Handbook & Pandemic Adjustments

 

For full details about the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs in English please see the English Literature M.A./Ph.D. Handbook. 

MA/Phd In english graduate student handbook

Temporary adjustments to MA Degree for Fall 2020 to Spring 2022

 The MA/PhD in English faculty recognizes that our graduate students face daily stressful and time-consuming conditions at unprecedented levels during the pandemic and has decided to put into place some temporary provisions which will help students meet their time to degree timelines. We regard this adjustment as particularly urgent as extensions to funding will not be forthcoming in the near or middle future.

These adjustments are an option for any student who has not yet taken the MA, including those who are doing re-takes of their exams this semester (F 20).

These adjustments will be in place from Fall 2020 to Spring 2022, at which point we may re-visit.

In lieu of the MA Exam, students may opt to take 3 pre-1900 graduate literature courses; for any or all 3 courses a paper of 15-25 pages written on pre-1900 literature can be substituted (details will be arranged on an individual basis). Students will also submit 2 unrevised papers they have written for graduate courses to the graduate coordinator. The Graduate Coordinator will distribute these papers as follows:

  • for students who have been working with an approved MA committee as of Fall 2020, the papers will be distributed to that committee for evaluation and determination that the student is (or isn't) qualified to go on to the PhD program
  • for students who are not currently working with an approved MA committee, a committee will be constituted to read and evaluate the papers to determine if the student is qualified to go on to the PhD program. The committee will consist of the Director, 2 faculty chosen from a ranked list provided by the student, and 1 faculty member appointed by the Director.

In the event that the decision is "not qualified," the Committee has the option to recommend a re-take to consist of a submission of 1 or 2 new papers; appeal by the student will be adjudicated by the faculty operating as a committee of the whole.

Pandemic adjustments for PhD students

The MA/PhD in English faculty recognizes that our graduate students face daily stressful and time-consuming conditions at unprecedented levels during the pandemic and has decided to put into place some temporary provisions which will help students meet their time to degree timelines. We regard this adjustment as particularly urgent as extensions to funding will not be forthcoming in the near or middle future.
 
These adjustments are an option for any student currently enrolled in the English PhD program and anyone who matriculates in the program Fall 2021.
 
Foreign Language Requirement
Students may contact the Director of the program to request an individual waiver of the Foreign Language Requirement.
 
The Comprehensive Exam
Students with existing Comprehensive Exam committees and Reading Lists may, with committee participation and approval, shorten those lists. The faculty has agreed that 60 texts total is a reasonable number.
 
 Students may also opt to sit for the Comps using the pandemic adjustment to the structure of the exam, as follows:  The 3-list structure (Period, Genre, 2 Major Authors) can be replaced with a 2-list structure: one "field" and one "specialized" list. Both lists must demonstrate scholarly breadth and depth. The Field list will cover a "long" period and its genres; the Specialized list will intensively focus on any through-line of the student's current and planned research interests and goals. This list may also be geared more closely (but not exclusively) to the student's dissertation project. In some cases, a student may opt to base this list on their non-English minor.
 
The process of forming and approving the 4-person Comprehensive Committee and the reading lists, as well as the process of administering and evaluating the exam remains the same (see Handbook). Our current system of not officially assigning exclusive supervision of lists to particular committee member(s) still obtains.
 
Dissertation Writing and Approval protocol
The faculty agrees that in general 2-3 weeks should be the time frame within which dissertation chapters are returned to the student
 
Unless there are structural issues with dissertation draft chapters, the faculty agrees that students should be strongly encouraged to save chapter revisions for the last step of the project (once all chapters have been approved, with or without revisions).