English Program

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in English

The M.A. is a prerequisite for admission to the 72-unit Ph.D. program. All 40 units of coursework from a CGU M.A., or a maximum of 24 units transferred from an M.A. granted by another institution, may be counted toward the Ph.D. Degree requirements include the following:

  • 72 units of coursework
  • Two research tools (either two foreign languages or one foreign language and the digital humanities research tool course)
  • Ph.D. qualifying exam
  • A dissertation proposal and formal advancement to candidacy
  • An oral exam on the completed dissertation
  • Doctoral students entering in Fall 2006 and after must satisfy the 4-unit transdisciplinary course (T-course) requirement within the second year of study at CGU. For more information, please see the T-course page.

For students who earned an M.A. degree at CGU, the 72 units of coursework will include eight seminars of four units each. For student who transfer in 24 units, the coursework requirement will include twelve four-unit seminars, usually taken over a two-year period with no more than twelve units in any semester. Thereafter, students must register for Doctoral Study to maintain continuous registration until all degree requirements have been met.

See "Residence Requirement" and other institutional regulations in the "Degree Regulations" section of the CGU Bulletin.

Distribution Requirement

The 72 units of coursework (typically 18 seminars) must fulfill the following distribution requirement:

  • one course in British literature before 1700
  • one course in British literature after 1700
  • one course in American literature before 1900
  • one course in American literature after 1900
  • one other course in British or American literature of any period
  • one Transdisciplinary course 

Language/Research Tool Requirement

The student must demonstrate proficiency in two foreign languages or in one foreign language and an approved research tool. Foreign language proficiency is demonstrated when the student passes the language exam administered by the School of Arts and Humanities for reading comprehension.


Ph.D. students will be reviewed every year until coursework has been completed. All students who are enrolled in or completing Ph.D. coursework must provide the review committee in timely fashion with a copy of a graded term paper, an explanation for any low or incomplete grades, and any other relevant data or documents requested by the review committee. Students who do not receive the review committee's permission to advance in the Ph.D. program will not be allowed to continue and could elect to work toward the M.Phil.

Qualifying Examinations

Normally, the Ph.D. qualifying exams are offered twice each year. The opportunity to take the qualifying exams is not automatic. Formal permission must be obtained from the CGU core faculty in English per the "Evaluation" section above. To be eligible to take the exams, the student must have successfully completed 64 units of coursework, satisfied all the distribution requirements, rectified all outstanding "Incompletes," and satisfied all other institutional requirements. See "Degree Regulations" in the CGU Bulletin.

Students must select one major field and may select two minor fields from the following fields drawn from the general fields covered by CGU core faculty, i.e., British Literature, pre and post 1750, and American Literature pre and post 1900. Specific exam design is undertaken by the examiner in consultation with the student. Minor fields may also be selected from fields outside the English Department, in consultation with the student’s advisor and the relevant faculty.

Dissertation Requirements

The student must prepare an acceptable dissertation under the guidance of an appointed dissertation committee, and must pass an oral examination on it. See the "Degree Regulations" section of the CGU Bulletin.

For detailed requirements, information, and policies please review the CGU Bulletin and the English Department Handbook.

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