3220 English

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Arts in English
    • Concentration in Literary Studies
    • Concentration in Creative Writing
    • Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
    • Concentration in Fiction
    • Concentration in Poetry
  • Doctor of Philosophy in English
    • Concentration in Literary Studies
    • Concentration in Creative Writing
    • Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition

923 General Classroom Building
404/413-5800
E-mail: cthomas@gsu.edu
www.english.gsu.edu

Randy Malamud, Chair
Audrey Goodman, Associate Chair
Calvin Thomas, Director of Graduate Studies
Tanya Caldwell, Associate Director of Graduate Studies
Jody Brooks, Assistant of Graduate Studies

The Department of English offers the Master of Arts (M.A.), the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The M.A. and Ph.D. degree programs provide concentrations in literary studies, creative writing, and rhetoric and composition; the M.F.A. degree program allows students to concentrate in either poetry or fiction. The M.A. degree program usually requires two to three years of study, including coursework and a thesis, and prepares students for further graduate study or for careers in writing, editing, technical communications, research, or business. The M.F.A. and Ph.D. degree programs prepare students to write, to teach at the college level, and to conduct scholarly research. The M.F.A. degree usually requires three to four years of study, including coursework, examinations, and a substantial creative thesis. The Ph.D. degree usually requires four to six years of study, including coursework, examinations, and a dissertation. In addition to its course offerings in British, American, and Transnational Literatures, as well as literary theory, folklore, rhetoric, composition, technical/professional writing, and creative writing, the department provides opportunities for training in scholarly and textual editing through several long-term publishing and editing projects.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of English by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above.

Transfer Credit

No more than six semester hours or two courses of graduate work completed at another accredited college or university and approved by Georgia State University may be applied to a graduate degree in English. All transferred coursework must correspond to courses offered in the Georgia State Department of English. Such transferred coursework must have a grade of B (3.0 grade-point average) or higher.

Financial Aid

Students interested in scholarships and student loans should consult the Office of Student Financial Aid. The Department of English currently provides financial support primarily in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships, which carry full tuition waivers. Graduate Teaching Assistantships are available on a competitive basis to a limited number of M.F.A., Ph.D., and second-year M.A. students with superior qualifications (the Department cannot fund M.A. students in their first years). The Paul Bowles Graduate Fellowship, the Virginia Spencer Carr Graduate Fellowship, and the Scholarship Endowment in Creative Writing are awarded to entering fiction writing students who have been admitted to the M.F.A. or Ph.D. program. Again, Graduate Teaching Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis, and admission alone to any graduate program in English does not automatically guarantee funding. Further information and application forms are available from the Department of English.

Grades

Throughout their coursework students must maintain a B average or higher. Only those courses in which students earn an A or a B will be credited toward a degree.

Academic Warning and Dismissal

A graduate student whose cumulative grade-point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 at the end of any semester will receive a warning from the associate dean for Graduate Studies the College of Arts and Sciences. At the end of the next 18 hours of enrollment, the student must achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA, or the College of Arts and Sciences will dismiss the student.

Non-Degree and Transient Student Admission

Students may be admitted on a non-degree status only if classroom space is available. Preference will be given to degree students. Students must complete an application, submit two transcripts of all previous college or university work, and provide a list of courses they wish to take. Only six credit hours earned while on non-degree status may later be applied to degree programs. Transient students must reapply each semester.

Further Information

Application forms and information about the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and other materials are available at english.gsu.edu/graduatewww.cas.gsu.edu/grad.html. If you have any questions about graduate studies in English, please call 404/413-5808 to make an appointment to see the Director of Graduate Studies or write to the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30302-3970.

Master of Arts

The Department of English offers four master’s degree programs:
  1. Master of Arts, Concentration in Literary Studies;
  2. Master of Arts, Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition;
  3. Master of Arts, Concentration in Creative Writing; and
  4. Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (M.F.A.).

Admission

Applicants should be aware that admission is competitive and that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the M.A. program. Before entering the program a student must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a major in English or its equivalent from an accredited college or university with at least a B average (3.0) in the undergraduate major. The Department of English admits students to its graduate programs only in the fall semester of the academic year. The Director of Graduate Studies in English will consider only complete admission files. Applicants are responsible for seeing that their admission files are complete by the deadlines for admission published in the current edition of this catalog. All application materials should be sent to the Office of Graduate Services:

Georgia State University
College of Arts & Sciences
Office of Graduate Services
75 Poplar Street, Suite 800
P.O. Box 3993
Atlanta, Georgia 30302-3993

The applicant should supply the following materials:

  1. A statement of purpose that includes a brief explanation of what the student hopes to accomplish, a clear indication of which degree program the applicant is seeking admission to, and (if the applicant has not yet completed a bachelor’s degree) an indication of the term in which the applicant expects to receive the degree;
  2. Competitive scores (no more than five years old) on the general GRE test;
  3. Official transcripts of all previous college or university work;
  4. Two letters of recommendation sent directly from persons who testify to the applicant’s ability to do graduate work (copies of the required forms are available in the Office of Graduate Services, College of Arts and Sciences, in the Department of English or on the application website);
  5. A critical writing sample of approximately eight to twelve pages. The critical sample is not required for the Creative Writing M.A. or M.F.A.
  6. Applications for the M.A., Concentration in Creative Writing, and the M.F.A. program must also contain the following:  a portfolio consisting of a minimum of 10 poems; or 2 or 3 stories totaling no fewer than 30 and no more than 50 pages.  One of the 2 or 3 fiction samples may be an excerpt of a longer work (novel, novella, etc.), but we ask that you send at least one complete, stand-alone example of your short fiction. On the first page of the creative sample, the applicant should list her or his name, email address, phone number, and program she or he is applying to (MFA Fiction, MFA Poetry, MA Fiction, MA Poetry.)

The M.F.A. is a more rigorous and substantial degree than the M.A. with an emphasis in creative writing. Only students whose portfolios show exceptional promise will be admitted to the M.F.A. program. The Master of Arts in English, Concentration in Creative Writing is appropriate for those prospective students who wish to complete a non-terminal degree, and can also serve as an initial graduate degree for those who plan to continue their work at the doctoral level.

Registration and Advisement

Approximately one week before registration begins, the Office of the Registrar will post registration time-ticket assignments on the web and students can find out the date and time of their registration by entering the GoSOLAR website. The Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English will act as adviser to all entering M.A. students. Students are responsible for making appointments with the Director of Graduate Studies for advisement and for being familiar with the requirements for their degree as set forth here. Students are encouraged to select a faculty adviser early in the program.

Foreign Language

Candidates for the M.A. degree must demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language or proficiency in an approved research skill in order to complete the degree program. Students who choose French, German, or Spanish may meet this requirement by achieving a Level 2 pass in the chosen language of the CLEP Examination (College Level Examination Program, administered monthly by the University’s Testing Service). Students who choose these and other foreign languages may also meet this requirement by passing the foreign language reading proficiency examination offered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, or by receiving a grade of B or higher in an appropriate foreign language course at the level of 2002 or higher taken during the M.A. program. Foreign language courses taken during the undergraduate or post baccalaureate enrollment may not be used for the second option, though they should enable the student to pass one of the proficiency examinations. Foreign language reading courses that use only English translations of foreign language texts are not applicable at any time. Alternative research skills are approved by the Director of Graduate Studies in English.

Time Limit

All requirements for a master’s degree must be completed within seven years.

Master of Arts, Concentration in Literary Studies

This program requires completion of 30 credit hours (10 courses), plus 6 hours of thesis credit, and a critical thesis (40-60 pages excluding notes and reference material) approved by a thesis committee consisting of a director and two other faculty members.

Coursework

In the interests of facilitating broad historical and disciplinary coverage across the areas of language, literature, and culture, the following courses are required:

  1. ENGL 8000 Bibliography and Research Methods (should be taken in the first semester);
  2. ENGL 8001 M.A. Proseminar (should be taken in the second or third semester);
  3. Six hours composed of courses in language study (8090 History of the English Language; 8210 Old English; 8250 Middle English; 8230 American English); literary theory (8060 Literary Criticism; 8065 Foundations of Modern Critical Theory; 8070 Contemporary Literary Theory); or Folklore (6020, 6100, 6110, or 8200), in any combination (note: M.A. students considering pursuing the Ph.D. in English at Georgia State University should consult area 3 in the doctoral program course requirements before deciding how to fulfill this requirement);
  4. Nine hours literature before circa 1800;
  5. Nine hours literature after circa 1800;
  6. Upon approval by the Director of Graduate Studies, up to six hours of electives may be substituted for any two courses from areas 3, 4, and 5 above. Electives may be English Department courses or may be taken in a related field or fields of study);
  7. Six hours of 8999 (Thesis Research).

Thesis

It is the student’s responsibility to select a topic and to find a faculty member who will direct the thesis and two others who will serve on the thesis committee. Only members of the graduate faculty may direct theses.

The semester before beginning to write the thesis, M.A. students must submit a written prospectus for approval by their thesis committee. The prospectus should include the following:

  1. A description of the subject, including a statement of the way the proposed approach to the subject differs from, contributes to, or modifies the existing scholarship on the subject;
  2. A description of the proposed method of treatment and an account of the research necessary to complete it; and
  3. A preliminary bibliography, including a discussion of the availability of materials.

The thesis must conform in all matters of documentation to the most recent edition of The MLA Style Manual. The Office of Graduate Services of the College of Arts and Sciences has specific standard requirements for format. The student is responsible for conforming to those standards. The thesis must be between 40 and 60 pages in length, excluding notes and reference material. By the time the thesis is completed, a student must have registered for at least six hours of English 8999 (Thesis Research).

Master of Arts, Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition

Candidates for the M.A. with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition must satisfactorily complete 30 hours of graduate coursework (10 courses), plus 6 hours of thesis research credit, and a substantial (40–60 pages excluding notes and reference material) academic paper or a digital media project approved by a thesis committee consisting of a director and two other faculty members. More information about the rhetoric and composition program is available at www.rhetcomp.gsu.edu.

Coursework

The following courses are required:

  1. ENGL 8125 Writing and Research Methodology (should be taken in the first semester, if possible, and at the latest, the semester before writing the thesis), ENGL 8170 Classical Rhetoric: Greek, ENGL 8120 Writing for Academic Publication (ProSeminar), and 8180 Composition Theory;
  2. Twelve additional hours of rhetoric and composition courses, technical communication and strongly related courses;
  3. Six hours of electives (may be taken in any related fields of study);
  4. Six hours of 8999 (Thesis Research).

Thesis

Thesis research may involve digital and workplace projects as well as textual studies, and the thesis can be a substantial (40–60 pages) academic paper or a digital project with approval of the director. The proposal for thesis research must be submitted and approved by the student’s committee the semester prior to writing the thesis.

Foreign Language Requirement

Candidates for the M.A. with an emphasis in rhetoric, composition, and technical and professional writing are expected to demonstrate fluency in one foreign language or to have received a grade of B or higher in both ENGL 8121 (Rhetoric of Digital Media) and ENGL 8123 (Digital Media Production).

Master of Arts, Concentration in Creative Writing

For a comparison between this program and the M.F.A. program, see the section on the M.F.A. More information about the creative writing program is available at workshop.gsu.edu.

Coursework

Candidates for the M.A., Concentration in Creative Writing must satisfactorily complete 27 hours of graduate coursework, including

  1. 12 hours of  either ENGL 8020 or ENGL 8030 depending on the program to which the student was admitted;
  2. Either ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft), ENGL 8201 (Contemporary Poetry), or ENGL 8202 (Contemporary Fiction Craft);
  3. Six hours of 8999 (Thesis Research).

Thesis

The creative writing thesis must contain at least 35 pages of poetry or 60 pages of fiction. It must include an introduction or an afterword in which the student discusses his or her approaches, styles, methods, and influences. By the time the thesis is completed, a student must have registered for at least six hours of English 8999 (Thesis Research).

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The requirements for completion of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing are more demanding than for the M.A. in English, Concentration in Creative Writing. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a terminal degree that prepares students to write and to teach. It is also the degree that provides students an excellent foundation if they choose to continue their graduate work at the doctoral level. Upon attaining the M.F.A. degree, students will have acquired a productive specific knowledge of their chosen genre/area of specialization (either poetry or fiction). More information about the creative writing program is available at workshop.gsu.edu.

Coursework

Fiction Writers:

The M.F.A. student must complete satisfactorily at least 48 hours of graduate coursework. Any student who receives more than one C during his or her program will be dropped from the M.F.A. program. The coursework must include the following:

  1. Fifteen to twenty-one hours of ENGL 8030 (Fiction Writing) (must be completed while enrolled in degree program);
  2. Fifteen to twenty-one hours of English and American literature and/or folklore;
    36 hours are required for Areas 1 and 2 combined.
  3. Three hours of ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft) in fiction;
  4. Three hours of ENGL 8202 (Contemporary Fiction Craft); and
  5. Six hours of 8999 (Thesis Research)

All required courses must be taken at Georgia State University.

Students who enter the M.F.A. program with an M.A. in English or creative writing must satisfy a different set of course requirements totaling 36 hours:

  1. Fifteen to eighteen hours of ENGL 8030 (Fiction Writing) (must be completed while enrolled in degree program);
  2. Six to nine hours of English and American literature and/or folklore;
    24 hours are required for Areas 1 and 2 combined.
  3. Three hours of ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft) in fiction;
  4. Three hours of ENGL 8202 (Contemporary Fiction Craft); and
  5. Six hours of ENGL 8999 (Thesis Research).

All required courses must be taken at Georgia State University.

Poets:

The M.F.A. student must complete satisfactorily at least 48 hours of graduate coursework. Any student who receives more than one C during his or her program will be dropped from the M.F.A. program. The coursework must include the following:

  1. Fifteen to twenty-one hours of ENGL 8020 (Poetry Writing) (must be completed while enrolled in degree program);
  2. Twelve to eighteen hours of English and American literature and/or folklore;
    33 hours are required for Areas 1 and 2 combined.
  3. Three hours of ENGL 8203 (20th-Century American & British Poetry Craft I);
  4. Three hours of ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft) in poetry;
  5. Three hours of ENGL 8201 (Contemporary Poetry);
  6. Six hours of 8999 (Thesis Research).

All required courses must be taken at Georgia State University.

Students who enter the M.F.A. program with an M.A. in English or creative writing must satisfy a different set of course requirements totaling 36 hours:

  1. Fifteen hours of ENGL 8020 (Poetry Writing) (must be completed while enrolled in degree program);
  2. Six hours of English and American literature and/or folklore;
  3. Three hours of ENGL 8203 (20th-Century American & British Poetry Craft I);
  4. Three hours of ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft) in poetry;
  5. Three hours of ENGL 8201 (Contemporary Poetry);
  6. Six hours of 8999 (Thesis Research).

M.F.A. Examination

Before students can take the M.F.A. examination, they must have completed all coursework and the foreign language requirement. The M.F.A. examination is a two-part written test based on a reading list available to students when they enter the program. The examination will be administered in two four-hour sessions on separate days. A student may take this exam in either spring or fall semester. Students must give the Director of Graduate Studies written notification of their intention to take the examination by the departmental deadline. Each examination will be graded by at least three faculty.

Thesis

The M.F.A. thesis must be a minimum of 50 pages long for a manuscript of poems or a minimum of 150 pages for a manuscript of prose fiction. M.F.A. theses in fiction must include an introduction or an afterword in which the student discusses his or her approaches, styles, methods, and influences. After students have completed initial work on the manuscript, they will meet with their committee to edit the thesis. By the time the thesis is completed, a student must have registered for at least six hours of ENGL 8999 (Thesis Research).

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. degree programs prepare students to write, to teach on the college and university levels, and to conduct scholarly research. At the end of their Ph.D. coursework, students will have acquired a productive general knowledge of the various fields of literary study in English and will have developed a concentrated preparation in their areas of specialization.

Admission

Applicants should be aware that admission is competitive and that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the Ph.D. program. Before entering the Ph.D. program, students are generally expected to have completed a master’s degree in English or a closely related discipline from an accredited college or university. The Department of English admits students to its doctoral programs only in the fall semester of the academic year. The Director of Graduate Studies in English will consider only complete admission files. Applicants are responsible for seeing that their admission files are complete by the deadlines for admission published in this catalog. All application materials should be sent to:

Georgia State University
College of Arts & Sciences
Office of Graduate Services
75 Poplar Street, Suite 800
P.O. Box 3993
Atlanta, Georgia 30302

All applicants must submit the following materials:

  1. Official transcripts of all previous college or university work;
  2. Three letters of recommendation sent directly from persons who testify to the applicant’s ability to do graduate work. Applicants from the M.A. program in English at Georgia State must submit new letters of recommendation, preferably from English department faculty;
  3. Competitive scores (no more than five years old) on General portion of the GRE;
  4. An essay composed by the applicant stating goals and career objectives; and
  5. A 10-20 page critical writing sample.
  6.  For Creative Writing applicants only: a portfolio consisting of a minimum of 10 poems; or 3 stories totaling no fewer than 30 and no more than 50 pages.  One of the 3 fiction samples may be an excerpt of a longer work (novel, novella, etc.), but we ask that you send at least one complete, stand-alone example of your short fiction. On the first page of the creative sample, the applicant should list her or his name, email address, phone number, and program she or he is applying to (PhD Fiction, PhD Poetry).

Advisement

The Director of Graduate Studies will serve as the student’s initial faculty adviser, whom the student should consult regularly. However, very early in the program, the student should begin to design a course of study leading towards the areas of primary and secondary specialization upon which the student will be tested in the doctoral examinations (the examinations and the coursework required for taking them are described below). Optimally in the first semester of the doctoral program, but certainly before the end of the second semester, the student should forma three-member faculty advisory committee composed of two faculty members representing the primary area of specialization and one representing the secondary area of specialization. Working with this committee, the student will define and develop the areas of specialization and determine the courses that can be used to satisfy the specialization requirements.

Doctoral Degree Plans

Students may choose to follow one of three plans. Plan 1 focuses on literary studies. Plan 2 emphasizes rhetoric and advanced writing courses. Plan 3 emphasizes creative writing.

Basic Coursework and Residency Requirements

Depending on the plan chosen by a student, the total credit hours required vary from 50 to 59 beyond the M.A. (30-39 hours of coursework plus 20 hours of dissertation research). To fulfill the residency requirement for the Ph.D. degree, students must enroll for a minimum of 6 hours per term for 4 semesters. Two of these semesters must be consecutive. Each plan has further particular coursework requirements which are specified below.

Foreign Language

A reading proficiency in one foreign language appropriate to the area of specialization is required. Although an alternative research skill (such as digital rhetoric) may be used to satisfy the language requirement at the M.A. level, at the doctoral level the language requirement must be fulfilled by demonstrating reading proficiency in a foreign language: e.g., French, Spanish, German, Italian, or another foreign language appropriate to the area of specialization (appropriateness is to be determined by the Director of Graduate Studies). If the student fulfilled the M.A. language requirement with a foreign language as described above, that language fulfills the Ph.D. foreign language requirement. If the student fulfilled the M.A. language requirement with courses in electronic writing and publishing, digital rhetoric or other alternative research skills, those courses do not fulfill the Ph.D. foreign language requirement: proficiency in a foreign language as described above must be demonstrated.

Students who choose French, German, or Spanish may meet this requirement by achieving a Level 2 pass in the chosen language of the CLEP Examination (College Level Examination Program, administered monthly by the University’s Testing Service). Students who choose these and other foreign languages may also meet this requirement by passing the foreign language reading proficiency examination offered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, or by receiving a grade of B or higher in an appropriate foreign language course at the level of 2002 or higher taken during the M.A. or Ph.D. programs. Foreign language courses taken during the undergraduate or post baccalaureate enrollment may not be used for the second option, though they should enable the student to pass one of the proficiency examinations. Foreign language reading courses that use only English translations of foreign language texts are not applicable at any time.

Doctoral Examinations

After completing coursework and the foreign language requirement, students in all concentrations must pass the examination or examinations specific to their concentrations.

In the Creative Writing concentration, the doctoral examination is a two-part written examination based on a set reading list in the student’s primary specialty (Fiction or Poetry).  The examination will be administered in two four-hour sessions on separate days.

In the Rhetoric and Composition concentration, both the primary and the secondary are seventy-two hour off-site examinations. Examinations in Rhetoric and Composition may draw on several different sub-areas for both primary and secondary specialization. Further information on the format of doctoral examinations in Rhetoric and Composition is available at www.rhetcomp.gsu.edu/graduate_exams.php

In the Literary Studies concentration, the primary specialization examination will be in the area in which the student plans to write the dissertation. The primary is a three-part examination involving (in this order) a two and a half hour on-site written, a seventy-two hour off-site written, and a ninety-minute oral. As described in the list of required courses below, in order to take an examination in an area of primary specialization, the student must have completed 12 credit hours (4 courses) in or strongly related to that area. The exam itself will be based on a reading list composed of no fewer than forty texts, devised by the student in consultation with the faculty adviser who will be the primary reader of the exam.  The examination reading list must be composed, and approved by the faculty adviser, at least one semester prior to the semester in which the student will take the exam. The examination questions must be approved by the Director and Associate Director of Graduate Studies.

The secondary specialization examination may be in an area that compliments, augments, or contrasts with the primary area. The secondary is a two-part examination involving (in this order) a two and half hour on-site written and a seventy-two hour off-site written. There is no oral component to the secondary examination. As described in the list of required courses below, in order to take an examination in an area of secondary specialization, the student must have completed 6 credit hours (2 courses) in or strongly related to that area. The exam itself will be based on a reading list composed of no fewer than thirty texts, devised by the student in consultation with the faculty adviser who will be the primary reader of the exam. The examination reading list must be composed, and approved by the faculty adviser, at least one semester before the semester in which the student will take the exam. The examination questions must be approved by the Director and Associate Director of Graduate Studies.

The two examinations may be (but need not be) taken in the same semester. Examinations are not offered in the summer.  Students must give the Director of Graduate Studies in English written notification of their intention to take either a primary or secondary examination by the departmental deadline. Suggested areas for examination, which in practice may be subdivided, include but are not limited to the following:

  • English Language
  • Medieval Literature
  • Renaissance Literature
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature
  • Modern British Literature
  • Twentieth Century World English Literature (British Isles, Commonwealth, Post-Colonial)
  • American Literature to 1830
  • American Literature from 1830 to 1914
  • American Literature from 1914 to the present
  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Literary Theory
  • Fiction (restricted to Creative Writing students)
  • Poetry (restricted to Creative Writing students)

Students pursuing the Ph.D. with an emphasis in Creative Writing must take their examinations in Fiction and Poetry.  The English Language examination will cover three of the following fields: Old English, Middle English, History of the English Language, and American English. A student who chooses to write an English Language examination (either major or minor) must indicate in the letter of intent the three fields on which he or she wishes to be tested.

Each doctoral examination will be graded by at least three faculty members. A student must pass each examination on either the first or second try in order to remain in the Ph.D. program. Examples of past examination questions and of successful answers are available to students preparing for the examination.

Dissertation

Doctoral students must submit a dissertation acceptable to the Department of English and to the Office of Graduate Services of the College of Arts and Sciences. Stages in the preparation of the dissertation include the following: choosing a dissertation director and dissertation committee, submitting a dissertation prospectus, defending the dissertation prospectus, writing the dissertation, defending the dissertation.

Soon after completing written doctoral examinations, a doctoral student must submit to his or her dissertation committee a written dissertation prospectus that should include the following:

  1. A description of the subject, including a statement of the way the proposed approach to the subject differs from, contributes to, or modifies the existing scholarship on the subject;
  2. A description of the proposed method of treatment and an account of the research necessary to complete it; and
  3. A preliminary bibliography, including a discussion of the availability of materials.

After consulting informally with the dissertation director and the other members of the student’s dissertation committee, the student must defend the prospectus orally in a meeting with the committee and the Director of Graduate Studies. If the committee judges the student’s prospectus to be acceptable, the student will be given permission to proceed with the project.

While writing the dissertation, the student must register for at least 20 hours of ENGL 8999 (Thesis Research). Each student must pass an oral defense of the dissertation administered by the members of the student’s dissertation committee and the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

Time Limit

Work on the doctorate must be completed within ten years of admission to the program.

Particular Requirements of Individual Ph.D. Plans:

Plan 1: Literary Studies

In the interests of facilitating professional specialization within the broad fields of linguistic, literary, and cultural study, the following are required:

  1. Thirty hours of course work beyond the M.A. level (including, if desired, a maximum of nine hours of coursework in related fields offered by other departments);
  2. Fulfillment of areas 3, 4, and 5 of the M.A. course requirements;
  3. An additional 3-6 hours in language study or theory (note: if the student satisfied the six hour requirement stipulated in section 3 of the M.A. course requirements by taking three hours in language study and three in theory, then this requirement can be satisfied with a course of the student’s choice, either language study or theory; if, however, the student satisfied section 3 with six hours in language study only, or theory only, then this requirement must be satisfied with 3 hours in the field not covered in the M.A.; finally, if the student satisfied section 3 with six hours in folklore or has not taken a language study or theory class at the M.A. level, a language study class AND a theory class—6 hours—are required);
  4. Twelve hours of courses in or strongly related to the area of primary examination specialty (may include courses taken at the M.A. level and a maximum of one course in a strongly related field offered by another department);
  5. Six hours of courses in or strongly related to the area of secondary examination specialty (may include courses taken at the M.A. level and a maximum of one course in a strongly related field offered by another department);
  6. Electives as needed to complete the 30-hour requirement;
  7. Twenty hours 8999 (Thesis Research).

Plan 2: Rhetoric and Composition

Information about the rhetoric and composition program is available at www.rhetcomp.gsu.edu. Dissertation research may involve digital and workplace projects as well as textual studies, and the dissertation can be a substantial academic project or a digital project with approval of the director. To facilitate professional specialization within the broad fields of rhetoric, composition, professional writing, and technical communication, the following courses are required:

  1. A total of thirty hours of course work beyond the M.A. level (including, if desired, a maximum of six hours of coursework in related fields offered by other departments);
  2. Six hours of language, theory, literature, or in any related fields of study outside of English upon approval from the student’s advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies;
  3. ENGL 8125 (if not taken at the M.A. level; should be taken in the first semester, if possible), ENGL 8170 Classical Rhetoric: Greek, ENGL 8120 Writing for Academic Publication (Pro Seminar), and 8180 Composition Theory (the student can enter the Ph.D. program with this requirement fulfilled if these courses or their equivalent were taken at the M.A. level);
  4. Twelve hours of rhetoric, composition courses, technical communication and strongly related courses;
  5. Electives as needed to complete the 30-hour requirement;
  6. Twenty hours of 8999 (Thesis Research)

Plan 3: Creative Writing

Information about Creative Writing can be found at workshop.gsu.edu. Students who specialize in creative writing must take either poetry or fiction as their major examination and must choose the other genre as their minor area. They must complete 30-39 hours of graduate coursework beyond the M.A. level, with 12 of those hours in creative writing workshops in the student’s major genre, plus 20 hours of dissertation research. The dissertation must be a minimum of 50 pages long for a manuscript of poems or a minimum of 150 pages for a manuscript of prose fiction. It must include a critical introduction that is acceptable to the Department of English and to the Office of Graduate Services of the College of Arts and Sciences. After students have completed initial work on the manuscript, they will meet with their committee to edit the thesis. By the time the dissertation is completed, a student must have registered for at least 20 hours of ENGL 8999 (Thesis Research). The following coursework requirements must be completed during the Ph.D. program unless they have already been satisfied during a student’s M.A. or M.F.A. program:

Fiction Writers

  1. Twelve hours of ENGL 8030 (Fiction Writing);
  2. Three hours of ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft in Fiction);
  3. Three hours of ENGL 8202 (Contemporary Fiction Craft);
  4. Three to six hours of courses in or strongly related to area of primary  specialty;
  5. Three hours of ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft in Poetry);
  6. Six hours of courses in or strongly related to area of secondary  specialty;
  7. Three hours of language study, unless satisfied at M.A. level;
  8. Three hours of theory, unless satisfied at the M.A. level.

All required courses must be taken at Georgia State University.

Poets

  1. Twelve hours of ENGL 8020 (Poetry Writing);
  2. Three hours of ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft in Poetry);
  3. Three hours of ENGL 8201 (Contemporary Poetry);
  4. Three hours of ENGL 8203 (20th-Century American & British Poetry Craft I);
  5. Three hours of ENGL 8160 (Form and Theory of Literary Craft in Fiction);
  6. Three hours of courses in or strongly related to area of primary specialty;
  7. Six hours of courses in or strongly related to area of secondary  specialty;
  8. Three hours of language study, unless satisfied at M.A. level;
  9. Three hours of theory, unless satisfied at the M.A. level.

All required courses must be taken at Georgia State University.