Programs by Campus
College of Arts and Sciences
Departmental E-mail: engdept [at] indiana [dot] edu
Departmental URL: www.indiana.edu/~engweb
Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy
Special Departmental Requirements
(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)
The application deadline for the M.A./Ph.D. and M.A. programs in English is January 1 of each year for the following fall. Undergraduate major or its equivalent. Graduate Record Examination, both the General Test and the Subject Test in English Literature. A potentially superior student who has not majored in English may be admitted conditionally, but must remove deficiencies without graduate credit. Students who wish to be admitted for the M.A./Ph.D., M.A., or M.F.A. in Creative Writing must submit samples of their work. The application deadline for the M.A. or M.F.A. in Creative Writing is January 1 for the following fall.
Foreign Language Requirements
For the M.A., students will demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language. For the Ph.D., students will demonstrate either (a) proficiency in depth in one foreign language, or (b) reading proficiency in two foreign languages. Students will select their foreign language(s) in consultation with the director of graduate studies.
Combined B.A. and M.A.
Candidates for a combined degree must fulfill all requirements for the M.A. (including the language requirement), as well as general and major requirements for the B.A. in English. Upon completion of the 116 credits, including fulfillment of requirements for the English major, students with a minimum GPA of 3.5 overall and 3.7 in English may apply for conditional admission to the graduate program their senior year, which may be counted toward the completion of the M.A. degree in a fifth year of study. (At the discretion of the director of graduate studies, an otherwise qualified student who is still completing an honors thesis may apply for conditional admission.) No courses used to satisfy the B.A. requirements may be applied toward the M.A. The Graduate Record Examination, both General Test and Subject Test in English Literature, is required and must be taken before admission is completed following the final semester of undergraduate study.
M.A. students must maintain a 3.0 (B) grade point average; M.F.A. and Ph.D. students, a 3.5 grade point average. Admission to the Ph.D. normally requires a 3.7 grade point average and the recommendations of graduate faculty.
Master of Arts Degree with Concentration in Literature
A minimum of 30 credit hours, including:
- One 700-level seminar
- At least two courses in fields of literature and culture before 1800
- At least two courses in fields of literature and culture after 1800
Up to 8 credit hours in graduate courses outside the department may, with the prior approval of the director of graduate studies, be counted toward the degree.Foreign Language: One, reading proficiency. Language competency will be verified by the relevant foreign language department or program.
Thesis: Optional; if elected, 4 hours of credit.
Final Examination: None.
Master of Arts Degree with Special Field Concentration
A minimum of 30 credit hours, including
- One 700 level seminar
- At least three courses in a single area of concentration to be chosen in consultation with the director of graduate studies (for example, a genre such as the novel, a period such as the Middle Ages, a specialty such as postcolonial studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, or composition, literacy, and culture).
Up to 8 credit hours in graduate courses in a related field outside the department may, with the prior approval of the director of graduate studies, be counted toward the degree.
Foreign Language: One, reading proficiency. Language competency will be verified by the relevant foreign language department or program.
Thesis: Optional; if elected, (4 hours of credit).
Final Examination: None.
Note: Students wishing to enter the doctoral program on completion of this M.A. must apply for admission. For admission to the Ph.D. program with concentration in literature, candidates must satisfy the distribution requirements for the M.A. in literature.
Master of Arts Degree with Concentration in Writing
W611–W612 or W613–W614; five departmental courses in literature, literary criticism, or English language. Poets may substitute Comparative Literature C570 Theory and Practice of Translation for one of the five required departmental courses; writers of fiction may substitute Theatre and Drama T453 or T454 Playwriting.
Thesis: Required; the candidate must submit, for 4 hours of credit, a body of creative writing of high literary merit and genuine promise.
Final Examination: None.
Master of Arts Degree with Concentration in Language
A minimum of 30 credit hours, including
- G500, G780.
- At least 12 further credit hours in English language courses, of which at least one course must be selected from G601, G602, G651, and G655.
Thesis: Optional; if elected, 4 hours of credit.
Final Examination: A four-hour written examination. See director of graduate studies for details.
Master of Arts for Teachers Degree
Public-school certification in English. Applicants lacking no more than 6 credit hours for certification may be permitted to complete the certification requirements as part of the degree program.
A total of 30 credit hours, in graduate English courses (at least 24 of these 30 credit hours must be taken on the Bloomington campus); if a minor is to be professionalized, at least 12 credit hours in the subject area. No undergraduate courses will be counted toward the degree.
Thesis and Final Examination: None.
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
A total of 60 credit hours, including 16 credit hours of writing workshops (W611–W612 or W613–W614); four courses in literature, culture and language (12–16 hours), at least two of which are on the 600 level or above, from offerings from English, African American and African Diaspora Studies, Comparative Literature, and/or Communication and Culture (courses from other departments to be approved on an individual case basis by the director of creative writing in consultation with the director of graduate studies); and W554; and W664, or W680. Those teaching in W103 Introductory Creative Writing are required to take W554 in their first semester of teaching. Students can take up to 12 credit hours in W699 M.F.A. Thesis. The remaining credit hours are elective. At least 48 credit hours of the degree requirements must be completed in residence.
Required; the student must submit, for 4–12 hours of credit, a book-length manuscript.
Dual Master of Arts in English and Master of Library Science Degree
Undergraduate major or its equivalent. Graduate Record Examination, both General Test and Subject Test in English Literature. A superior student who has not majored in English may be admitted conditionally, but must remove deficiencies without graduate credit. Admission to each of the two master’s programs is approved separately on the same basis as for other applicants not in the dual program.
Study for these two degrees can be combined for a total of 54 credit hours rather than the 66 credit hours required for the two degrees taken separately. Students take 24 credit hours in English. All students must fulfill the core requirements as outlined in the English department’s Master of Arts with Concentration in Literature or Special Field Master of Arts degree requirements. No thesis or examination is required for the M.A. degree in English. Students take 30 credit hours in library science, including L524; L505 or L520; L528; L509, L643 or L651; L527 or another management course; and L623. The remaining 12 credit hours are electives chosen in consultation with the library science graduate advisor.
Foreign Language Requirements: For the M.A., students will demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language. For the Ph.D., students will demonstrate either (a) proficiency in depth in one foreign language, or (b) reading proficiency in two foreign languages. Students will select their foreign language(s) in consultation with the director of graduate studies
Doctor of Philosophy Degrees
Requirements: Students are eligible for admission to the Ph.D. programs upon successful completion of the M.A. requirements.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree with Concentration in Literature
A total of 90 credit hours; students will be required to take 16 credit hours in English beyond the 30 credit hours required for the M.A. At least four 700-level seminars in English are required for the Ph.D. Students must also satisfy course requirements for a graduate minor (see below). Students transferring into the department with M.A. degrees from other universities may be required to take several more courses than the minimum.
Foreign Language: Two languages, reading proficiency, or one language at the level of in-depth proficiency. Language competency will be verified by the relevant foreign language department or program.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree with Concentration in Composition, Literacy, and Culture
A total of 90 credit hours, including at least 16 credit hours beyond the 30 credit hours required for the M.A. degree, to include at least three 700-level departmental seminars. The total must include a course in language/discourse analysis, and a course that brings a strong historical dimension to the study of writing. Information about relevant courses, including those offered by other departments, is available from the chair of the Composition Committee and the student’s advisory committee.
Each year the graduate faculty will examine the grades and instructors’ reports on all students and will discourage from further work those whose achievements and potential are below standard. Students who fail to maintain a 3.7 GPA or who accumulate three or more grades of Incomplete will be placed on departmental probation.
Ph.D. students in English may take minors in the following departments and programs: American studies, African American and African Diaspora studies, art history, comparative literature, cultural studies, English and German philology, film studies, folklore, French, gender studies, German, Greek, history, Italian, journalism, Latin, linguistics, medieval studies, performance studies, philosophy, religion, Renaissance studies, Slavics, Spanish, theatre and drama, Victorian studies, and West European studies. Requirements for the minor are set by the minor department.
The Department of English offers the following minors: American literature, British literature, children’s literature, pedagogy, creative writing, English and Germanic philology, English language, literary theory, and textual studies. Minors within the department must be approved by the director of graduate studies.
Upon completion of doctoral course work, students will prepare and take a doctoral qualifying examination. The examination consists of two parts: an oral examination based upon a reading list and the defense of a written dissertation prospectus. Assuming the student enters the program without an M.A., the exams are taken in his or her fourth year in the program. The oral examination tests a student’s qualifications as a specialist in his or her chosen field; the prospectus and defense test a student’s qualifications and readiness for undertaking the dissertation. Part one of the exam is taken in September; the prospectus should be completed the following spring and defended by the second week of May. Students pursuing a dual-degree PhD are allowed some flexibility in the timing of the qualifying exam. Further details of the procedure are available from the director of graduate studies (director of graduate studies).
Dissertation Prospectus/Research Proposal
Following the successful completion of the first part of the qualifying examination, the student names his dissertation committee and registers for W795, the dissertation prospectus writing workshop taught each spring by the director of graduate studies. The prospectus and bibliography are written in consultation with supervisory faculty and with the instructor of W795. When the prospectus is ready to be approved, the student submits it to his committee and arranges a time for the defense of the prospectus (which constitutes the final part of the Qualifying Exam). In this two-hour oral exam, members of the dissertation committee examine the claims of the prospectus as well as the dissertation research proposed, and assess the student’s preparedness to undertake a long-term independent research project. The committee may ask for further revisions of the prospectus. The student must revise the prospectus as needed and submit it to the director of graduate studies no later than the end of May. The prospectus may be re-submitted and the defense repeated once within 6 months of the first attempt.
After the dissertation proposal has been approved, the student will nominate a research committee consisting of no fewer than three members of the English department faculty and a representative of the minor.
Final Examination: Oral dissertation defense, at the completion of the dissertation project.
Ph.D. Minor in Comparative Ethnic and Postcolonial Studies
The CEPS minor enables students to analyze constructions of ethnicity and situation expressive cultural production within the context of geopolitical relations. Four courses (4 credits each), to include Introduction to Comparative Ethnic and Postcolonial Studies, one further course each in ethnic and in postcolonial studies, and one course of the student’s choosing with relevant content, subject to approval by the minor advisor, must be taken. At least one course must be outside the English Department. The capstone experience will be provided by an ongoing colloquium series. Students will be expected to attend colloquia as active members of the minor. As advanced graduate students they will formalize their participation in one semester by registering for 2 credits, attending regularly, and presenting their own research (either an advanced seminar paper, an article prepared for publication, or the forerunner of the dissertation proposal).
Ph.D. Minor in Creative Writing
Three courses, to be chosen from W511 (Writing Fiction), W513 (Writing Poetry), W550 (Teaching Creative Writing in the Community), W615 (Writing Creative Nonfiction), W664 (Topics in Current Literature), and W680 (Theory and Craft of Writing). Students who want to pursue this minor must submit to the Creative Writing Director a brief personal statement outlining your wish to pursue this minor and a writing sample (10 poems for poets and 25 pages for fiction writers).
Ph.D. Minor in English and Germanic Philology
Four courses, to include G601 Old English and at least one of the other older Germanic languages; i.e., German G632 Gothic, G635 Old Icelandic, G638 Old High German, G639 Old Saxon, and G640 Middle High German. The remaining courses may be chosen from English G602 Middle English, G655 History of the English Language, L710 Beowulf, L711 Old English Literature; German G532 History of the German Language, and G625 Colloquium in Germanic Linguistics (when the topic is appropriate), G640 Reading Middle High German, G636 Old Icelandic Literature, G835 Seminar in Germanic Linguistics (when the topic is appropriate), and any of the remaining older Germanic languages listed above.
Ph.D. Minor in Feminist Critical Studies
The Minor in Feminist Critical Studies emphasizes feminist criticism and theory. It requires four courses (at least 15 hours of credit), including English L663 Introduction to Feminist Critical Studies and at least one course outside the Department of English; each course must be passed with a grade of B+ (3.3) or higher. Relevant courses include English L605, L700, L707, and L773; Fine Arts A474 and A674; Cultural Studies C601 and C602; Communication and Culture C551 and C604; and Telecommunications T651. Students should consult with the minor advisor in the English department about specific courses of study.
Ph.D. Minor in Literacy Studies
Jointly administered by the Department of English and the School of Education, the minor requires a minimum of four courses, including English L502, Education L630, and two courses selected from an approved list, at least one of which must be outside the English department. For School of Education students, three of the four courses must be outside the student’s major area. Students should confer with one of the advisors of the Literacy Studies minor; their names can be obtained from the director of graduate studies.
Ph.D. Minor in Literary Theory
Jointly administered by the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, the minor requires a minimum of three courses, including at least one selected from Comparative Literature C503, C504, C601, or C602; and one from English G660, L605, L607, L608, or L707. Other courses approved for the minor are French and Italian F584 and G560; Germanic Studies G800; Slavic Languages and Literatures R521; Spanish and Portuguese S473 and S512; and Theatre and Drama T555 and T556. Courses other than those listed previously may also be acceptable toward completion of the requirement; written consent to count such courses must be obtained in advance from the graduate advisor in the Department of English or Comparative Literature.
Ph.D. Minor in Literature and Science
The literature and science minor consists of four courses. Two of the four will be Department of English courses from the area of literature and science. One of those English courses will be L769 Literature and Science, the “core” course for the minor. The non-English department courses will come from a relevant science, from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, or from some other relevant (nonliterary) discipline. The minor will be administered by the director of graduate studies in English, in consultation with the literature and science faculty as necessary.
Graduate Area Certificate in English and Germanic Philology
Also offered is a certificate in English and Germanic philology, requiring four courses in addition to the four required for the minor. These may include any of the courses listed previously, as well as courses in other departments (e.g., linguistics, folklore, classical studies, and anthropology) that are relevant to the history and prehistory of the Germanic languages, and to early Germanic literature and culture. For information about relevant courses, see the graduate advisor in the Department of English.