Students begin working on the Dissertation after successful completion of Ph.D. Exams.
A Dissertation can take one or more years to complete.
Registration for Dissertation credit (English 800) requires the signature of the Dissertation Director, necessitating a meeting with the Dissertation Director at least one time each quarter.
After gaining the Reading Committee's approval of the Dissertation Prospectus, the student writes a dissertation under the direction of the Dissertation Director. The Dissertation Director is the student's principal adviser, but the student may consult other members of the Committee. When the completed Dissertation has been approved by the Dissertation Director, the student may submit copies of the Dissertation to the English Graduate Office for formal submission to the Reading Committee and request the scheduling of a Dissertation Defense.
The dissertation is the defining feature of doctoral education. This research project may take many forms, including (but not limited to) a scholarly edition of a literary work, a digital research archive, a suite of essays on a common theme, a scholarly bibliography of a major work or critical movement, a lengthy translation, a monograph-length critical study, or a public humanities project. Any dissertation project must demonstrate command of the scholarly field in which it is situated. It must entail theoretical and critical reflection. And (most importantly) it must be mutually agreed upon by the candidate and the director, and subsequently by all other faculty committee members. It will be held to the most rigorous intellectual and scholarly standards.