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The University of Texas at Arlington
Graduate Catalog 2002-2004

Department of English
Doctoral Program of Study | Writing Sample and Recommendations | Admission Requirements | Degree Requirements | Courses

Areas of Study and Degrees


M.A., Ph.D.



(See Program in Humanities)

Master's Degree Plans

Thesis and Non-Thesis


Timothy Morris

203 Carlisle, 817-272-2692

Graduate Advisor

Stacy Alaimo

206 Carlisle, 817-272-2739

Graduate Faculty


Cohen, Danahay, Estes, Faris, Kellner, Morris, L. Porter, T. Porter, Roemer, Vitanza, Wood

Associate Professors

Alaimo, Barros, Frank, Smith

Assistant Professors



The Department of English offers a wide variety of graduate courses to meet the needs of students with a diversity of interests and academic backgrounds who wish to enhance their awareness of their literary and cultural environment by additional formal instruction or to increase their professional competence.

The Master of Arts program in English is designed to enable students to learn about, critique, and work in teaching, scholarship, writing, or other fields which value a strong background in language, rhetoric, and the study of culture through texts.

Early in the program each student takes one core course. It serves as an introduction to theory as it is currently used in English scholarship.

Each student plans an individual program of coursework, with the help of the Graduate Advisor and the chair of the student's thesis or exam committee. This program draws on the department's varied courses, which offer students ways to study literature, rhetoric, and criticism, as well as methods of studying culture through texts and traditions of discourse.

The M.A. in English provides a strong grounding in scholarly methods and in theory, making it an ideal preparation for doctoral study in disciplinary or interdisciplinary programs. M.A. graduates in English pursue careers in journalism, educational administration and services, publishing, and many business fields that demand writing and communication skills. The M.A. in English is also useful for prospective or experienced teachers who want both to sharpen their ability to teach literature and writing, and to advance professionally.

Doctoral Program of Study

The doctoral program in English prepares students at the most advanced stage in the interpretation and composition of texts. The program emphasizes the rigorous critical and evaluative study and the expository and deliberative production of literate and electronic texts, broadly defined, both in Literature and in Rhetoric/Composition.

The Program has two tracks: one in Literature, the other in Rhetoric/Composition. Ph.D. students graduating from the Literature Track are distinguished by their intensive knowledge of modern literature, informed by a familiarity with other periods and traditions, as well as by their ability to analyze and interpret a wide range of literary texts. The program emphasizes both the examination of texts in their historical and cultural contexts and the study of literary theory and criticism, as well as pedagogy. Doctoral students in the Literature Track also produce literary criticism and participate in academic conferences and symposia. Graduates of this program are able to teach in undergraduate and graduate programs, design their own courses, and contribute to ongoing scholarship in the field.

Ph.D. students graduating from the Rhetoric/Composition track are distinguished by their ability to analyze discourse and assess its capacity to bring about change in the public sphere and by their historical understanding of the tradition and application of rhetoric in a variety of cultures, disciplines, and writing practices. Rhetoric doctoral students are also distinguished by their knowledge of writing and communication in both print and electronic environments. Rhetoric/Composition doctoral students contribute to the scholarly development of their field through their participation in academic conferences and symposia. They are prepared not only to teach in, but also to design and administer rhetoric/composition programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, whether in writing or electronic media.

Students in both tracks are allowed to take as many as nine hours of electives from the other track or from associated disciplines such as anthropology, history, and linguistics. The combination of a diversity of course offerings, required and elected courses, and the requirement that each student define a focus that reflects his or her intellectual and career interests provides students with the flexibility to adapt to changes in literary and rhetoric/composition studies. Specifically, the English doctoral program prepares students for careers in teaching, scholarship, consultation, writing, and other endeavors that require strong backgrounds in the traditions of literature and rhetoric/composition.

Writing Sample and Recommendations

In addition to the admission requirements set by the Graduate School, the English Department requires all international students to have speaking, reading, and writing competence in English and all applicants to submit to the Graduate Advisor a sample of their best academic writing. Three letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Graduate Advisor. At least two of the letters of recommendation should be academic in nature.

Admissions Requirements

Admission Procedures

For both the M.A. and the Ph.D., we consider four different admission criteria: 1) GPA; 2) GRE; 3) writing sample; and 4) letters of recommendation. Prospective students should submit all the required materials and scoresi.e. official transcripts, GRE scores, a writing sample, and recommendation lettersin order for their application to be processed. All criteria are considered together, in a holistic way. No single factor will eliminate a prospective student from consideration. For unconditional admission, candidates must meet the following standards for at least three of the four criteria.

Criteria for Admission: Master's Program

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate work, with a minimum of 3.4 in the English major or upper-level English courses.
  2. GRE scores: a minimum of 500 verbal and 1000 verbal and quantitative or verbal and analytical.
  3. A writing sample that demonstrates a sophisticated prose style and the ability to construct complex arguments.
  4. Three letters of recommendation that attest to the prospective student's intellectual and scholarly potential. At least two of these should be from former professors.

Criteria for Admission: Ph.D. Program

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.5 in the student's M.A. in English or a very closely related field. (If the M.A. is not in English, we will consider the undergraduate GPA as well as that of the M.A. Moreover, if the M.A. is not in a very closely related field, the prospective student will be admitted to the M.A. program in English, not the Ph.D.)
  2. GRE scores: a minimum of 500 verbal and 1000 verbal and quantitative or verbal and analytical.
  3. A writing sample that demonstrates a sophisticated prose style, the ability to engage in intellectually rigorous modes of analysis, and a strong knowledge of rhetoric, composition studies, literary studies, cultural studies, or interdisciplinary critical theory.
  4. Letters of recommendation that attest to the student's intellectual and scholarly potential. At least two of these must be from former professors; at least one must be a professor from the student's Master's program.

Deferred Decision

A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission.

Probationary Admission

For both the M.A. and the Ph.D., students may be admitted on probation under two different scenarios: 1) if the prospective student's application materials do not meet two of the four standards, but are outstanding in the remaining two categories, or 2) if the prospective student's materials come extremely close to meeting the standards in at least three of the four areas. Students on academic probation must make no grade lower than a "B" in the first 12 hours of their graduate work in order to remain in the program.


Admission will be denied if the application materials 1) do not meet the standards in three of the four categories; or 2) if the materials do not meet the standards in two of the categories, and in the remaining two categories meet the standards but in an unexceptional manner.

Deficiency Courses

Students who wish to pursue the Master's degree but who do not have an undergraduate major in English will probably be required to take between 3 and 12 hours in specified advanced undergraduate courses and make no grade lower than a "B." These courses will not be counted for graduate credit, but instead will provide the necessary background for pursuit of the graduate degree.


The same four criteria used to determine admission to the M.A. or Ph.D. programs will be considered when awarding graduate fellowships.

The Graduate School stipulates that: "Fellowships, when available, will be awarded on a competitive basis based on the following criteria: Candidates must be new students entering in the fall semester, with a minimum of 6 hours of enrollment in both long semesters to retain their fellowships. The minimum undergraduate GPA requirement is 3.00, as calculated by the Graduate School."

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Please consult Dr. Audrey Wick, the Director of First Year English, for more information on Graduate Teaching Assistantships.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree in English has thesis and non-thesis options. Under either the thesis or the non-thesis option, 5300 "Theory and Practice in English Studies" is required. It must be taken within a student's first 12 hours of study. Enrollment requires the approval of the Graduate Advisor in English.

The thesis option is a 30 hour program and requires 24 hours of coursework (a three hour core course and 21 hours of electives) and at least six hours of thesis. The degree culminates with the defense of thesis. A student who elects to write a thesis must select a topic in consultation with his/her thesis director. Before the student registers for thesis, a Thesis Committee (a director and two readers) must be established and the thesis prospectus must be approved by the Thesis Committee.

The non-thesis option requires a 36 hour program of coursework (a three hour core course and 33 hours of electives) and a comprehensive examination on coursework.

Under either thesis or non-thesis option, the coursework of the master's candidate must be approved in advance by the Graduate Advisor, who should be consulted on all problems related to the student's program. New students must consult with the Graduate Advisor to obtain additional program requirements and a copy of the English Graduate Student Handbook. Regular counseling sessions will be scheduled each year. Notification of specific time and place will be sent to all students who have been accepted into the graduate program.

Graduate standing is prerequisite for the courses listed below. Courses so designated may be repeated for credit as often as their subject matter changes. The titles are general descriptions. Students should consult the Department of English each semester for more specific information about the individual offerings.

Doctor of Philosophy

Rhetoric Track

The Rhetoric Track requires 30 hours of coursework, translation competency in two foreign languages, comprehensive exams, and the dissertation. For all coursework options in Rhetoric, ENGL 5311 "Foundations of Rhetoric and Composition" is required. Students may select one of two coursework options: 1) 18 hours in Rhetoric courses plus 9 hours in Literature courses; 2) 21 hours in Rhetoric courses plus 6 hours in Criticism courses. Coursework of doctoral candidates must be approved in advance by the Graduate Advisor. New students must consult with the Graduate Advisor for program details and copies of the English Graduate Student Handbook.

Literature Track

The Literature Track requires 30 hours of coursework, translation competency in one foreign language, comprehensive exams, and the dissertation. For all coursework options in Literature, ENGL 5300 "Theory and Practice in English Studies " is required. Students may select one of two coursework options: 1) 18 hours in Literature courses plus 9 hours in Rhetoric courses; 2) 21 hours in Literature courses plus 6 hours in Criticism courses. Coursework of doctoral candidates must be approved in advance by the Graduate Advisor. New students
must consult with the Graduate Advisor for program details and copies of the English Graduate Student Handbook.

The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; it cannot be changed by completing course requirements in a later semester. To receive credit for an R-graded course, the student must continue to enroll in the course until a passing grade is received.

An incomplete grade (the grade of X) cannot be given in a course that is graded R, nor can the grade of R be given in a course that is graded X. To receive credit for a course in which the student earned an X, the student must complete the course requirements. A grade of X cannot be changed by enrolling again in the course in which an X was earned. At the discretion of the instructor, a final grade can be assigned through a change of grade form.

Three-hour thesis courses and three- and six-hour dissertation courses are graded R/F/W only (except social work thesis courses). The grade of P (required for degree completion for students enrolled in thesis or dissertation programs) can be earned only in six- or nine-hour thesis courses and nine-hour dissertation courses. In the course listings below, R-graded courses are designated either "Graded P/F/R" or "Graded R." Occasionally, the valid grades for a course change. Students should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor or instructor for valid grade information for particular courses. (See also the sections titled "R" Grade, Credit for Research, Internship, Thesis or Dissertation Courses and Incomplete Grade in this catalog.)

English (ENGL)

Course fee information is published in the online Student Schedule of Classes at Please refer to this Web site for a detailed listing of specific course fees.


5300. THEORY AND PRACTICE IN ENGLISH STUDIES (3-0). Core graduate course, introduction to graduate study in English. Covers a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches to, as well as current issues in, criticism, rhetoric, and literary studies. Enrollment requires the approval of the Graduate Advisor in English.

5391. INDEPENDENT STUDY (3-0). Supervised independent study at the M.A. or Ph.D. level. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Graded A, B, C, D, F, or X.

5398, 5698. THESIS. The graduate student must be registered for this course (a) when in consultation over the thesis with the supervisory committee, and (b) in the semester or term in which the Master of Arts degree will be conferred. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor in English at least 30 days before enrolling. 5398 graded R/F only; 5698 graded P/F/R.

6191. INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-0). Independent study at the M.A. or Ph.D. level. May be repeated as needed. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Graded P, F, W.

6391. GRADUATE READINGS (3-0). Supervised reading for the Ph.D. exam. Prerequisite: permission of instructor and Graduate Advisor. Graded R.

6399, 6699, 6999. DISSERTATION. The graduate student must be registered for this course (a) when in consultation over the dissertation with the supervisory committee, and (b) in the semester or term in which the Ph.D. will be conferred. A minimum of 9 hours of dissertation credit is required for the Ph.D. Graduate teaching assistants must take 6699. 6999 must be taken during the final semester of the Ph.D.

American Literature

5320. SELECTED READINGS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE BEFORE 1800 (3-0). Designed to establish the diversity of our early literature. Includes Indian oral literature, travel accounts, Puritan writing, diaries, autobiography, poetry, drama and fiction. Cultural context stressed.

5322. NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICAN LITERATURE (3-0). Examines significant authors, forms, and aesthetic movements within literary, historical, and cultural contexts. Writers examined may include established figures associated with traditionally recognized forms, movements, and eras, such as Romanticism, the domestic novel, the American Literary Renaissance, slave narratives, Realism, and Naturalism, as well as non-canonical authors and less-recognized forms and movements.

5323. AMERICAN LITERATURE SINCE 1900 (3-0). Includes representative works of multiple authors selected for the study of modern and contemporary themes and methods.

5324. TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERARY GENRES (3-0). Concentrates on the nature and aesthetic-cultural significance of one literary genre. Genres examined may include, but are not limited to, poetry, drama, fiction, autobiography, travel literature, and oral narratives. May be repeated when content changes.

5326. TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE BEFORE 1900 (3-0). May focus on one to three writers such as Melville, Hawthorne, or Emerson, or a significant theme or movement such as the rise of Realism, the representation of women, or women's fiction. May be repeated when content changes.

5327. TOPICS IN 20TH-CENTURY AMERICAN LITERATURE (3- 0). May focus on one to three writers such as Faulkner, O'Neill, or Morrison, or a significant theme or movement such as Modernism and Postmodernism, multicultural narrative, or feminist theory/feminist fiction.

6339. TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE (3-0). Themes or issues not bound by particular historical periods, for example, women writers, canon formation, American Indian literature, African-American literature, utopian literature, cultural studies. May be repeated when content changes.

British Literature

5301. MEDIEVAL ENGLISH LITERATURE (3-0). English literature of the period before 1500. May include Old English poetry, Anglo-Latin prose, William Langland, the alliterative revival, romances, Malory, and Chaucer.

5302. 16TH-CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE (3-0). Non-dramatic literature of the 16th century, including works by Thomas More, Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Skelton, Edmund Spenser, and Elizabeth I.

5303. 17TH-CENTURY ENGLISH LITERATURE (3-0). Poetry and prose of the 17th Century. May include a study of Milton and/or a study of writers and motifs of the period.

5304. RESTORATION AND 18TH-CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE (3-0). Drama, poetry, fiction, and essays from 1660 to 1798. Includes writers such as John Dryden, Aphra Behn, Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, Henry Mackenzie, Ignatio Sancho, and Maria Edgeworth as well as issues of the period such as the nature of reason.

5305. ROMANTIC BRITISH LITERATURE (3-0). Poetry and fiction from 1798 to 1837. Includes writers such as William and
Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary and Percy Shelley, Felicia Hemans, and Walter Scott as well as issues such as the meaning of nature.

5306. VICTORIAN ENGLISH LITERATURE (3-0). Concepts and problems in texts by Victorian novelists, poets, and essayists (writers will vary). Attention to historical and cultural as well as literary issues.

5308. SHAKESPEARE (3-0). Representative works of Shakespeare. May vary from comprehensive readings in the dramatic literature to intensive examination of certain plays, or to other related topics.

5313. 20TH-CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE (3-0). A study of English and Irish writing in the 20th Century; may focus on major authors, themes, or topics.

6330. GENRE STUDIES IN BRITISH LITERATURE (3-0). Intensive study of a genre in any period(s) of British Literature; may focus on autobiography, history of the novel, Restoration and eighteenth-century drama, nineteenth-century British fiction, or other. May be repeated when course content changes.

6335. TOPICS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE (3-0). Focus on writers or issues in literature written in English, including colonial and postcolonial literatures. May include poetry, drama, fiction, or non-fiction. May be repeated when content changes.

Comparative Literature

6329. TOPICS AND THEMES IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE (3-0). The study of a theme or topic, such as primitivism, utopianism, representations of the unconscious, or the quest, within different literary traditions. May be repeated as content changes.

6332. PERIODS AND MOVEMENTS IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE (3-0). The study of particular time periods such as the Renaissance or the 19th century, or of literary and cultural movements such as realism, Surrealism, Romanticism, or Modernism, across different literatures. May be repeated as course content changes.

6333. GENRES IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE (3-0). Theory of literary forms or types and the conventions they embody. May focus on the epic, the novel, lyric poetry, autobiography, drama, or magical realism, across different literary traditions. May be repeated as course content changes.


5330. TOPICS IN CRITICISM (3-0). Studies in critical topics such as textual criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, philosophy and criticism, Renaissance poetics and literature, critical movements, or focus on a major theorist in criticism. May be repeated when content changes.

5340. CRITICAL THEORY: THE MAJOR TRADITIONAL TEXTS (3-0). A study of literary and cultural theory and practice from the Greco-Roman period to the early 20th Century. May include such theorists as Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Longinus, Dante, Sidney, B. Jonson, Dryden, Pope, Johnson, Coleridge, Arnold, Richards, Eliot, and others.

5360. TOPICS IN CONTEMPORARY CRITICAL THEORY (3-0). Study of contemporary theories of interpretation, concentrating on one or more schools of critical and cultural theory; may include, e.g., New Criticism, the Neo-Aristotelians, Marxist Critical Theory, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, Russian Formalism, semiotics, speech-act theory, phenomenology, structuralism, and post-structuralism. May be repeated when content changes.

5380. TEXTUAL THEORIES OF CULTURE (3-0). Study of the interpretations of culture yielded by the traditions of semiotics and hermeneutics and cultural studies; may include works by the following: Lyotard, Foucault, Habermas, Derrida, Pierce, Barthes, Deleuze, Gadamer, Lévi-Strauss, Butler, Haraway, and Hall.

6340. METACRITICAL THEORY (3-0). A study of theories of literature from the point of view of their systems-theoretical character. Focuses on the writing of selected metatheorists such as Barbour, Braithwaite, Bruss, Harr, Lakotos, Popper, Rescher, and others, on questions of the genesis, nature, function, validity, and potential of literature theory.

6360. TOPICS IN FEMINIST CRITICISM (3-0). Study of interdisciplinary feminist theories of language, power, knowledge, and culture. Course may focus on Marxist feminism, postmodern feminism, feminist cultural studies, or other topics. Course may include such theorists as Wollstonecraft, Woolf, Beauvoir, Irigaray, Spillers, Anzaldua, Haraway, Butler, or Cornell.


5188. TOPICS IN TEACHING COLLEGE ENGLISH (1-0). Enrollment will be restricted to teaching assistants and teaching associates. May be taken for credit a second time when course content changes; may not be counted for credit toward degree requirement.

5311. FOUNDATIONS OF RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION (3-0). Required of those in the Rhetoric Track. Historical, theoretical, and pedagogical issues in rhetoric and composition, with emphasis on rhetoric and philosophy in conflict in respect to ethos, pathos, and logos; rhetoric and composition as architechtonic productive arts for the disciplines; oral, literate, and electronic "rhetorics;" rhetoric as inquiry and as epistemic. Emphasis on library and bibliographical resources as they are brought to bear on those issues. Enrollment requires the approval of the Graduate Advisor in English.

5351. HISTORY OF RHETORIC I: CLASSICAL/MEDIEVAL (3-0). A study of the history of rhetoric from the Pre-socratics to the Medieval period with emphasis on the Greco-Roman tradition. Attention given to major theorists such as Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, Cicero, Quintilian, St. Augustine, and Boethius.

5353. PRINCIPLES AND THEORIES OF RHETORICAL INVENTION (3-0). Examination of the art, method, and theory of rhetorical invention, with special attention given to its historical development, from the classical topoi and doctrine of statis to more contemporary approaches; assignments include the use of such methods.

5354. ENGLISH LINGUISTICS (3-0). Introduction to the analysis of grammatical structures in English, concentrating on the goals and methods of contemporary analysts operating according to a variety of current theories, including structuralism, tagmemics, transformationalism, and discourse grammar.

5355. STUDIES IN ENGLISH DISCOURSE (3-0). Analysis of English grammatical structures above the level of the clause, including the sentence, the paragraph, and the whole text; examination of the work of major discourse theoristsDik, Harris, Halliday, Longacre, Pike and van Dijk.

5356. RHETORIC OF COMPOSING (3-0). Study of research into the composing process and of the available methods of conducting research; special attention given to such researchers as Emig, Britton, Flower and Hayes, Scardamalia, Bereiter, and Perl; intensive self-analysis of the student's own composing process.

5357. RHETORIC OF READING (3-0). Study of the phenomenology of reading, focusing on the literature about and research into the reading process; attention given to aesthetic response to literary texts and the relationship between reading and composing; special attention given to Iser, Kintsch, de Man, van Dijk, Barthes, Schank, Ingarden, Holland, Derrida, and others; intensive self-analysis of the reading process.

5358. PRINCIPLES AND METHODS OF EVALUATION (3-0). Study of the available means of evaluating writing; special attention given to evaluating individual student-writing in and out of conferences and to evaluating large groups of student-writers, with such methods as holistic and primary-trait scoring; may include peer and curriculum evaluation; evaluation of student papers.

5359. ARGUMENTATION THEORY (3-0). Emphasis on theories of argumentation and persuasion that further the rhetorical aims of convincing or achieving agreement through identification and consensus. Attention to classical and contemporary approaches to issue analysis, invention, audience analysis, building common ground, stasis theory, types of proofs and tests of validity, organizational strategies, and style. Special attention to argument on the Internet. Assignments may include constructing Web sites related to argument. Study of such theorists as Aristotle, Perelman, Toulmin, Ong, K. Burke, Brockreide and Ehninger, Bitzer, Young, Becker and Pike and others.

5361. HISTORY OF RHETORIC II: RENAISSANCE THROUGH 19TH CENTURY (3-0). A study of the history of rhetoric from the Renaissance through the 19th Century with emphasis on the re-emergence of the Neoclassical tradition. Attention given to major theorists such as Ramus, Vico, Campbell, Blair, and Whately.

5370. SCHOLARLY ARGUMENT (3-0). An introduction to the research for the writing of argumentative scholarly essays. Surveys research skills, materials, forms of scholarly argument, and involves the writing of a research-based essay.

5389. TOPICS IN TEACHING COMPOSITION (3-0). Seminar for investigating problems of and approaches to teaching composition. Special attention given to current compositional theorists. May be repeated when content changes.

6334. TOPICS IN STYLISTICS (3-0). A study of the stylistic features of discourse. Attention may be given to the development of English prose style, to metrical and prosodic theory, to linguistic rhetorical-computational-affective approaches as well as newer methods such as narratology and phenomenological analysis. Assignments include the extensive analysis of texts. May be repeated when content changes.

6352. TOPICS IN MAJOR FIGURES IN MODERN RHETORICAL THEORY (3-0). Intensive study of one or more modern theorists whose interests can be interpreted as rhetorical, e.g., Burke, Weaver, Richards, Perelman, Booth, Cassirer, Ricoeur, and Derrida. May be repeated when content changes.


Expect Great Things!