May 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English/Literature and Criticism, PhD

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Program code: ENGHAH-LTCR

The Literature and Criticism Program’s Doctor of Philosophy in English is designed for present or future teachers at the college or university level. It features both a regular academic-year program and a very active summer program for established teachers who wish to complete their degrees in the summers only. The program develops students’ abilities to examine literature critically, to teach literature effectively, and to make professional contributions in the field.

Courses emphasize the role of theory in understanding literature, and students are asked to apply theory to their teaching and research in the concluding Advanced Seminars. The Traditional Literature courses reinforce the student’s understanding of historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts. The Special Literatures section mirrors the acceptance of new works in the canon. The focus on scholarly skills in the seminars and the mentoring relationships with professors assure that students will acquire a professional competence in literature and critical theory.

Early in the program, each doctoral student is assigned a faculty mentor to provide guidance and advice on becoming professionally active. The main components of the program are course work, a candidacy examination (taken approximately midway in the course work), proof of language proficiency, the completion of a research skills requirement, comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation.

Admission Criteria

The Literature & Criticism Program reviews applications three times a year: January 15, March 15, and November 15.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 30 hours of course work (excluding the dissertation) is required beyond the MA.

The program director may permit students with particular programmatic needs to take up to six of the 30 hours in a closely related field such as rhetoric and linguistics, history, or philosophy.

Following the completion of the 30 hours of course work, students take written comprehensive examinations in three areas (literary theory and practice as applied to a general list of authors and texts, a broadly defined area of literature, and a narrowly focused field of study), together with an oral defense of the written exams. In addition, the program requires reading ability in a foreign language and the completion of a research skills requirement (either proficiency in a second foreign language or an additional six hours of graduate course work in a field related to a student’s research needs). The final program requirement is the successful defense of a dissertation, including registration for twelve dissertation credits. Further and more detailed information about the program is available in the Program Handbook, which may be obtained from the Office of the Director, Graduate Studies in Literature and Criticism, 506 Humanities and Social Sciences Building, IUP, Indiana, PA 15705-1015. Phone: 724-357-2263; fax: 724- 357-2265.


The purpose of the Candidacy Portfolio is to provide faculty on the Candidacy Evaluation Committee a means to evaluate a student’s ability to successfully complete the program. Students must pass the Candidacy assessment in order to continue in the program. Candidacy Criteria The documents that will be used to make this evaluation are listed in parentheses.

• Demonstrates an ability to conceptualize, give insights, and use knowledge that is current in the field. (Grades, CP Conference Paper and Proposal, coursework paper OR grant proposal, instructor evaluations)
• Orally and in writing, demonstrates an ability to focus ideas and construct arguments. (Grades, CP Conference Paper and Proposal, coursework paper OR grant proposal, instructor evaluations)
• Uses feedback constructively, works independently, and handles problems or conflicts in a professional manner (Grades, instructor evaluations)

Possible Outcomes of the Candidacy Review

Pass: The student meets all of the criteria and may continue in the program.
Fail: The student has not met one or more criteria or has not submitted the Candidacy Portfolio by the deadline. If a student fails the Candidacy evaluation they will not be allowed to continue the program. Students may appeal this decision in writing to the L&C Program Director within two weeks of the date that the decision was sent out. Appeals must be based on the reasons for the committee’s decision given to you by the L&C Program Director.
Appeals: Appeals will be reviewed by a committee of three faculty members consisting of the L&C Program Director (or his/her designee), one member of the CP Evaluation Committee, and one faculty member not part of the Candidacy Evaluation Committee. Their decision is final and will be conveyed by an e-mail message from the L&C Program Director. The appeals committee will meet within 30 days not including days when the university is not in session.

Components of the Candidacy Portfolio

Part 1: Conference Paper (CP Conference Paper)
This paper must be an original work written for an academic conference related to the fields of Literature and Criticism and created especially for the candidacy portfolio.

What will be included in the portfolio related to the CP Conference Paper:
• The CP Conference Paper: The paper should be 8-10 double-spaced pages
• Annotated Bibliography: Annotate each of the sources in your Works Cited (3-6 lines long).
• A copy of the Call for Paper/Proposals for the conference the student has selected.

Part 2: Conference Proposal Abstract
This 250-300 word abstract that responds to a Call for Papers (CFP) for a regional, national or international conference. The project described must be significantly different from the CP Conference Paper.

Part 3: Statement of Teaching Philosophy
This 1-page, single-spaced document should create a narrative that complements the chosen field of research and demonstrating the student’s identity as a teacher-scholar.

Part 4: One of the following
I. Revised Coursework Paper/Project: revised paper or project that represent the student’s best work in the initial doctoral courses at IUP.
II. Grant Proposal: a 5-page narrative/proposal that responds to the NEH Summer Stipend program, created especially for the candidacy portfolio.

Part 5: Portfolio Reflection
A 4-5 page, double-spaced self-assessment that addresses the following:
• A meta-analysis of the strengths and weakness of the Candidacy Portfolio. (approximately 2 pages)
• A discussion of what the student learned about him/herself as a student, scholar, and emerging professional. (approximately 1.5 pages)
• A professional development plan that outlines the student’s goals for growth and improvement as a student and a scholar (approximately 1.5 pages)

The portfolio is not assigned a letter grade. Students are reviewed holistically by the Candidacy Evaluation Committee, which basis its decision on a consideration of a student’s Grades, the quality of the contents of the Candidacy Portfolio, instructor evaluations, and whether the student has achieved a minimum GPA of 3.5.

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