The graduate program in English encompasses the study of British and American literature, literary history and theory, and rhetoric and composition, as well as linguistics. At Northeastern University, graduate study in English takes full advantage of the opportunities that the greater Boston area affords as the site of rich cultural and educational resources.Graduate faculty members in the English Department at Northeastern University cover a spectrum of traditional literary fields from the medieval period to postmodernism, as well as rhetoric and composition, linguistics, and cinema studies. Research and teaching in interdisciplinary areas, including American studies, African American studies, gender studies, and cultural studies, are also well represented within the program.The Department of English offers both doctoral and master's degrees. Students in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in English train to be productive scholars and teachers in their chosen fields. Coursework exposes students to the important texts, current issues, and critical methodologies of the discipline and is followed by a preliminary examination. Subsequently, comprehensive examinations require students to develop three defined areas of scholarly interest, and the dissertation provides an opportunity for designing a focused research project in consultation with a dissertation advisor. Throughout the program, faculty work closely with doctoral students to develop their scholarly and professional identities in preparation for careers in academia. The PhD program is full-time only.
The PhD program welcomes applications from students who hold either the BA or the equivalent, or the MA or the equivalent, at the time of entering the program. Students who hold the MA degree at the time of entry may receive credit for up to twenty-one semester hours of coursework (seven courses) toward the degree. All students who earn the PhD in English must receive credit for at least forty-two semester hours of coursework (fourteen courses); must pass a preliminary examination, an annual progress review, and a comprehensive examination; must satisfy the PhD language requirement of proficiency in two languages (classical or modern) other than English; and must write and defend a dissertation. Students entering with the BA in hand must complete all coursework within five years. Students entering with the MA in hand must complete all coursework within three years. All students must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.500 to qualify for and maintain degree eligibility.
The Master of Arts program gives students broad exposure to the current state of literary studies--its history, its methodologies, its ever-changing canon, and its production of new knowledge. The program offers study in all areas of English and American literature, and in rhetorical criticism, the teaching of writing, and the role of rhetorical practices in shaping disciplinary, institutional, and cultural knowledge and identities. The MA program is open to both full- and part-time students.
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