Doctor of Philosophy | Department of English | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in English prepares graduate students as scholars and educators in the full range of literary areas, critical theory, cultural studies, and rhetoric and composition. The PhD program is designed as a five-year program for full-time students. Its residency requirement is satisfied by completion of twenty-four semester hours of graduate credit before the qualifying examinations, followed by twenty-four semester hours of dissertation credit.

The doctoral program requires competency in one foreign language, demonstrated either by coursework or examination. The doctoral student’s course work is developed in consultation with an advisory committee to suit his or her particular needs. By the fourth semester in the program, each student will complete a Program of Study, signed by the student’s committee, that outlines the area of focus and research plans.

Qualifying examinations cover one major and two minor areas as chosen by the student in consultation with his or her committee. Upon successful completion of the examinations, the student is advanced to candidacy, and proceeds directly to the dissertation prospectus and the dissertation. Once the dissertation is completed, the student will present an oral defense of the dissertation before the committee, including any designated outside readers. A successful defense means that the student has completed all requirements for the PhD degree.

PhD Placement

  • Tenure-Track Placement Rate, 1996-2014: 51%
  • Non-Tenure-Track Placement Rate, 1996-2014: 26%