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Graduate Course Requirements

 

Penn English Ph.D., Year-by-Year Overview    

M.A.

  • 8 courses: At least 1 700-level course and 7 additional courses (998 only by permission of Grad Chair; no 999s)

  • one language exam must be passed as well.

     

Ph.D.

During your first three years, you must take at least 3 credits per semester in order to be considered by the Graduate Division to be a full-time student. Students registered for dissertation are allowed to register for one additional course each term, though they should be focusing on their writing.

All students will only be allowed to audit a maximum of 2 (their 4th and 5th course) courses each semester.

The Department requires that all students complete 13 grade-bearing seminars or independent studies by the end of their third year.  Students coming in with M.A. degrees may transfer one class toward this requirement (thereby reducing the number of required seminars or independent studies to 12). Graduate-level courses taken in other departments and at other universities who participate in Penn's exchange program can count toward course requirements. ENGL800, ENGL801, ENGL850, ENGL851, and ENGL999 cannot be counted.

Students should strive for a balance of 500- and 700-level courses each semester.

Incompletes: Students are allowed one Incomplete per year, though exceptions may be granted in the case of unusual circumstances. Incompletes will be granted with 1) permission of the instructor, 2) petition to the GEC. This petition need not be lengthy, but it should include a brief rationale explaining why the student would like to continue working beyond the end of the semester and a timeline for completing the work. Petitions are due to the GEC by December 1 in Fall semester and by April 20 in Spring semester.

Students must clear all Incompletes from their records before taking the 50-Book Exam and the Field Exam, and before enrolling in the Dissertation Proposal Workshop.

 

Independent Studies: Independent Studies should not replace regular coursework. Students should take no more than 1 Independent Studies in a given year, and no more than 2 of total required courses may be Independent Studies. (Courses taken in other departments and at other universities do not count as Independent Studies and are not subject to these limits.)

Exceptions may be granted with instructor and advisor approval and upon petition to the GEC. Petitions need not be lengthy, but they should demonstrate that the additional Indepentent Study is critical to the student’s progress in the program, and they should include a plan for fulfilling all Distribution Requirements by the end of the student’s second year.

1st Year

  • Take 7 or 8 seminars or grade-bearing independent studies (4 both semesters, or 4 one semester and 3 the other semester), including the required ENGL600 (Proseminar) in the fall-the Proseminar can count as one of these seminars.

  • During spring and summer, prepare for the 50 book-book exam, to be held the day before the start of the fall semester of the second year.

  • Students typically pass at least one language exam by the end of their first year.

  • Students must be registered for at least 3 credits per semester to be considered a full-time student by Graduate Division.

  • No teaching requirements.

2nd Year

  • Take 5 seminars or grade-bearing independent studies (2 during the semester in which students are taking ENGL 800: Pedagogy, 3 during the other semester).

  • All students will be enrolled in ENGL800 (Pedagogy Seminar) during Fall or Spring, depending on their TA assignment.

  • Students must be registered for at least 3 credits per semester to be considered a full-time student by Graduate Division.

  • All students TA one semester and grade one semester. (Graders assist with grading an undergraduate course; TAs assist with grading and run their own weekly recitation section.)

  • Field Exam lists and rationales are due to the Graduate Executive Committee by May 15.

3rd Year

  • Take up to 1 seminar or grade-bearing independent studies. In addition, in the fall all students will be enrolled in ENGL850 (Field List); in the spring, all students will be enrolled in ENGL851 (Dissertation Proposal, representing the workshop taken that semester).

  • Field Exam must be taken by the end of the end of Fall term.

  • Note: All students must have completed 13 grade-bearing seminars or independent studies by the end of their third year. Transfer credits can be counted toward this requirement, but ENGL800, ENGL801, ENGL850, ENGL851, and ENGL999 cannot.

  • Students must be registered for at least 3 credits per semester to be considered a full-time student by Graduate Division.

 

4th Year

  • Two language exams must be passed by the end of this year.

  • Research and write your dissertation.

  • All fourth-year students teach one semester of the Junior Research Seminar.

  • All fourth-year students should hold a Dissertation Progress Meeting with their full dissertation committee by the end of Spring semester.
  • All fourth-year students should present one dissertation chapter as a WIP to one of our reading groups.

 

5th Year

  • Research and write your dissertation

  • No teaching requirements.

  • All fifth-year students should hold a Dissertation Progress Meeting with their full dissertation committee by the end of Spring semester.
  • All fifth-year students should present one dissertation chapter as a WIP to one of our reading groups.

6th Year and above

  • Research and write dissertation.

  • See funding link for more information: http://www.english.upenn.edu/Grad/after5th

  • All students who will not defend and deposit dissertations at the end of their sixth year should hold yearly Dissertation Progress Meetings with their full dissertation committee by the end of Spring semester.