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The University of Texas at Arlington
Vol LXXXVII - July 2004
Graduate Catalog 2004-2006
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     Note: This Catalog is superseded by the 2005-2006 Catalog.

Department of English

department web page: www.uta.edu/english/
department contact: nrosenberg@uta.edu
graduate web page:
graduate contact:


Wendy Faris
203 Carlisle Hall

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

Areas of Study and Degrees

M.A., Ph.D.

M.A. (See Program in Humanities)

Master's Degree Plans

Thesis and Non-Thesis

Graduate Advisor

Timothy Morris
206 Carlisle, 817.272.2739

Graduate Faculty


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

Associate Professors

Alaimo, Frank, Smith

Assistant Professors

Gustafson, Matheson, K. Porter, Stodnick


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 students' 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 rigorous critical study in the fields of rhetoric, composition, critical theory, cultural studies, pedagogy and literary studies. Rather than offering separate tracks, the program allows the student in consultation with the Graduate Advisor and the student's dissertation committees to design a program of work that best suits their particular scholarly interests and career goals. 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 English studies. Specifically, the English doctoral program prepares students for careers in writing, including electronic and technical writing, as well as in teaching in community colleges, small colleges or regional state universities. The department trains students for college-level teaching several ways, but most importantly, by offering graduate courses in the teaching of literature and the teaching of composition. Doctoral students in English present papers at scholarly conferences, publish essays in scholarly journals and participate in other professional activities.

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 scores i.e. official transcripts, GRE scores, a writing sample, and recommendation letters in 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, at least a 500 on the old analytical portion or at least a 4.5 on the new Analytical Writing measure. (We will not consider the math scores. We do not require the English subject test.)
  3. A writing sample that demonstrates a sophisticated prose style and the ability to construct complex arguments.
  4. 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: GRE scores: a minimum of 500 verbal and, at least a 500 on the old analytical portion or at least a 4.5 on the new Analytical Writing measure. (We will not consider the math scores. We do not require the English subject test.)
  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. Students must apply for the thesis option during their 24th hour of coursework. 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

Thirty semester hours of coursework beyond the M.A., followed by a minimum of 9 hours of dissertation work (ENGL 6999), are required. All students are required to take ENGL 5300: Theory and Practice during their first semester unless they have already taken 5300 while in the M.A. program and received a grade of B or higher. All students are also required to take 5311: Foundation of Rhetoric OR 5359: Argumentation Theory as early in their programs as possible.

Students must consult with the Graduate Advisor and the chair of their dissertation committee to carefully construct a coherent focus for their coursework and comprehensive examinations. Students are allowed to take 9 hours of coursework outside the English department. During the first year of coursework all students must pass English 5300 with a grade of B or higher in order to remain in the program. After a student completes the first year of coursework, the Graduate Advisor, in consultation with the graduate faculty, will determine whether the student has demonstrated the potential to successfully complete the program and, consequently, whether the student will be allowed to continue in the program.

The Ph.D. track in English requires basic proficiency in translation in one natural language other than English. The language must relate to the student's dissertation research and career goals. Some committees may require an additional language, depending on the student's area of specialization. After completing coursework and satisfying the foreign language requirement, the student will take a written comprehensive examination. While studying for the comprehensive exams, students may enroll in English 6391: Graduate Readings, supervised reading for the Ph.D. exam, graded R. By the end of the first semester after successfully completing the comprehensive examinations, the students must submit a dissertation prospectus to their committee. The dissertation must be an original, substantial and significant contribution to a scholarly field. Students should work closely with the chair of their committee while researching and writing their dissertation. While researching and writing their dissertation, students must enroll in dissertation hours (ENGL 6399, 6699 or 6999). In the final semester of dissertation work, students must enroll in ENGL 6999. Once the student, the chair of the committee, and the primary readers agree that the dissertation is sufficiently completed, the student may schedule the defense. The student must furnish each committee member with a copy of the dissertation, including notes and bibliography, at least three weeks prior to the defense date. The defense of the dissertation is oral. The defense is open to all members of the faculty, graduate students and invited guests of the university community. Questioning of the candidate will be directed by the student's dissertation supervising committee, but any person attending the defense may participate. Committee members may request that the dissertation be further revised and may withhold final approval of the dissertation until the revisions have been made. For more specific information regarding degree requirements, please consult the Graduate Handbook of the Department of English.

The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; completing course requirements in a later semester cannot change it. 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. Enrolling again in the course in which an X was earned cannot change a grade of X. 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.)

Courses in English (ENGL)

Course fee information is published in the online Student Schedule of Classes. Please refer to www.uta.edu/schedule for a detailed listing of specific course fees.

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