Section 4. The Ph.D. Program

4.1      Course Requirements

The PhD program, which is only for students who enter UCSB with an MA in English or a closely related field from another institution, requires 36 units of graduate coursework (9 courses at 4 units per course), all of which must be taken for a letter grade. No credit for graduate courses can be transferred from other institutions (though courses taken elsewhere may count toward the distribution requirement [see below]). Students in the PhD program will take their first-qualifying exam at the end of their sixth quarter in the program (the end of year two), and must have completed the 36 required units of graduate coursework before the exam. It is university policy that graduate students enroll for at least 12 units per quarter. Additional units of Engl. 597 or 599, which require no formal work, may be added to bring total units up to 12 (see Sections 5.5 and 5.6). Students are, of course, welcome to take more than the required six courses, whether for a letter grade or pass/no pass.

4.2.      Distribution Requirement
Students in the PhD program have two years to fulfill an individually tailored version of the MA/PhD distribution requirement described in Section 3.2. Courses taken for a grade at the student’s MA institution count toward the distribution requirement (but not toward the 36 units needed to complete the program) if the following arrangement is made: in an individual meeting with the Graduate Advisor during orientation week, students in the PhD program use their MA transcript to negotiate a “contract” for fulfilling the distribution requirement. For example, a student who earned grades in graduate-level “Shakespeare” and “Wordsworth” courses at their MA institution could be excused from having to take courses in Areas I and II. Such a student would then need to elect only three courses to complete the distribution requirement, one each in Areas III, IV, and V. (However, all students must take a course from our faculty in Area V, even if they have taken theory previously. It is advisable to take at least one such course as early as possible). 

4.3.      Normal Progress for the PhD Program

The PhD program is designed to take 5 years, though it may only take 4 years for some students. Students in this program will take the first qualifying examination at the end of their sixth of residence. The second qualifying examination must then be taken no later than their tenth quarter. University policy mandates that all PhD students advance to candidacy by the close of their fourth year (see Section 3.5 for more information). However, normal progress in the English program requires advancement at the beginning of the fourth year for students entering with the MA. In addition, students must satisfy the foreign language requirement as set forth in Section 7. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they continue making normal progress in the program – i.e. to complete courses, fulfill language requirements, and pass the first and second qualifying exams in timely fashion. Students should realize that satisfactory progress toward the degree is usually a precondition of assignment to teaching assistantships, and that research stipends and summer teaching priority may be offered to students who have remained on schedule.






2 Graduate Seminars

2 Graduate Seminars

2 Graduate Seminars
Language Exam


2 Graduate Seminars
Language Exam

1 Graduate Seminar

First Qualifying (MA) Exam


Doctoral Colloquium

Doctoral Colloquium

Doctoral Colloquium

Submit Dissertation


Second Qualifying Exam

Dissertation Begun

Dissertation Work


Dissertation Work

Dissertation Work

Dissertation Filed


4.4.      Incomplete Courses

(See Section 3.4 above.)

4.5.      Normative Time

(See Section 3.5 above.)

4.6.      PhD Classification

(See Section 3.6 above.)