full-time on their dissertations.