Joint PhD Program in English and Education
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The Program-Frequently Asked Questions
How many courses are required to complete the program?
Four to six courses in English and an equal number in education are required beyond the Master's degree.
Which courses are required?
Students design their own program of study, electing courses and designing exam reading lists in their areas of interest. Students consult regularly about their program of study with one of the Program Co-Chairs. A "specialization" should be considered early in the student's program of work. It has proved useful to students to reach general ideas about specialization before the end of the first year of study. Such general notions, however tentative, are useful in planning course selections and in laying the groundwork for the dissertation.
What are typical areas of specialization?
Students focus on a variety of areas ranging from topics in rhetoric and composition to theories and pedagogies of literacy to professional concerns. Students usually specialize in the area in which they write their dissertations.
Examples of specific topics include:
- an examination of composition instruction at several historically black colleges
- a study of the way readers compose literacy practices in order to place themselves in a social world
- an investigation of the ways that white teachers, students, teacher educators, and researchers approach multicultural issues in white-dominated educational settings
The three examinations (see below) usually include the area of specialization but will also move beyond it.
How does a student satisfy the foreign language requirement?
Students are encouraged to fulfill the language requirement as early as possible after enrollment in order to gain its maximum educational benefit. The requirement is typically fulfilled in one of two ways: (a) by taking course work in the language at an advanced level (b) by taking and passing a departmental examination (one advanced exam or two basic exams). In addition, students may petition the Program Committee to fulfill the requirement in another way that will better fit their individual backgrounds and/or academic plans.
Can you describe the qualifying Examinations in this program?
Students take three major qualifying examinations:
- Special Topic exam, which focuses on an area of interest for the student
- Theorization of Learning exam, which requires reflection on graduate school learning
- Prospectus for the dissertation constitutes the third examination
To make timely progress toward the degree, students should complete all examinations and meet the foreign language requirement by the beginning of Winter Term of the third year. Students who do not adhere to this schedule are not eligible for some fellowships.