Graduate Handbook - Ph.D. Course Work

The Ph.D. program requires 54 credits beyond the B.A., with no more than 27 credits earned at the master's level. Students who have completed an equivalent of an M.A. or M.F.A. at another university will receive credit for that degree and are therefore required to complete only the credits necessary for the Ph.D. Fifty percent of the graduate credits required for the Ph.D. must be earned at UWM as a doctoral student.

Doctoral students may not accumulate more than 12 credits of U/G courses and no more than six credits of independent study. No more than 18 credits can be taken outside the department. The credit distribution requirements for each plan appear below. Note that the credit distributions include credits that are earned at the masters level.

Plan A: Literature and Cultural Theory

  • 9 credits in literature courses outside the primary area of emphasis* (at least 3 credits pre-1800)
  • 9 credits in cultural theory
  • 9 credits in primary area of emphasis*
  • 3 credits English 740 or 741 (also offered as History and MALLT 740 and 741)
  • 24 credits of electives
  • 1 credit of English 703 (Introduction to Graduate Studies in Literature), taken during the first semester
  • 1 credit of English 820 (Theory and Practice of Literary Pedagogy)
  • All credits must be 600-level or above, with no more than 9 credits at the 600 level. Doctoral students may not accumulate more than 6 credits of independent study. (English 701 must be counted as an elective.)

* Primary area of emphasis must be declared prior to submitting the prelim proposal and field lists to the Graduate Program Committee. Area of emphasis will be selected from among the following eight areas: 1) Literature and Culture before 1800; 2) Literature and Culture of the 19th Century; 3) 20th and 21st Century Literature and Culture; 4) Postcolonial, World, and Transnational Literature and Culture; 5) Ethnic, Indigenous, and Multicultural Literature; 6) Writing by Women; 7) British and Irish Literature and Culture; 8) American Literature and Culture

Note: Students who have entered the Plan A program on or before fall 2012 may choose to follow the previous set of degree requirements, which are different from those listed above. Please visit the Plan A Degree Requirements page.

Plan B: Rhetoric and Composition

  • 15 credits in 700-level rhetoric or composition courses, 10 credits of which must include the following: English 701 (Teaching Seminar); one course chosen from English 750, 751, or 753 (Rhetoric); and English 755 (Composition Theory).
  • 24 credits electives.
  • Two terms' demonstrated teaching experience in first-year college composition.
  • Minimum of one term's teaching experience in basic, intermediate, or advanced composition.
  • Portfolio of teaching materials for at least two composition courses, plus a teaching statement to be submitted and approved by the Graduate Rhetoric and Composition Advisory Committee at least two semesters before the expected graduation date.
  • The above credit count includes up to 27 credits from a masters program.

Plan C: Creative Writing

  • 6 credits in 715/815 and/or 716-816
  • 24 credits in 700 or 800-level literature, theory or media courses
  • 12 credits in creative writing courses at or above the 700 level
  • 12 credits electives
  • The above credit count includes up to 27 credits from a masters program.

Plan E: Modern Studies

Note to prospective students: Modern Studies is no longer accepting applications.

  • 9 credits in Backgrounds of Modernism, literature, and theories or methods, as described in M.A. requirements
  • 12 credits in 800-level seminars in Modern Studies
  • 3 one-credit sections of 820 (Center for 21st Century Studies Colloquium course)
  • 30 credits electives
  • The above credit count includes up to 27 credits from a masters program.

Plan G: Professional Writing

  • 15 credits in 700-level courses in professional writing. With the approval of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Professional Writing, students may take up to 6 credits in a closely related field, such as linguistics or rhetoric. Students may also take up to 9 credits from the courses specified in the M.A. requirements (English 435, 436, 437, or 439) if taken for graduate credit
  • 15 credits in 800-level courses in professional writing. With the approval of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Professional Writing, students may take up to 6 credits in a closely related field, such as linguistics or rhetoric
  • 24 credits electives
  • The above credit count includes up to 27 credits from a masters program.

Plan H: Media, Cinema and Digital Studies

  • 3 credits in 876
  • 3 credits in an 800-level media/digital culture class
  • 6 credits from 709, 714, 715, 720, 737, 740, 741,742,743, or 775
  • 12 credits from 800-level seminars
  • 30 credits electives at graduate level
  • Please see Plan H coordinator if course substitutions are required.