The Catholic University of America

Doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature

The Ph.D. in English is conferred upon completion of 54 credit hours of course work following the B.A., a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation.  Up to 24 credits may be transferred with the approval of the graduate director.  Degree requirements include those for the MA (see above) with the following additions: 

  • Two research seminars (800-level courses) after completion of the M.A.
  • Reading knowledge of a second foreign language, which may be demonstrated through course work or by a proficiency exam

Upon completion of course work the Ph.D. student takes a comprehensive exam consisting of three parts: literature of an historical period; literary theory and the history of criticism; and an individualized field in which the dissertation is to be written. The dissertation, a substantial piece of original research, gives the doctoral program its capstone.