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Doctor of Philosophy Program
English Graduate Student Handbook
English Graduate Studies Page
English Graduate Student Association
About the Ph.D. Program
Over a hundred students strong, the Ph.D. program affords students close professional contact with and guidance from a diverse graduate faculty distinguished in its commitment to both teaching and research. All doctorates in English have a foundation in studies of British and American language and literature, thus Ph.D. students receive a broad education in the discipline that prepares them to teach effectively at any college level and provides the background for advanced research in their areas of particular expertise (see Concentrations). With the help of faculty mentors, students have the flexibility to fashion a course of study, comprehensive examinations, and dissertation research both in these concentrations and in such specialized areas as critical theory, African American literature, women's folklore and literature, and children's literature.
Application Information
Applicants to the doctoral program in English should normally possess an M.A. or equivalent degree in English or American literature or a closely allied field. Applicants must submit:
  • an online application (which can be found at the Graduate School site)
  • an assistantship and/or fellowship application (if applying for funding, downloadable at the Graduate School)
  • official GRE scores (General Test only)
  • undergraduate and graduate transcripts for all schools attended, testifying to solid academic preparation for advanced work
  • three letters of recommendation (preferably academic)
  • a critical writing sample (10-20 pp.)
  • a personal statement describing motivations and interests in choosing doctoral work (1-2 pp.)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Applicants in creative writing should submit electronically to the graduate coordinator, in addition to a critical work, a sample of their creative writing to englgrad@louisiana.edu, preferably in PDF format. (15-20 pp.)
All application materials, with the exception of creative writing samples, should be sent directly to the Graduate School, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504-4610. For Fall admission, the deadline for submitting all materials is 15 February for students seeking support. For those not seeking support, applications and supporting documents must be submitted at least 30 days before the beginning of the semester for which admission is sought, and at least 90 days for applications from foreign countries. The Graduate School will notify applicants of its decision after receiving all required credentials. The department will notify applicants of assistantship and fellowship decisions.
For more information or questions about the application write to the

Graduate Coordinator
Department of English
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
LA 70504-4691
Phone: 337-482-6919
Email: englgrad@louisiana.edu
Ph.D. Degree Requirements
The Ph.D. requires a total of 72 hours, split between coursework (48) and dissertation research (24). Course requirements for Ph.D. candidates vary with each individual’s chosen concentration in creative writing, English and American literature, folklore, linguistics, rhetoric and composition. For the most part, these requirements aim to provide a generalist education, the flexibility needed for each candidate’s concentration and research interests, and preparation for the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations. Before taking comprehensive exams, Ph.D. candidates must fulfill these course requirements and demonstrate reading proficiency in two foreign languages or fluency in one.

Depending on their previous coursework, doctoral students holding teaching assistantships are encouraged to complete their coursework in the first two and a half years, their comprehensive exams during the third or fourth year, thereby allowing them to begin dissertation work during the fourth or fifth year. The department makes every effort to offer extensions on assistantships to candidates who demonstrate continued progress toward the degree. Because of their lightened teaching load, Fellows tend to complete their degrees at a slightly accelerated rate.
Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams
Ph.D. candidates may take their comprehensive exams beginning in the semester after they complete their coursework and foreign language requirements. Following exam specifications required of their concentration, students select four areas for examination, one primary area and three secondary areas (see below). An oral component follows the written examinations in which the candidate responds to questions from his/her exam committee.

Area 1   British Literature to circa 1500
Area 2   British Literature of the Renaissance
Area 3   British Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
Area 4   British Literature of the Nineteenth Century
Area 5   British Literature from circa 1900 to the Present
Area 6   American Literature to circa 1900
Area 7   American Literature from circa 1900 to the Present
Area 8   Literary Theory
Area 9   Rhetoric
Area 10   Linguistics
Area 11   Special Topics. Devised by individual candidates and approved by the graduate faculty committee, Area 11 exams provide students with the opportunity to work in subfields recognized by the academy. Past Area 11 exams include: African-American Literature, Children's Literature, Women’s Literature and Feminist Theory, Narrative Film, Postcolonial Theory, Gothic Fiction, The Short Story, Modern European and American Drama, Lyric Poetry.
Area 12   Folklore
To view Ph.D. plans of study, contact the Graduate Coordinator

Placement Information
Students who have graduated UL Lafayette with a Ph.D. have found a range of employments. Below is a chart for all graduates over the last the last five years. We also have available an Excel file with the employment information for every graduate of the Ph.D. program in English since Andrew Hirt earned the program's first doctorate in 1972.
Name Year Initial position Current position Concentration
Cathy Carter 2009 elected local non-academic employment
Michael Jauchen 2009 Colby-Sawyer (NH) (Asst. Prof.) CW
Liberty Kohn 2009 Winona State University (Asst. Prof.) Rhetoric
Michael Walonen 2009 U. Alabama post-doc Bethune-Cookman University (Asst. Prof.) Brit Lit
Kate Lane 2009 Northwestern Oklahoma U. (Asst. Prof.) Brit Lit
Meagan Cass 2010 adjunct, Pasadena CC 1 yr. U. Illinois-Springfield (Asst. Prof.) CW
Sarah Little 2010 Instructor, Baton Rouge CC CW
Justin Thurman 2010 LaGrange College (GA) (Asst. Prof.) Rhetoric
Wendi Wilkerson 2010 Private Consulting Folklore
Marshall Barth 2011 Adjuncting in Tennessee Rhetoric
Thomas Reynolds 2011 Northwestern State University (LA) (Asst. Prof.) Rhetoric
Brendon Vayo 2011 Instructor, Concord University (WV) CW
Josh Caffrey 2011 Episcopal School of Acadiana AFS Fellowship, Library of Congress (2013-14) Folklore
Tina Mitchell 2011 UL adjunct CW
Matthew Nickel 2011 instructor, SUNY-New Paltz Assistant Professor, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA Am Lit
Allison Pattison 2011 Alabama State (Montgomery) (Asst. Prof.) CW
Wendy Whelan-Stewart 2011 McNeese State (LA) (Asst. Prof.) Am Lit
Brandon Barker 2012 Senior Folklorist, Louisiana Boy Scouts Visiting Lecturer in Folklore, Indiana U. Folklore
Mike Berntsen 2012 Lecturer, UNC Pembroke CW
Danielle Bray 2012 Instructor, U Georgia Permanent Instructor, U. Georgia, Athens Children's Lit
Geoffrey Elliott 2012 Instructor, TCI College of Tech. Visiting Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University Medieval
Allen Jones 2012 Visiting Asst. Prof, U. Puget Sound CW
Katherine Manning 2012 Azusa Pacific (CA) (Asst. Prof.) CW
Cassandra Peay 2012 Instructor, Tennessee Tech U. Asst. Prof., Piedmont College, GA American Literature and Comp/Rhetoric
Ki Elise Russell 2012 Blue Mountain CC (Asst. Prof.) CW
Bryan Hinojosa 2012 UL adjunct CW
Ric Jahna 2012 Arizona Western (Asst. Prof.) CW
Bridget Whelan 2012 Instructor, McNeese State University (La) Instructor, Sowela Technical Community College British Literature
Anderson, Amanda 2013 Instructor, Washington State Community College (Ohio)   literature
Arnold, Wayne 2013 Assistant Professor of TEFL at Kansai Gaidai University, Japan   literature, TESOL
Lee, Chun 2013 Instructor, Brazosport College (Lake Jackson, TX)   CW
Roth, Forrest 2013 Adjunct Instructor, D'Youville College, Buffalo NY   CW
Williams, Daniel 2013 Visiting Assistant Professor, Geneva College, Pennsylvania   CW

Document last revised Tuesday, September 29, 2015 10:19 AM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department of English · P.O. Box 44691, Lafayette LA 70504
Griffin Hall, Room 221 · english@louisiana.edu · 337/482-6908