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Doctoral Program Goals and Objectives

1. IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR CYCLES OF DOCTORAL PROGRAM REVIEW EXPECTED, EACH UNIVERSITY SHALL PROMULGATE VIA ITS WEB PAGE A STATEMENT OF GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR EACH PROGRAM, WHICH BUILDS UPON THE QUALITY STANDARDS OUTLINED BELOW AND DEFINES THE UNIQUE QUALITIES AND STRENGTHS (THE NICHE) OF THE PROGRAM.

A) A MISSION STATEMENT DEFINING THE UNIQUE ASPECTS OF THE PROGRAM INCLUDING THE SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CURRICULUM AND THE TYPES OF RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY PROGRAM FACULTY AND STUDENTS
The Department of English offers programs in English Literature and Language (including American, British, and world literatures in English) leading to the MA and PhD degrees. It also offers a research concentration in Writing History and Theory (WHiT) that encourages the examination of writing practices as historically, culturally, and technologically situated. Our faculty – comprising 20 Professors and Instructors with primary appointments in the Department – covers many areas of English Studies, particularly the literatures of the English Renaissance period; of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Centuries in Britain and the Commonwealth; of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries in the US; and of the contemporary period. Our doctoral research concentration in Writing History and Theory capitalizes on faculty expertise in medical rhetoric, visual rhetoric, authorship and intellectual property, and other fields related to the study of rhetoric and writing.
These programs are supported by faculty research and expertise in Medicine, Language and Literature, and Cultures of Authorship and Exhibition. Graduate students also can choose to pursue limited coursework and draw upon faculty expertise in film studies and creative writing.

B) ADMISSION STANDARDS – THE EXPECTED PREPARATION AND QUALIFICATIONS OF STUDENTS ADMITTED TO THE PROGRAM.
In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies for admission, a candidate for graduate work in English should present an undergraduate major in English or a minimum of eighteen semester hours of English beyond the freshman level. In some cases, students will be required to make up deficiencies without receiving graduate credit and/or may be admitted only on a provisional status. The Department requires all candidates for admission to submit their scores on the general sections of the Graduate Records Examination. We pay close attention to the verbal and analytical writing scores. We do not require the specialized test in English literature, though we welcome any evidence of strong preparation in the field that such scores might provide.
Candidates must submit one or two examples of their scholarly, analytic writing (amounting to about twenty double-spaced pages), normally papers written for undergraduate or graduate courses in English literature and language. The admissions committee reads writing samples carefully for evidence of scholarly promise. The committee finds that creative pieces or samples of journalistic writing do not provide such evidence.

C) THE MANNER IN WHICH THE PROGRAM ADDRESSES THE NEEDS OF THE STATE OR REGION.
Faculty and graduate student work engages with University Circle and Cleveland institutions, including the Dittrick Museum of Medical History, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Association, the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo, and the Cleveland Playhouse, as well as with CWRU’s Theater Arts, Art History, Cognitive Science, and History departments, Special Collections in the Kelvin Smith Library, and the Law School.

D) PLACEMENT OBJECTIVES FOR GRADUATES.
Our doctoral program prepares students for academic careers at colleges and universities and for non-academic work in related fields. The faculty in the Department offer extensive preparation in methods for working in English Studies and supplement the official curriculum with a series of professional development workshops and colloquia, including sessions on developing academic, “alternative-academic,” and non-academic career search plans.

Page last modified: May 12, 2016