Doctor of Philosophy
 English Graduate Studies  | University of Washington Graduate School English Department 

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       The Ph.D. program may be completed within five years of the B.A., generally within three years of the M.A., or within four years for those entering with an M.A. from another school.

Degree Requirements

  • 75 course credits. Includes MA credits; up to 30 credits may be transferable from a recent MA taken elsewhere.

  • Language Requirement. Evidence of ability to make scholarly use of at least one language other than modern English taken no more than five years before Ph.D. examinations, presented by a grade of 3.0 or better in:

    • a third-year or more advanced level course treating literary texts in a foreign language; or

    • 10 credits in Old English language and literature.

    The Ph.D. Supervisory Committee may set an additional language requirement if this is judged necessary for the particular specialization.

  • Ph.D. Examinations. Written examinations, a course syllabus, and an oral, comprehensive General Examination, based on reading lists prepared under the guidance of the student's Ph.D. Supervisory Committee. The student plays an active role in selecting this Committee and its Chair. There is flexibility in defining the exam areas to meet individual interests, with these categories:
    1. Major Period
    2. Second Period or Literary Genre or Literary Topic
    3. Specialized Field of Study (e.g., literary theory or criticism, rhetoric and composition, English as a second language, bibliography and textual studies, computer applications to literary study, cross-disciplinary study)


    1. Major approach to English language study
    2. Second approach to language study
    3. Textual focus (language study applied to literary and non-literary texts OR a literary period or genre)

  • Dissertation prospectus and dissertation.
  • Final Examination.

Additional Information

Staff in the English Graduate Office are available to answer questions concerning admission and program requirements.

English Graduate Studies

Graduate Study in English at the University of Washington