Fiction Workshop

Composition and Rhetoric PhD

PhD Requirements & Funding

PhD students take eight seminars during their first two years that include core foundation courses as well as electives of their choice. Four required foundation courses offer a breadth and depth in the field; two seminars are additional composition and rhetoric courses, and two seminars are open electives in English at the 600 level or above that are relevant to the individually planned course of study. A course of study might center on any one of the subfields in the discipline, such as composition theory, composition pedagogy, digital media studies, ethnic rhetoric, historical rhetoric, linguistics, literacy studies, professional writing, writing center study, women’s rhetoric, or any devised interdisciplinary field. It might focus on a single historical period or cut across them in order to achieve historical range. It might use any of a variety of research methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative research.

Four Foundation Courses (16 hours):

  • ENG 732: Histories and Theories of Composition

  • ENG 733: Histories and Theories of Rhetoric

  • ENG 735: Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition

  • ENG 737: Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric

Two additional seminars in composition and rhetoric (8 hours)

Two open electives in English at 600 level or above relevant to course of study (8 hours)

Special Topic Courses

Special topic courses that count toward the additional seminars and the open electives are offered each semester. Recent special topic courses have included: Writing Program Administration, Professional Writing, Digital Composition, Rhetorics of Public Spheres, Comparative Rhetorics, Rhetorics of Style, For more information see Recent Courses.

Other required coursework:

  • ENG 603: Theories and Their Histories (4 hrs.)

  • ENG 605: Issues in the Profession (2 hrs.)

Language or Cognate Requirement

The doctoral student is required, before sitting for the comprehensive examination, to show competence in (1) a language other than English, and (2) a second language other than English or a cognate field.

  1. The doctoral student is required to show competence in at least one language other than English. A candidate may fulfill the language requirement by:

    • having passed within the last 10 years two undergraduate courses in the language at the 200 level or above;

    • completing 617/618 in a language department at Miami;

    • taking a language examination given by a foreign language department at Miami University; or

    • presenting a language, other than English, which is the candidate’s native language. The Graduate Committee will accept language examination scores administered at the graduate level or graduate-level courses equivalent to 617/618 from other accredited universities.

  2. Reading proficiency in a second foreign language or competence in a cognate field. Credits earned to meet a cognate field requirement cannot be used to meet credit hour requirements for the degree. A student may, with the approval of his/her Advisory Committee, choose one of the following options to fulfill this requirement by:

    • showing a reading knowledge of a second modern foreign language or a classical language as under (a) above;

    • offering not less than 6 course hours, or the equivalent, of acceptable graduate work in the literature of the language used to meet the first language requirement;or

    • offering not less than 6 course hours, or the equivalent, of acceptable work in a cognate field (for example: Interactive Media Studies, Philosophy, History, Anthropology and Sociology, Psychology, Women’s Studies) at the 600 level or above.

Candidacy Requirements

A comprehensive exam including an area of concentration, a special topic, and a reading list approved by a student’s advisor committee. The exam is an opportunity to discuss with your committee how readings from your designed concentration inform your continuing research interests.

A dissertation including a prospectus and defense.

Funding

PhD Graduate Assistantships provide tuition remission and a stipend to support their graduate work for four years, with the possibility of a Dissertation Fellowship or half-time employment in the 5th year and beyond. This year (2015) the stipend for PhD students is $19,869. Graduate students are also eligible for a Summer Scholarship of $1800 making the total TA award $21,669.

For assistantships, students have opportunities to teach in the College Composition Program, the Professional Writing major, and the Rhetoric and Writing minor in the English Department and in other programs, such as Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Interactive Media Studies. (For more information, please see Teaching Opportunities. [make link])

We typically admit 3-4 students to each program per year.

Dissertation Fellowships

One full 4th year Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship, and several semester-length or full-year Department Dissertation Fellowships are available on a competitive basis. Only students entering their fourth year of funding will be considered for the fellowship awarded by the Graduate School.  All students in the fourth and fifth years or beyond will be considered for fellowships awarded by the department.  Applicants must have successfully passed their comprehensive examination by the published application deadline, typically in early April. Applicants must submit a dissertation prospectus that has been read and approved by all committee members, and a cover letter in which they briefly outline the project and present a timeline for completing the dissertation.

The criteria for awarding the fellowships are the quality of the project as expressed in the prospectus, and the likelihood that the applicant will complete the dissertation during the term of the award.