English Rhetoric and Composition (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy in English Rhetoric and Composition (ERC PHD)
Unit: Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (GA)
Department: English
Program Webpage

Program Information

Mission Statement

The PhD in Rhetoric and Composition provides graduate training in the history and theory of rhetoric; theory and empirical research in composition; an area of literary study; and the relation of rhetoric and composition to allied fields (e.g., critical theory, cultural studies, linguistics).

Goals for the PhD are that students will:

  1. Gain specialized and current disciplinary knowledge;
  2. Write a dissertation in which they initiate and complete specialized research that addresses an original and significant question in rhetoric and composition; and
  3. Acquire experience and expertise as writing teachers.

Admission Requirements

Application Due: January 5 - fall admission only

All applicants should submit:

  1. Online Graduate Application.
  2. A written statement of no more than 1,000 words detailing the applicant's professional goals in the field of rhetoric and composition.
  3. Complete official transcripts of all college level work.
  4. Three academic letters of recommendation.
  5. Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test (From within the last 5 years).
  6. Critical writing sample (15-20 pages).
  7. Application for Graduate Teaching Assistantship.
  8. International students must submit official scores of at least 600 (paper test) or 210 (computer test) on the TOEFL Examination; IELTS scores are also considered in lieu of the TOEFL. 

Degree Requirements

All doctoral students are expected to complete a minimum of 45 graduate credit hours; demonstrate proficiency in one language other than English; successfully complete the Modern and Contemporary Rhetoric and Composition exam and the Specified Literature Area exam; complete and defend a dissertation; and participate in a year-long supervised teaching-internship. (Graduate teaching assistants automatically fulfill the professional requirement once they have completed one successful year as a graduate teaching assistant.)

More information on requirements can be found in the English Department Graduate Program Guidelines.

Graduate-level English courses beyond those listed may count towards requirements depending on the topics covered. Detailed course descriptions, available on the English Department website, will provide this information and can be discussed during advising with the director of graduate studies. 

General Requirements
ENGL 602Teaching College Composition3
ENGL 620Research in the Composition3
ENGL 689Directed Reading for Comprehensive Examinations3
Pedagogy and Program Administration3
Assessing and Responding to Student Writing
Composition Theory and Practice
Rhetoric3
Studies in Genres
History of Rhetoric I
History of Rhetoric II
Rhetoric and Textual Analysis
The Rhetoric of Science
Literature 19
Contemporary Theories of Interpretation
Topics in Interpretive Theory since 1900
Studies in Genres
Teaching Literature: Theory and Practice
Creative Writing I
Creative Writing II
Old English and Middle English Language and Literature
Renaissance Drama
Shakespeare
Renaissance Poetry and Prose
Eighteenth-Century Fiction
Eighteenth-Century Poetry and Prose
Romantic Poetry and Prose
Nineteenth-Century Fiction
Nineteenth-Century British Poetry and Prose
Irish Studies
Twentieth-Century Literature
African-American Literature
Nineteenth-Century American Fiction
Nineteenth-Century American Poetry and Prose
American Authors: 1900-Present
Contemporary Poetry
Seminar in Special Studies
Seminar in Modern British Studies
Seminar in American Studies
Electives9
ENGL 690Dissertation Research12
Minimum Total Hours45