Doctor of Philosophy in English Rhetoric and CompositionMajor: ERC
Degree Awarded: Ph.D.
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/english/graduate/doctorate-in-rhetoric-and-composition.html
The Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition provides graduate training in the history and theory of rhetoric; theory and empirical research in composition; an area of British or American literature; linguistics; and the relation of rhetoric and composition to allied fields (e.g., critical theory, cultural studies, cognitive psychology, educational research). Goals for the Ph.D. are that students will 1) gain specialized and current disciplinary knowledge; 2) write a dissertation in which they initiate and complete specialized research that addresses an original and significant question in rhetoric and composition; 3) acquire experience and expertise as writing teachers.
Admission to the Ph.D.
Openings in the doctoral program are limited; therefore, admission is competitive. All doctoral degree applicants should present the following documents:
- Complete transcripts of previous undergraduate and graduate work;
- Three academic letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant’s potential for success in a doctoral program; at least one of these should address the applicant's teaching abilities and/or potential;
- A written statement of no more than a thousand words detailing the applicant’s professional goals in the field of rhetoric and composition;
- Scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test;
- A sample of scholarly, critical writing (15-20 pages);
- International students must also present scores of at least 600 on the TOEFL Examination (paper test) or at least 210 on the TOEFL Exam (computer test);
- Application for Graduate Teaching Assistantship, available at http://louisville.edu/english/graduate/gta_applicationII.pdf. (All admitted Ph.D. applicants will receive a full funding package as a GTA or University Fellow for at least 4 years.) This GTA application should be sent directly to the Department of English (UofL Bingham Humanities RM 315, Louisville, KY 40292). All other application materials should be sent to the University Graduate Admissions Office (UofL Houchens Building, Suite 105, Louisville, KY 40292).
The English Graduate Committee reviews applications for the doctoral program in rhetoric and composition and makes all admission decisions. Applicants must have a Master’s degree at the time of matriculation. Completed applications are due no later than January 5th for Fall admission only.
All applicants must fulfill the general requirements of the Graduate Admissions Office.
All doctoral students are expected to complete a minimum of 51 graduate hours, distributed as follows:
Required (12 hours):
ENGL 602, Teaching College Composition
ENGL 620, Research in the Composing Process
ENGL 689, Directed Reading for Comprehensive Preliminary Exams
ENGL 691, Contemporary Theories of Interpretation or ENGL 692, Topics in Interpretive Theory
Additional Requirements (15 hours from the following categories):
Pedagogy and Program Administration
Literature (one creative writing course may be used to fulfill the literature requirement; students may also take a second theory course--in addition to the required course listed above--in partial fulfillment of the literature requirement)
Electives (12 hours):
Choose from offerings in Rhetoric and Composition. One elective may be taken outside these offerings, including a course outside the department
Ph.D. Language Requirement
Each doctoral student must demonstrate proficiency in one language other than English.
Time Limit and Residency for Ph.D.
All work for the Ph.D. must be completed within six years of admission to the program.
A year of full-time residency in the English doctoral program consists of the completion of two consecutive semesters of nine hours each.
For students holding Graduate Teaching Assistantships, a year of full-time residency in the English doctoral program is eighteen semester hours within a single academic year. Students ordinarily take nine hours of course work and teach six hours in the fall and spring terms, though some choose to take two seminars plus three dissertation hours during some semesters.
Sometime during their tenure in the doctoral program, students must participate in a year-long supervised teaching-intern program. Intern experience may include teaching in regular first-year and advanced writing courses and tutoring in the Writing Center. Students who wish to complete their intern experience at another institution must make specific arrangements to do so with the Director of Graduate Studies in English. Such arrangements require the approval of the English Graduate Committee.
Graduate Teaching Assistants automatically fulfill the professional requirement once they have completed one successful year as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
Comprehensive Preliminary Examination
When students have completed coursework, satisfied the language requirement, and received the approval of the Graduate Committee, they may sit for the Comprehensive Preliminary Examinations. (See the Graduate Program Guidelines for a detailed explanation of these examinations.)
Admission to Candidacy
Students will be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. after they have completed coursework, met the language and professional requirements, and passed the comprehensive preliminary examinations; they remain doctoral degree candidates until they complete the dissertation.
The doctoral dissertation requires the equivalent of a full year of graduate work and involves registration in at least 12 credit hours in English 690.
The Dean of the Graduate School, upon the recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies in English, in consultation with the student, will appoint the dissertation director and reading committee. Proof that the prospectus has been approved must be submitted to the Graduate School at least nine months before the final dissertation oral examination.
Guidelines for writing the dissertation prospectus are included in the English Department’s Graduate Program Guidelines. The dissertation will be submitted, in the form prescribed by the Graduate School (see http://graduate.louisville.edu/Programs/theses-dissertations for the current guidelines), not less than six weeks before the end of the term in which the doctoral degree is to be conferred.
Final Oral Examination
The defense of the dissertation will be scheduled at least three weeks before the end of the term. The dissertation will then be revised according to the dissertation committee’s recommendations. One copy shall be submitted to the Graduate School and one bound copy to the Department of English. Along with the dissertation, the candidate shall submit an abstract for publication in Dissertation Abstracts.
Susan Griffin, Justus Bier Professor of Humanities
Anderson, David R.
Biberman, S. Matthew
Billingsley,Dale B., Associate University Provost
Boehm, Beth, Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs & Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
Byers, Thomas B., Director, Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society at the University of Louisville
Chandler, Karen M.
Cross, Geoffrey A.
Dietrich, Julia C., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Golding, Alan C.
Griner, Paul F., Acting Director of Creative Writing, Fall 2012
Hadley, Karen C., Director, Undergraduate Honors Program
Hall, Dennis R.
Henke, Suzette A., Thruston B. Morton, Sr. Chair of Literary Studies
Horner, Bruce M., Endowed Chair in Rhetoric and Composition
Journet, Debra S.
Kopelson, Karen L., Director of Graduate Studies
Leung, Brian, Director of Creative Writing (Sabbatical, Fall 2012)
Lu, Min-Zhan, Director, Thomas R. Watson International Conference on Rhetoric & Composition
Mattingly, J. Carol
Ridley, Glynis, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Romesburg, James, Interim Director of Composition
Rosner, Mary I.,
Ryan, Susan M., Vice Chair (Sabbatical, Fall 2012)
Sheridan, Mary P.,
Skinner, Jeffrey T.
Williams, Bronwyn T. Director, University Writing Center
Willey, A. Elizabeth, Acting Vice Chair, Fall 2012; Director of Internships
Wise, Elaine O., Chair of the Division of Humanities
Visiting & Term Faculty
D'Antoni, Joan, Instructor Term
Fenty, Sean, Assistant Professor Term
Hachten, Dale F., Instructor Term
Rogers, Linda, Instructor Term
Smith, Steve, Instructor Term
Stewart, Thomas, Assistant Professor Term
Tanner, Denise J., Instructor Term
Yohannes, Tamara, Assistant Professor Term
Lucy M. Freibert
Harold E. Richardson
Mary Ellen Rickey
Thomas A. Van