Doctor of Philosophy in English and Film Studies
The department offers specializations in the following three fields: gender and genre; nation, diaspora, culture; and textuality, media and print studies. The purpose of the program is to offer professional education and training for students who wish to pursue careers in postsecondary teaching, research, administration, and other fields in which sophisticated analytical, organizational and communication skills are required.
Admission to the program normally requires an MA in English, an MA in Cinema/Film Studies,† or an equivalent degree with at least an A- average in graduate work.† Applications are considered by the departmental Graduate Studies Committee and a recommendation to admit or decline is forwarded to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Admission standards are rigorous and involve three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a writing sample and a proposed program of study.
Innovative opportunities exist in the program to pursue work across traditional disciplinary boundaries. The degree requirements consist of
Doctoral students must maintain a minimum grade of B+ in each course to be eligible to continue in the program.
The PhD Area Exams, constituting the Comprehensive Area Exam and the Specialization Area Exam, prepare students for teaching and research. The two areas complement and reinforce each other, but are graded separately.† The Comprehensive Exam will comprise primarily canonical texts for a teachable area, while the Specialization Exam will cover, in-depth, both the canonical and the non-canonical texts necessary for the dissertation.†
Comprehensive Area Exam (terms 2, 3 and 4)
Specialization Area Exam (terms 5 and 6)
In April of the first year of registration and once a year thereafter, a student is required to complete an annual progress report detailing the achievements of the previous year and the objectives for the next year.† The report must demonstrate satisfactory progress, and must be signed with comments by the supervisor and departmentís Graduate Officer, and filed with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Failure to submit a satisfactory report may result in the student being required to withdraw from the program.
Doctoral students are required to demonstrate reading proficiency in one language other than modern English, and one that is in some way pertinent to the dissertation research area. The selection of the language will be determined by the student in consultation with the dissertation advisor, and must be submitted for approval to the Graduate Officer. The aim is to test the student's ability to read critically in another language rather than to demonstrate mastery of translation. Assessment of the student's reading proficiency is based on a three-hour examination, which consists of the student's translation (with the help of a dictionary) of one passage in prose and a written analysis (in English) of the passage's critical implications. A faculty member with expertise in the language grades the examination on a pass/fail basis. Evidence that a student has already demonstrated similar language ability at another university before admission may be submitted to the Graduate Officer, who will consult with the Graduate Studies Committee about the studentís request to have the language requirement waived. Credit will be given at the discretion of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to any student who has fulfilled the equivalent language requirement through an MA-level examination. Credit will not normally be given for the completion of a university- level language course. Typically the language requirement will be completed within years 2 or 3 (between the 6th to 9th terms of study).
Failure to Complete
A student who twice fails the Comprehensive Area Exam or the Specialization Area Exam will be required to withdraw from the program.
Following successful completion of the two area exams, the student must write and submit a Dissertation Proposal, using the guidelines outlined by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. This Dissertation Proposal will grow out of the studentís SAE rationale, taking into consideration knowledge and research obtained in the course of preparation for and the writing of the SAE, and will normally be submitted to the studentís supervisory committee within eight weeks after completion of the SAE. This Dissertation Proposal must also be deemed acceptable by the Graduate Studies Committee, before being passed to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The student must then complete and defend an original research dissertation on an advanced topic. The dissertation should normally be between 50,000 and 75,000 words in length, and will be followed by an oral examination of the student† in accordance with WLUís doctoral regulations and procedures, which will govern the written dissertation and the oral examination formats.
At least five semesters of full-time study must be devoted to the doctoral program following the completion of a recognized master's degree.