"My English degree is the foundation of my career. If you can write, you can do anything."
~ Jimmy Daly
"My professors taught me how to think creatively, read analytically and write persuasively. "
~ Michael A. Iannucci
"My studies provided a solid background in literature and honed my critical skills for my own writing."
~ Catherine Carter
"I made lifelong friends and I got my butt kicked intellectually. I’m eternally grateful for both."
~ Alexander Long
"The friendship and support of my mentors helped me to grow tremendously as a writer."
~ Erinn Batykefer
"I became an Assistant Editor in less than two years with my English degree."
~ Rachel A. Gearhart
"I use my English degree to advocate for my clients. The program helped me become a better writer & thinker."
~ Mary Akhimien
"I honed my writing & research on diverse issues of the human condition, focusing on ethics and civic justice."
~ Brian Byrd
"An education in the humanities helps to render the world into a language that is profound, mysterious & complex."
~ Rachel Eliza Griffiths
"My internships & editorial work at UD prepared me for a challenging but ever-rewarding career as a reporter."
~ Wallace McKelvey
"My job demands perfection when it comes to grammar, accuracy and objectivity, and it needs to happen fast."
~ Matt O'Donnell
"I found my passion for counseling students and helping them stay on track to attend college."
~ Sara Linton
"I got a great job teaching 9th grade English and film studies and will soon pursue my master's degree."
~ Kelly Emery
"Taking a variety of English courses allowed me to master and teach the modes of discourse to my own students."
~ Danielle Allen
"I secured my job prior to graduation at a UD teacher job fair. "
~ Melissa Paparozzi
See a flow chart of the PhD degree here.
The language/skills requirement must be fulfilled in order for a PhD student to move to candidacy status.
The Teaching Portfolio
One of the unique strengths that each of our graduate students enjoys on the job market is the depth and diversity of their teaching portfolios. Rather than serving as a grader or an assistant to a professor's class, the courses that our graduate students teach are emphatically their own: they design the syllabi, choose the reading lists, set the calendar, create the assignments, and do the grading.
We also guarantee each graduate student the opportunity to teach at least one literature class related to the student's area of specialization. In order to prepare students for teaching in the literature classroom, we require that they complete a Graduate Apprenticeship in Teaching Literature. This involves "shadowing" a faculty mentor for a semester in a literature course, from syllabus design to the end of the semester. Among the literature courses that our students have taught are survey courses in British and American Literature, Introduction to Shakespeare, Biblical and Classical Literature, and Approaches to Literature.
Each student must submit a teaching portfolio as part of the PhD teaching review. This portfolio will include:
During January and February of the second year all students will be required to take a qualifying exam to continue in the program. The exam consists of two parts: first, students will submit a revision of one of their seminar papers in the field of study that they wish to pursue. This essay may also reflect the student's interest in one of the Research Tracks. The second part will be an oral examination in which the student will respond to questions about the essay and demonstrate their mastery of the essential texts in their chosen field. A field can be constituted as a historical period, national literature, genre, or other broad framework that the student wishes to continue to study. For a more detailed account of the Qualifying Exam procedures see Appendix B. Students may not continue their Ph.D. studies if they do not successfully complete the Qualifying Exam. Instead, they may submit a Portfolio to be considered for an MA (see Appendix C of the Graduate Handbook).
Specialty ExaminationThe Specialty Examination must be taken at the conclusion of the sixth semester of Ph.D. work. All students are required to pass a Specialty Examination consisting of two parts: (1) a 20-page bibliographical essay; and (2) a 90-minute oral field examination. The student must submit the bibliographical essay for approval by the examiners no later than May 1st of the academic year in which the exam will be taken. Any student who is not prepared to take the Specialty Exam within this time period must petition the Graduate Director in writing for an extension. Any student who fails to take the Specialty Exam within the extension period will be recommended for dismissal from the program. See Appendix D for a description of the exam format.
Doctoral Project Proposal
Dissertation or Doctoral Project
The doctoral project could take any number of forms including a traditional dissertation (monograph), a digital or public humanities project, a new edition of a text, a series of thematically related essays, or an interdisciplinary project. Regardless of the form that it takes, the project should draw on the student's training and coursework to incorporate the skills of textual interpretation and/or formal analysis to explore a specific cultural, political, or social question. The final project should include an introductory essay, in which the student demonstrates its logic, need, and contribution to literary and cultural studies. We invite students to develop new kinds of projects that will serve them in a variety of possible careers upon completion of the Ph.D. (see Appendix G of the Graduate Handbook).
Upon completion, and in accordance with the university requirements, students will defend the doctoral project. The defense will be a 90-120 minute discussion with the student's committee members of the major methodological, conceptual, literary historical, and formal questions addressed by the project. The defense will be open to the public.
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