Ph.D. Coursework

Students in the doctoral program will develop individualized plans of study in consultation with advisors. Students will complete at least 54 hours of graduate coursework, including ENGL 610: Doctoral Proseminar in Rhetoric and Professional Communication:

  • 6 credit hours in research methods
  • 12 credit hours in core courses
  • 15 to 18 credit hours in courses in an area of specialization
  • 18 credit hours of dissertation research

ENGL 610: Doctoral Proseminar (3 credit hours). Students must successfully complete Proseminar during their first semester in the program.

Research Methods (6 credit hours). Students must successfully complete two courses in research methods. The English Department offers five methods courses. With the advisor’s approval, students may also substitute relevant methods courses offered in other departments across the university.

  • ENGL 548: Graduate Study in Empirical Research
  • ENGL 601: Qualitative Research
  • ENGL 602: Quantitative Research
  • ENGL 603: Rhetorical Methodologies
  • ENG 604: Digital Research Methods

Core Courses (12 credit hours)

(6 Credits)—Students must successfully complete 2 core rhetoric courses:

Core Rhetoric Courses

  • ENGL 518: History of Rhetoric
  • ENGL 519: Modern Rhetorical Theory
  • ENGL 668: Rhetorical/Cultural Studies

(6 Credits)—Students must successfully complete 1 course each in the following areas:

Core Composition Courses

  • ENGL 664: Composition History and Theory
  • ENGL 683: Critical Writing Studies

Core Professional and Technical Communication Courses

  • ENGL 512: Graduate Study in Writing in the Workplace
  • ENGL 572: Technical & Professional Communication: Theory and Pedagogy
  • ENGL 643: Multimedia Theory

Specialized Courses (15-18 credit hours). Students take five-six additional courses in their area of specialization determined in consultation with their adviser. Note: Up to 6 credit hours may be taken outside of the English department. These must be approved by the student’s advisor as well as the advisor of the department through which the course is offered.

Internship (3-6 credit hours). Students will earn 3-6 credits (ENGL 597) for an internship. Students develop an internship plan in consultation with their advisors. The internship should complement the program of study and career objectives. Note: Students with professional experience equivalent to an internship may petition the Rhetoric and Professional Communication Committee for a waiver of the internship requirement. If the waiver request is approved, students will complete six additional hours of coursework. For more information on the Internship Program, visit

ENGL 600. In the Fall semester following the completion of coursework and in preparation for doctoral comprehensive exams, students should register for 3 credits of ENGL 600 with the faculty member teaching the course. In order to maintain full-time status, they can also enroll in additional credits of ENGL with their individual advisors.

Note on Transfer Courses (up to 18 credits). Students may apply 18 hours of master’s level work to the 54-hour coursework requirement with departmental approval. In consultation with an advisor and the Doctoral Committee, students petition for transfer credits when they submit their qualifying portfolio and file the program of study with the Graduate School.

ENGL 700 (18 credit hours). In the semester after the successful completion and defense of doctoral comprehensive exams, students enroll in ENGL 700 as they research and write their dissertations (these 18 hours are in addition to the 54 credit hour coursework requirement). Students must be enrolled full time in the semester in which they defend their dissertation.

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