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Doctor of Philosophy in English

ADMISSION

Students with a bachelor's degree in English or a closely related field may apply to pursue graduate work toward an advanced degree in English at Stanford. Applicants for admission to graduate work must take the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination and the Subject Test in Literature. International students whose first language is not English are also required to take the TOEFL examination (with certain exceptions: see http://gradadmissions.stanford.edu).

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

University requirements for the Ph.D. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

Tracks—Doctoral students may follow one of two tracks: English and American Literature or English and Comparative Literature.

Requirements—The following department requirements, dealing with such matters as residence, dissertation, and examinations, are in addition to the University's basic requirements for the doctorate. Students should consult the most recent edition of The Ph.D. Handbook; copies are available in the English graduate studies office.

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must complete three years (nine quarters) of full-time work, or the equivalent, in graduate study beyond the bachelor's degree. Candidates are required to complete at least 135 units of graduate work in addition to the doctoral dissertation. At least three consecutive quarters of graduate work, and the final course work in the doctoral program, must be taken at Stanford.

A student may count no more than 65 units of non-graded courses toward the 135 course units required for the Ph.D., without the written consent of the Director of Graduate Studies. A student takes at least 70 graded units (normally fourteen courses) of the 135 required total units (396L, 397A, 398, and 399 do not count toward the 70 graded units). No more than 10 units (normally two courses) may come from 100-level courses.

This program is designed to be completed in five years. Five quarters of supervised teaching, two as a teaching assistant in a literature course, one as a teaching apprentice, and two as the instructor of a Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) course, are a requirement of the Ph.D. program.

In the first quarter of their first year, students take a 2-unit seminar in pedagogy as preparation for their initial teaching assistantship. In the first quarter of their second year, students take a pedagogy seminar and an apprentice teaching program. The seminar and apprentice teaching constitute a 50-percent teaching appointment. Apprentice teachers attend the classes and conferences of a senior mentor/instructor for two to three weeks. While teaching during the second and third quarters of the second year, students continue to participate in a series of PWR pedagogy workshops and visit one another's classrooms.

I. English and American Literature—Students are expected to do course work across the full range of English and American literature. Students would be required to fulfill the following requirements. Note: fulfillment of requirements 1, 2, and 3 must be through Stanford courses; students will not be excused from these three requirements or granted credit for course work done elsewhere.

  1. ENGLISH 396, Introduction to Graduate Study for Ph.D. Students (5 units), a course that introduces students to the methods of literary study, and ENGLISH 396L, Pedagogy Seminar I, for first year students (2 units).
  2. Graduate-level (at least 200-level) course work in English literature before 1700, and English and American literature after 1700 (at least 5 units of each).
  3. Graduate-level (at least 200-level) course work in some aspect of literary theory such as courses in literary theory itself, narrative theory, poetics, rhetoric, cultural studies, gender studies (at least 5 units).
  4. Students concentrating in British literature are expected to take at least one course (5 units) in American literature; students concentrating in American literature are expected to take at least one course (5 units) in British literature.
  5. Of all courses taken, a minimum of six courses for a letter grade must be graduate colloquia and seminars, of which at least three must be graduate seminars. The colloquia and seminars should be from different genres and periods, as approved by the adviser.
  6. Completion, in Autumn Quarter of the second year, of a pedagogy seminar which includes the apprentice teaching program described above, and a series of pedagogy workshops during Winter and Spring Quarters. There are no units associated with this work.
  7. The remaining units of graded, graduate-level courses and seminars should be distributed according to the adviser's judgment and the candidate's needs. A student may receive graduate credit for no more than two 100-level courses in the Department of English.
  8. Consent of the adviser if courses taken outside the Department of English are to count toward the requirement of 70 graded units of course work.
  9. An oral qualifying examination based on a reading guide, to be taken at the end of the summer after the first year of graduate work. The final decision as to qualification is made by the graduate studies committee in consideration of the student's overall record for the first year's work in conjunction with performance on the examination. Note: A student coming to the doctoral program who has done graduate work at another university must petition in the first year at Stanford for transfer credit for course work completed elsewhere. The petition should list the courses and grades, and describe the nature and scope of course work, as well as the content, contact hours, and writing requirements. A syllabus must be included. The Director of Graduate Studies considers the petition in conjunction with the student's overall performance.
  10. University Oral Examinations—A University oral examination covering the field of concentration (as defined by the student and the student's adviser). This examination, based on a reading list established by the candidate in consultation with his or her adviser, is normally taken no later than the Spring Quarter of the third year of graduate study.
  11. Dissertation—As early as possible during graduate study, a Ph.D. candidate is expected to find a topic requiring extensive original research and to seek out a member of the department as his or her adviser. The adviser works with the student to select a committee to supervise the dissertation. Candidates should take this crucial step as early in their graduate careers as possible. The committee may well advise extra preparation within or outside the department, and time should be allowed for such work. After the dissertation topic has been approved, the candidate should file a formal reading committee form as prescribed by the University. The dissertation must be submitted to the adviser as a rough draft, but in substantially final form, at least four weeks before the University deadline in the quarter during which the candidate expects to receive the Ph.D. degree.
  12. Committee—The doctoral dissertation reading committee consists of the principal dissertation adviser and two other readers. At least one member must be from the student's major department. Normally, all members are on the Stanford Academic Council.

II. English and Comparative Literature—The Ph.D. program in English and Comparative Literature is designed for students wishing an extensive knowledge of the literature, thought, and history of England and of at least one foreign country, for one period. Approximately half of the student's course work and reading is devoted to this period, with the remainder of the time given to other periods of English and American literature since 1350.

This degree, administered by the Department of English, is to be distinguished from the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. The latter program is intended for students unusually well prepared in foreign languages and involves advanced work in three literatures, one of which may be English. Interested students should consult a Department of English adviser, but faculty from Comparative Literature may also provide useful supplementary information.

The requirements are as follows:

  1. Knowledge of the basic structure of the English language and of Chaucer. This requirement may be met by examination, or by taking 10 units of courses chosen from among those offered in linguistics, English philology, and early and middle English literature including Chaucer. No particular courses are required of all students.
  2. A 5-unit course, ENGLISH 396, Introduction to Graduate Study, and a 2-unit course, ENGLISH 396L, Seminar in Pedagogy I.
  3. Completion, in Autumn Quarter of the second year, of a pedagogy seminar, which includes the Apprentice Teaching Program described above, and a series of pedagogy workshops during winter and spring quarter. There are no units associated with this work.
  4. A knowledge of one foreign language sufficient to take graduate-level literature courses in a foreign-language department and an advanced reading knowledge of a second language.
  5. A minimum of 45 units in the history, thought, and literature of one period, in two or more languages, one of which must be English and one foreign. Students normally include at least two courses in a foreign literature read in the original language and two courses listed under Comparative Literature or Modern Thought and Literature. As many as 20 units of this requirement may be satisfied through courses in reading and research. A student may receive graduate credit for no more than two 100-level courses in the Department of English.
  6. A minimum of six courses for a letter grade from graduate colloquia and graduate seminars, of which three must be graduate seminars and of which at least four must be in the Department of English. Among these courses, students should take one in literary theory or criticism. These colloquia and seminars should be in different genres and periods as approved by the adviser.
  7. An oral qualifying examination: see item 9 under requirements of the Ph.D. program in English Literature. For qualifications in the doctoral program in English and Comparative Literature, candidates are not held responsible for literature before 1350, but instead include on their reading list a selection of works from a foreign literature read in the original language.
  8. University Oral Examinations—A University oral examination covering the field of concentration (as defined by the student and the student's adviser). This examination, based on a reading list established by the candidate in consultation with his or her adviser, is normally taken no later than the Spring Quarter of the third year of graduate study.
  9. Dissertation—As early as possible during graduate study, a Ph.D. candidate is expected to find a topic requiring extensive original research and to seek out a member of the department as his or her adviser. The adviser works with the student to select a committee to supervise the dissertation. Candidates should take this crucial step as early in their graduate careers as possible. The committee may well advise extra preparation within or outside the department, and time should be allowed for such work. After the dissertation topic has been approved, the candidate should file a formal reading committee form as prescribed by the University. The dissertation must be submitted to the adviser as a rough draft, but in substantially final form, at least four weeks before the University deadline in the quarter during which the candidate expects to receive the Ph.D. degree.
  10. Committee—The doctoral dissertation reading committee consists of the principal dissertation adviser and two other readers. At least one member must be from the student's major department. Normally, all members are on the Stanford Academic Council.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree (except those in English and Comparative Literature, for whom special language requirements prevail) must demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages. Candidates in the earlier periods must offer Latin and one of the following languages: French, German, Greek, Italian, or Spanish. In some instances, they may be required to offer a third language. Candidates in the later period (that is, after the Renaissance) must offer either French, German, or Latin as one language and may choose the second language from the following: Greek, Latin, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, or another language relevant to the student's field of study. In all cases, the choice of languages offered must have the approval of the candidate's adviser. Any substitution of another language must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

The graduate studies committee does not accept courses taken as an undergraduate in satisfaction of the language requirement for doctoral candidates. For students coming to doctoral work at Stanford from graduate work done elsewhere, satisfaction of a foreign language requirement is determined by the Director of Graduate Studies based on the contact hours, syllabus, reading list, etc. Transfer is not automatic.

The candidate must satisfy one language requirement by the end of the first year (that is, before the qualifying examination), and the other by the end of the third year.

Foreign language requirements for the Ph.D. may be fulfilled in any of the following ways:

  1. A reading examination given each quarter by the various language departments, except for Latin and Greek.
  2. For Latin and Greek, an examination given by one of the Department of English faculty.
  3. Passage with a grade of 'B' or higher of a course in literature numbered 100 or higher in a foreign language department at Stanford. As an alternative for Latin, French, Italian, German, and Spanish, passage of CLASSLAT 51 and 52 or CLASSLAT 10, FRENLANG 50, ITALLANG 50, GERLANG 52, and SPANLANG 50, respectively, with a grade of 'B' or higher.

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