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English Graduate Student Handbook
Online Edition--Updated: October 2010
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
PREFACE

THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

OVERVIEW OF THE ENGLISH GRADUATE PROGRAM:
The MA and Ph.D. Generalist Degrees in English and American Literature
M.A. Emphases and Ph.D. Concentrations
M.A.--American Culture
M.A. and Ph.D.--Creative Writing
M.A.--ESOL
M.A. and Ph.D.--Folklore
M.A and Ph.D.--Linguistics
M.A.--Professional Writing
M.A.--Reading
M.A. and Ph.D.--Rhetoric


THE M.A. PROGRAM
M.A. General Course Requirements
M.A. Exam Committee
M.A. Thesis Option
M.A. Foreign Language Requirement
M.A Comprehensive Exams
Application for Examination
Guidelines for Components of the Exams
Grading Procedures of Written Components
The Oral Exam
Failed M.A. Exams

THE PH.D. PROGRAM
Preliminary Advisor
Ph.D. Foreign Language Requirements
Ph.D. General Course Requirements
Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams
Application for Examination
Ph.D. Exam Areas
Rules for Ph.D. Exams
Guidelines for Area 11 Exams
Grading Procedures
Ph.D. Exams "Passed with Distinction"
Failed Ph.D. Exams
Oral Comprehensive Exam
Guidelines for Ph.D. Oral Exams
Admission to Candidacy
Dissertation Committee
Dissertation Prospectus
Sample Prospectus: Literature
Sample Prospectus: Creative Writing
Dissertation Defense

SPECIAL COURSES
Individual Directed Study (English 597, 598)
English 595-Special Projects

ACADEMIC STANDING AND SATISFACTORY PROGRESS

APPEALS

TRANSFER OF CREDIT

THE GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP
Orientations
Teaching and Tutoring Duties
Information for Freshman English Instructors
Departmental and Individual Course Syllabi
Policy Sheets
Excessive Absences
Officially Excused Absences
Make-Up Work and Late Papers
Final Essay and Final Grade for ENGL 90, 101, and 102
Office Hours, Files, and Grade Books
Textbook Selection and Desk Copies
Retaining Assistantships
Special Courses for Graduate Assistants
Teaching Awards

AWARDS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

SUPPORT SERVICES
Dupre Library
Databases
Extended Loan Privileges
Personal Reserve, Hold, Trace
Tours
Jefferson Caffery Research Award
Lafayette Parish Library
Graduate Student Organization
Audio-Visual Equipment; SMART classrooms

STANDING COMMITTEES
English Department Committees
English Department Graduate Committee Subcommittees

THE GRADUATE FACULTY
 
 
 
PREFACE
 
This handbook is meant primarily to be a helpful supplement to the Graduate Bulletin and the Guidelines for Graduate Assistants and Fellows, both published by the Graduate School. The Graduate Bulletin contains information on general requirements for all graduate students at this university, while the Guidelines for Graduate Assistants and Fellows contains policies governing Graduate Assistants and University Fellows. Questions about information in either of those documents can be directed to the Graduate Coordinator or the Dean of the Graduate School.
 
The handbook is intended for graduate students already enrolled in the English department. If you are interested in applying for the Masters program, please find information here. If you are interested in applying for the Ph.D. program, please find information here. Application forms are available from the Graduate School.
 
Like the Graduate School, the English Department reserves the right to make changes in the requirements described herein without notice. Every effort will be made, however, to update this document as soon as possible after such changes are made.
 
Acknowledgments
The present document is the fourth edition of the handbook. The first two editions (1990 and 1994) were compiled by a subcommittee of the Graduate Committee chaired by Dr. Sylvia Iskander. We gratefully acknowledge her contribution, and that of all the committee members.

Third Edition, Fall 1999, edited by:
Joseph Andriano
Marcia Gaudet

Fourth Edition, Fall 2007, edited by:
Claiborne Rice, Graduate Coordinator
Joseph Andriano, Graduate Committee
 
BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
Graduate programs in all academic departments of the University are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. The Graduate Council, consisting of elected members of the University Graduate Faculty, determines policies of the Graduate School, subject to approval of the President of the University and within the framework authorized by the Board of Trustees for State Colleges and Universities. The Graduate Dean is the chief executive officer.
 
The Graduate School establishes minimum criteria governing admissions, financial aid, and degree requirements. Individual departments are permitted to impose more stringent requirements. Degrees are conferred by the Graduate School, not by individual departments; hence, students who expect to receive their degrees must satisfy all Graduate School requirements as outlined in the current Graduate Bulletin.
 
Students must give particular attention to Graduate School guidelines governing dissertation committee appointments, format for theses and dissertations, procedures for admission to degree candidacy, and deadlines for graduation. It is the student's responsibility to keep abreast of Graduate School regulations and to adhere to all requirements.
 
Click here for copies of the following (and other) Graduate School forms:
Application for Use of Transfer Graduate Credit [for M.A. students only]
Petition for Regular Status
Application for Graduate Assistantship
Application for Ph.D. Fellowship
Application for Admission to Candidacy for the Master's Degree
Application for Admission to Candidacy, Doctor of Philosophy Degree
Ph.D. Progress Report Form
Dissertation Committee Appointment, Doctor of Philosophy
Graduate Application for Readmission
Graduation Check-list (to be completed at beginning of semester during which degree requirements are completed)
Application for Degree
 
Students writing theses and dissertations should download and print the booklet Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations (2003).
 
 
 
 
OVERVIEW OF THE ENGLISH GRADUATE PROGRAM
 
The M.A. and Ph.D. Generalist Degrees in English and American Literature
Both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees offered by the UL English Department are generalist degrees in English and American literature. While students acquire a broad expertise in literature, they may also pursue more specialized interests in fields that are particular departmental strengths. The broad base in literature, along with the teaching experience gained by graduate assistants, ensures that those who opt for academic positions will be qualified to teach in several areas in an English Department, while also being able to continue advanced research in their chosen area of expertise. For students who want to pursue their interests in specific areas, our department offers M.A. degree emphases and PhD degree concentrations so that, in addition to their generalist education, students may choose to focus a portion of their course of study in one area.
 
M.A. Emphases and Ph.D. Concentrations
In addition to the traditional M.A. degree in literature, masters students may pursue an M.A. with an emphasis in American Culture, English as a Second Language, Folklore, Linguistics, Reading, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, or Rhetoric; and in addition to the traditional Ph.D. in literature, doctoral students may pursue a Ph.D. with a concentration in Creative Writing, Folklore, Linguistics, or Rhetoric. All concentrations require English 500 (Professional Colloquium), English 596 (Research Methods), and one course for the M.A. student and two courses for the Ph.D. student selected from a list of linguistics, Old English or Middle English courses. (This list also includes literary theory courses for Ph. D. students.)
 
M.A.--American Culture
Students electing an M.A. in English with an American Culture emphasis must complete 15 hours of literature courses distributed over five of the seven literary areas (see General M.A. requirements below). They must also complete 6-12 hours of graduate credit, which may be taken outside the English Department. The hours should be selected to complement the English course work; generally, courses in history, political science, art, music, sociology, or anthropology are chosen. Students are advised to choose a committee as soon as possible, preferably within the first semester of graduate study.
 
M.A. and Ph.D.--Creative Writing
The graduate program in English with a primary emphasis in Creative Writing is designed for M.A. students with a serious interest in writing fiction, poetry, drama, or creative non-fiction, and for Ph.D. students who may wish to pursue a career in teaching creative writing or modern literature. Both are designed to produce generalists with credentials in creative writing.
 
M.A. students must take a minimum of 15 hours in literature courses distributed over five of the seven literary areas and a minimum of 6 hours in 400- or 500-level creative writing workshops. At least half of the courses must be at the 500 and 600 level. They must also submit a substantial body of creative work (either in one genre or a mix of genres) with a theoretical introduction for thesis credit.
 
Ph.D. students in creative writing must take a minimum of 48 hours above the baccalaureate in courses at the 400, 500, and 600 levels. Students must take at least 3 hours at the 500 level or above in any four different areas numbered one through seven. A minimum of 9 hours in 400- and 500-level creative writing workshops in at least two different genres must be taken at UL. In addition, students must complete 24 hours of dissertation credit. To complete dissertation requirements the student must submit a substantial body of creative work with a theoretical introduction.
 
Both M.A. and Ph.D. students are required to have a formal reading of their creative work before the academic community prior to graduation, and they must also show they have made a substantial attempt to publish their original work.
 
M.A.--TESOL
The student pursuing the M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages must complete ENGL 506, ENGL 452, ENGL 561, ENGL 562, and ENGL 563. In addition, the student takes a minimum of 9 additional hours in linguistics of other English courses, and completes a teaching practicum.
 
Positions advertised both in the U.S. and abroad recommend a degree in Linguistics or in TESOL, but a secondary concentration and experience are often accepted, both for teaching language skills and for teaching literature.
 
M.A. and Ph.D.--Folklore
The student pursuing an M.A. in English with a Folklore concentration is required to take a minimum of 15 hours in literature courses, representing at least five of seven literary periods, and at least 12 hours of folklore courses. Folklore courses may be selected from any appropriate course offered at the graduate level and may be drawn from departments as diverse as art, architecture, history, foreign languages, anthropology, sociology, and others. Courses from other departments at this university or other universities, however, must be approved by the Folklore Committee and the Graduate Coordinator. Students pursuing a folklore concentration may elect to write a thesis based upon library research or fieldwork.
 
Ph.D. students in English can, in consultation with the Folklore Committee and the Graduate Coordinator, design a course of study with an emphasis in folklore. The Ph.D. student with a folklore emphasis takes the primary exam in Area 12 (Folklore) and writes a dissertation on a folklore topic that may be based on fieldwork.
 
Students interested in folklore studies are encouraged to become familiar with the Folklore Archives, the Center for Louisiana Studies, and the Louisiana Room collections in Dupré Library; all provide rich sources for research.
 
M.A. and Ph.D.--Linguistics
The M.A. in English with a Linguistics emphasis is designed for students whose primary interests are in linguistics and applications of linguistic theory. Students who study linguistics at the M.A. level will have a strong background for Ph.D. programs in literature, rhetoric, or linguistics. The Ph.D. concentration in linguistics is designed to produce generalists with credentials in linguistics.
 
The M.A. student interested in studying linguistics is required to take a minimum of 15 hours in literature courses distributed over five of seven literary periods, 12 hours from specified courses in linguistics, and 3 hours selected with the approval of the student's advisor. Students who do not wish to write a thesis for 6 hours credit must take an additional 3 hours selected in consultation with their advisors. At the Ph.D. level, students can choose to study for a primary or secondary concentration in linguistics. Those who opt for a primary, are required to complete a minimum of 12 hours 4 different literary areas 1 through 7 at the 500 level, 18 hours in specified courses in linguistics, and 6 additional hours to be approved by the linguistics advisor from a selected list of courses. In addition, students complete 24 hours of dissertation credit. The primary exam of the Comprehensive Examinations is in linguistics; two of the three remaining secondary exams must be in Areas 1-7. The Ph.D. student writes a dissertation on a topic dealing with linguistics.
 
M.A.--Professional Writing
 
The M.A. with a professional writing concentration is designed primarily for students interested in pursuing a career in technical writing. For the non-thesis option, 33 hours of course work are required; 30 hours of course work plus 6 hours of thesis for the thesis option. In addition to the general M.A. requirements, students must take 15 hours of literature courses from five of the seven periods listed below. Other courses are chosen from technical writing, non-fiction writing, rhetoric and creative writing. In addition, students will prepare a professional portfolio of original work representing their writing skills and areas of specialization. The portfolio must be approved by the advisory committee before the oral examination.
 
M.A. and Ph.D.--Rhetoric
 
The graduate program in Rhetoric is designed for students whose primary interests are in rhetoric and composition. Most of them plan to pursue a teaching career in composition and literature or to direct writing programs at the secondary or university level. Several curricula are available at the M.A. level and Ph.D. level.
 
The M.A. student interested in studying rhetoric is required to take a minimum of 15 hours in literature courses distributed over five of seven literary periods, 12 hours from specified courses in rhetoric, and 3 hours to be chosen with the approval of the student's advisor. Students who wish to write a thesis will take 27 hours of course work (15 in literature and 12 in rhetoric), and write the thesis for 6 hours of credit. At the Ph.D. level students can choose to study for a primary or a secondary concentration in rhetoric. Those who opt for a primary are required to take at least 3 hours at the 500 level or above in any four different areas numbered one through seven, 9 hours in specified courses in linguistics and rhetoric, and 15 hours to be selected from a wide variety of courses dealing with language and composition. In addition, students must complete 24 hours of dissertation credit. The primary examination of the Comprehensive Exams is in rhetoric; one secondary is in linguistics or folklore, and the other two secondary exams cover literary periods. The Ph.D. student writes a dissertation on a topic dealing with rhetoric or composition theory.
 
Ph.D. students who choose a secondary concentration in rhetoric must take 9 hours of rhetoric courses and successfully complete a secondary Comprehensive Examination in rhetoric.
 
A reading list useful to students preparing for the Comprehensive Exams is available from members of the rhetoric faculty.
 
 
 
 
THE M.A. PROGRAM
 
M.A. General Course Requirements
1. The M.A. in English has both thesis and non-thesis options. The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 33 hours of course work; 24 hours of course work plus 6 hours of thesis are required for the thesis option.
2. All students must take English 596, usually in their first semester.
3. All students must take English 500, a non-credit Professional Colloquium, their first semester.
4. At least half the required courses (a minimum of 15 hours) must be at the 500 or 600 level.
5. Students must take at least one course at the 400 or 500 level from five of the following literary periods:
Area 1: British Literature to c. 1500
Area 2: British Literature of the Renaissance
Area 3: British Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
Area 4: British Literature of the Nineteenth Century
Area 5: British Literature c. 1900 to the Present
Area 6: American Literature to c. 1900
Area 7: American Literature from c. 1900 to the Present
6. Students must complete at least one course in linguistics, Old or Middle English.
7. Graduate Assistants, in addition to the courses listed above, must complete the pedagogy courses, English 501 and 509. English 501 is usually taken in the second semester, 509 in the third and fourth. English 509 hours do not count toward degree requirements.
 
M.A. Exam Committee
After completing 12 hours of course work, the Masters student will file for candidacy with the Graduate School using an Application for Admission to Candidacy for the Master's Degree form. This form requires the signatures of a chair and at least two other graduate faculty members chosen by the student. They will constitute the student's M.A. Exam Committee. It is always a good idea to schedule classes in such a way as to become acquainted with various members of the graduate faculty, thus providing a large pool from which to choose the members of the committee. After submitting the candidacy form, changes are possible if the student wishes to make them later in his or her program.
 
The principal functions of this committee are to compile and grade Component II of the written M.A. Exams and conduct the oral portion of the exam (see below). Although students working on the master's degree are advised by the Graduate Coordinator, the committee may also serve as a resource for advisement or counsel throughout the student's graduate program. Since Component II is based largely on the student’s course work, committee members are usually professors who have taught the student in graduate classes.
 
M.A. Thesis Option
M.A. students may choose to write a thesis instead of taking the M.A. exam. The student who chooses the thesis option will form a thesis committee in place of an M.A. Exam Committee (as described above). The chair of the thesis committee becomes the principal advisor for the candidate, directs the thesis, and conducts the oral exam, which is largely a thesis defense. The student prepares a thesis prospectus in consultation with the director and submits it for approval to the committee. The student must prepare and distribute five copies of the approved prospectus: one to each member of the student's M.A. Thesis Committee, one to the department, and one for the student. The Graduate School does not receive a copy of the thesis prospectus. The department suggests that MLA documentation style be used for the thesis.
 
M.A. Foreign Language Requirement
The foreign language requirement for M.A. students consists of a reading knowledge of one of the following languages: French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Arabic. Other languages may be approved by petitioning the Departmental Graduate Appeals Committee.
 
This requirement may be met in one of the following ways:
1. achieving a scaled score of at least 450 on the Graduate Student Foreign Language Test (a standardized test offered through ETS, taken in Baton Rouge); or
2. passing a translation examination in the target language administered twice each semester by the UL Lafayette Modern Languages Department [this may not be possible for some of the above languages]; or
3. passing with a grade of C or better the intermediate level course in the target language (e.g., at UL Lafayette a 202 course or an equivalent as approved by the Graduate Coordinator) within the last six years prior to entering the graduate program in English at UL. The course work may of course be taken while the student is attending UL Lafayette.
 
M.A. students must satisfy the language requirement prior to taking the Comprehensive Exams.
 
International students cannot use their native language to satisfy the foreign language requirement.
 
In all cases, the student is responsible for arranging the necessary testing. Arrangements to take the UL Lafayette Modern Languages Department's tests should be made very early in the semester of the anticipated test by contacting the Modern Languages Department. Arrangements to take the GSFLT can be made by contacting the LSU Testing Center, 51 Himes Hall, University Station, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (504-388-1145).
 
M.A. Comprehensive Exams
Application for Examination
During the first month of the fall and spring semesters of each year, the Graduate Coordinator will query all eligible graduate students to determine which of them plan to take the M.A. Exams at the scheduled time that semester. In writing and by the date indicated in the query, students must indicate their intent. (See eligibility requirements below.) Failure to comply with this requirement will normally make students ineligible for examination that semester. M.A. Exams are not offered in the summer session.
 
When students are within 6 to 9 hours of completing the 30-36 hours required for the M.A., and have completed their foreign language requirement, they may schedule their exams.
 
Guidelines for Components of the Exam
1. General
The M.A. exam is required of all M.A. degree candidates who do not write a thesis. It has two written components comprised of one long (90-minute) essay for each component, and an oral exam of approximately 60 minutes. Component I of the written part of the exam, to be designed and read by members of the M.A. examination committee at large, tests the candidate's ability to analyze a brief literary text that may or may not be known to him or her. (See under Section 2 below). Component II consists of one long (90-minute) essay question designed and graded by the individual candidate's chosen three-person examination committee. Component II tests the candidate's ability to synthesize an important corpus of inquiry from his or her course work towards the MA. The concluding oral examination is usually conducted by the same three-person committee that oversees written component 2. The oral examination requires the candidate to respond to questions of both analysis and synthesis. In the case of students writing a thesis, the oral exam will mainly be a defense of the thesis.
 
2. Written Component I
This portion of the examination is compiled with the help of all members of the standing department M.A. Examination Committee. Each committee member, assigned to cover one of the areas of literary study, submits to the committee chairperson a brief literary text from his or her area. The chair of the departmental M.A. Examination Committee posts all the texts one week before the exam, then chooses three texts to present to M.A. candidates as Component I of the written examination.
 
Candidates have the option to respond by analyzing one text, or comparing and contrasting two texts in a substantial (90-minute) essay. The organization, focus, and development of this analytical essay is the candidates' responsibility and will be a factor in evaluating their performance. They might, for example, discuss the passage(s) in the context of literary or intellectual movements, point out innovations in style or theme, discuss textual problems or controversies, or attempt a thorough explication du texte, with close attention given to language, style, point of view, images, and metaphors, as well as themes. Candidates will be expected in the course of their essay to apply to the text at least three literary and/or theoretical terms from a good, brief, standard handbook of literary terms, such as Abrams's A Glossary of Literary Terms, in the current edition. (Some examples of eligible terms would be: figures of speech, rhetorical devices, particular genres, theoretical concepts, literary movements, historical concepts, particular topoi or motifs, specific literary forms, prosodic devices, etc. The examinee chooses the terms to be addressed, three or more, especially fitting and illuminating for the examination text, and shows good command of those terms in his or her response to the question. This requirement presupposes familiarity with a handbook that treats basic technical vocabulary of literary study.)
 
3. Written Component II
In this part of the written examination the candidate selects and responds with a substantial (90-minute) essay to any one of three questions presented by the three-person examination committee which the candidate has chosen from the departmental graduate faculty at large. Examiners from Component I, members of the departmental M.A. Examination Committee, may also serve as examiners for Component II as the individual candidate may desire. For the Component II and the oral examination (see below), candidates should choose examiners who have guided them in at least one graduate course, who share their special interests, and who are therefore specially qualified to examine them.
 
In Component II of the written examination, candidates respond to questions of synthesis from their M.A. course work as a whole or from a significant number of their courses. For example, questions in Component II may require candidates to survey an idea or a problem in English or American literature or through several historical periods of literature.
 
Grading Procedures of Written Components
Component I of the written examination will be graded anonymously and holistically by three members of the M.A. Examinations Committee; two of the three must pass it. Results will then be collated with readers' comments by the chair of the committee and passed on to the Graduate Coordinator.
 
Component II will be graded by the individual student's M.A. Exam Committee; two of the three must pass it; then the chair of the departmental M.A. Examinations Committee will tabulate results and readers' comments and forward them to the Graduate Coordinator. Final results will be pass, fail, or pass with distinction. A majority of readers must independently pass an exam with distinction before that result will be given.
 
The Graduate Coordinator will notify the students and the chairs of their respective M.A. Committees of the examination results.
 
The Oral Exam
Students must pass both components of the written examination before scheduling the oral component. The Chair of the M.A. Committee will contact the student and all committee members before setting the date and time of the exam. The one-hour oral examination, which is comprehensive in scope for those not writing a thesis, will be conducted by the student's M.A. committee, normally the three readers of written Component II (see above). In the oral examination the candidate may be asked (1) to clarify or expand some points from Component 2 of the written examination; and (2) to explore some areas of the candidate's study not covered in the written examination.
 
Candidates who have chosen to write an M.A. thesis can expect that thesis to be the major focus of the oral examination. Thesis writers should consult the Graduate School's booklet Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations (2003).
 
The Graduate School forms for the M.A. are signed at the oral exam; both copies are returned to the Graduate School usually by the student immediately after the completion of the exam.
 
Failed M.A. Exams
Students who pass one written component and fail the other are not required to retake the passed component. Students who fail their M.A. exams should consult with the Graduate Coordinator and with their M.A. Committee for procedures to follow. As per Graduate School requirements, no candidate will be permitted to take a comprehensive exam a third time.
 
BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
THE PH.D. PROGRAM
 
The Ph.D. Preliminary Advisor
Each student entering the doctoral program will be assigned a Preliminary Advisor, who (in addition to the Graduate Coordinator) advises the student until the Dissertation Director and Dissertation Committee are selected.
 
The responsibilities of the Preliminary Advisor will be: 1) to meet with the student at the beginning of his or her first semester and assist him or her in filling out a tentative Plan of Study form (which can be found at the English Department's web site at the bottom of the Ph.D. Program page), the advisor making sure to recommend courses which will complete the student's requirements and prepare him or her for the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams; 2) to consult with the student in the preparation of appeals (e.g., foreign language requirements) to the Departmental Graduate Appeals Committee; 3) to consult with the student regarding proposals for content of genre and open topic (Area 11) exams and to sign the resultant petition before its submission to the Area 11 Committee (see Guidelines for Area 11 Exams below); 4) to assist the student in any other useful manner, e.g. selecting an area of specialization and a dissertation committee.
 
The Preliminary Advisor may also advise the student for course selection each semester and release the student's advising hold on ULink. This advisor may also sign the annual Ph.D. Progress Report Form, which must be handed in to the Graduate School every Spring before the student can register for the following semester or summer session.
 
The duties of the Ph.D. Preliminary Advisor formally end when the student has selected a dissertation committee and submitted the appropriate appointment form to the Graduate Dean for approval. By this time, the student's dissertation director is her/his principal advisor.
 
Ph.D. Foreign Language Requirements
The foreign language requirement for Ph.D. students may be fulfilled in one of two ways:
 
a) a reading knowledge of two languages, one of which must be French or German; the other may be chosen from the following: French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Arabic.
 
The reading knowledge requirement may be satisfied in the same manner as the M.A. requirements above, with one additional possibility:
 
4. completing successfully the foreign language requirement in an M.A. or other post-baccalaureate program.
 
b) fluency in one language, which must be either French, German, or Spanish.
 
Fluency in either French, German, or Spanish may be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
 
1. passing a special "advanced" test designed and conducted by the UL Lafayette Modern Languages Department; or
 
2. passing with a grade of B or better 9 semester hours in the target language at the junior or senior (300-400) level, or 6 hours at the graduate (500-600) level, within the last five years prior to entering the graduate program in English at UL Lafayette. These courses may of course be taken while the student is attending UL Lafayette.
 
Other languages may be approved by petitioning the Departmental Graduate Appeals Committee.
 
Ph.D. students must satisfy the language requirement prior to taking the Comprehensive Exams.
 
International students cannot use their native language to satisfy the foreign language requirement.
 
In all cases, the student is responsible for arranging the necessary testing. Arrangements to take the UL Lafayette Modern Languages Department's tests should be made very early in the semester of the anticipated test by contacting the Modern Languages Department. Arrangements to take the GSFLT can be made by contacting the LSU Testing Center, 51 Himes Hall, University Station, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (504-388-1145).
 
Ph.D. General Course Requirements
All students, regardless of concentration, must meet the following requirements:
 
1. Complete at least one course at the 500 level or above in any four areas numbered 1 through 7 (listed below);
 
2. Complete English 596 or an approved equivalent;
 
3. Complete six hours of courses in Old or Middle English or linguistics or literary theory (any combination).
 
4. Complete 48 hours of course-work beyond the baccalaureate, exclusive of English 596; with at least 21 post-M.A. credit hours in this department by the semester before examinations are scheduled. At least half the required courses (a minimum of 24 hours) must be at the 500 or 600 level.
 
5. As stated in the Graduate Bulletin, all degree requirements must be completed within seven calendar years following admission to a Ph.D. program. Admission is defined as the first semester the student is enrolled as a Ph.D. student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
 
6. Fulfill the necessary foreign language requirement (see above).
 
All Ph.D. students are urged to plan early and continuously, with the help of graduate advisors and the Graduate Coordinator, and to take adequate course work before their written examinations. They are also urged to familiarize themselves with the format and content of sample examinations (available from the department secretary) in both their primary and secondary areas.
 
Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams
Students may opt to sit for their written PhD examinations all in one semester or across two consecutive semesters, excluding the summer semester, after having met all course and language requirements. Exam candidates are expected to complete all written exams and a successful oral examination within one calendar year of the date of their first written exam.
 
Copies of previously administered examinations are kept on file in the English Department office and may be requested from the secretary for perusal. They may be photocopied, and originals must be returned to the secretary.
 
The chair of the PhD exam committee will distribute the names of faculty writing PhD comprehensive exams and the areas covered (including area 11 special topics) to both the faculty at large and to all graduate students via departmental listserves and memos one week after the exam assignments have been distributed to graduate faculty examiners. The role of the faculty member in the exam is not to be disclosed. Each examiner is allowed to discuss such issues as exam coverage and evaluation with graduate students in such manner as that faculty member deems professionally appropriate up to the day that examination is given. No discussion of the exam will take place after the exam has been taken until the official exam results have been released to the examinees by the graduate coordinator.
 
Application for Examination
During the first month of the fall and spring semesters of each year, the Graduate Coordinator will query all eligible Ph.D. students to determine which of them plan to take the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams at the scheduled time in that semester, excluding the summer term. In writing and by the date indicated in the query, students must declare the primary and three secondary areas in which they elect to be examined in their written and oral examinations, and the schedule option they have elected to follow (one or two semester examination period). Students electing to take their examinations over a two-semester period must commit to which two examinations will be taken in that term. Students will not be permitted to change their exam declaration after their examination process has begun. Students wishing to be examined in area 11 are reminded that only their previously approved open-topic or genre exams may be tested (see Guidelines for Area 11 Exams). Failure to comply with these requirements will normally make students ineligible for examinations that semester.
 
Ph.D. Exam Areas
All Ph.D. students must take written examinations in four of the following:
Area 1: English Literature to c.1500
Area 2: English Literature of the Renaissance
Area 3: English Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
Area 4: British Literature of the Nineteenth Century
Area 5: British Literature from c.1900 to the Present
Area 6: American Literature to c. 1900
Area 7: American Literature from c.1900 to the Present
Area 8: Literary Theory
Area 9: Rhetoric
Area 10: Linguistics
Area 11: Open Topic/Genre (e.g. Fiction, Drama, Poetry)
Area 12: Folklore
 
Rules for Ph.D. Exam
1. Ph.D. students in all concentrations must pass one primary five-hour written examination from the above list. A primary concentration is defined as the student's area of primary interest, the area in which the student expects to write a dissertation.
 
2. All Ph.D. students must also pass three five-hour written secondary examinations. A secondary concentration is defined as a declared area of interest that may (but need not) have some relation to the primary concentration and that the student hopes to teach at the undergraduate level.
 
3. All PhD students, regardless of concentration, must complete at least two exams in Areas 1 through 7. For students in literary studies or folklore, both British (Areas 1 through 5) and American (Areas 6 & 7) must be represented.
 
4. Ph.D. students in the Rhetoric concentration must pass a five-hour primary written examination in Area 9, one five-hour secondary written examination in Area 10 or 12, and two five-hour secondary written examinations in Areas 1 through 7. Students preparing to take the Area 9 examination, primary or secondary, must obtain a reading list from the members of the rhetoric faculty. The request for the list should be made at least by the time students notify the Graduate Coordinator of their intention to take the Area 9 examination.
 
5. Ph.D. students in the Linguistics concentration must take a five-hour primary written examination in Area 10.
 
6. Ph. D. students in the Folklore concentration must take a five-hour primary written examination in Area 12.
 
Guidelines for Area 11 Exam
Eligible students who wish to take a primary or secondary written examination in Area 11 (Open Topic or Genre) must first consult with their Preliminary Advisor. They must appeal in writing to the Area 11 Committee by the semester before beginning exams. Area 11 request forms can be downloaded here, and are also available from the English Department Office. The completed form, which should be delivered to the chair of that committee, must name the four areas in which the student proposes to be examined, at least three faculty qualified to compile & write the proposed Area 11 exam, and must be co-signed by the Preliminary Advisor. The Area 11 Committee will consider individually all requests in Area 11. Students whose proposals are definitively denied have the right to appeal to the entire graduate faculty.
 
Although each request for an Area 11 (Open Topic or Genre) examination will be considered on its own merits, pertinent guidelines should be considered:
 
A. Topics should not be subsumed within a single literary period (Areas 1 through 7). For example, "Contemporary American Fiction," because limited in focus to Area 7, would not normally meet with Graduate Committee approval. However, "The American Novel from 1820 to the Present," because it cuts across two periods (Areas 6 and 7), is an example of a topic deemed suitable and one, in fact, that has been approved.
 
B. Topics should also avoid too much overlapping. For example, although "African-American Literature" might meet the criterion of cutting across chronological periods, it would not normally be approved if the student requesting it also requested examination in both Area 6 and Area 7.
 
Exam Format
Each of a student's four examinations will follow a format designed by the faculty in the relevant area. Descriptions of the exams in specific areas are available from the Graduate Coordinator, and students are encouraged to consult with relevant area faculty about the exam in that area.
 
All exams will follow one of three general templates:
Format I requires writers to answer 15 of 20 identifications, 3 of 5 short essays questions, 1 of 3 long essay questions.
Format II requires writers to answer 5 of 8 short essay questions, 1 of 3 long essay questions.
Format III requires writers to answer 3 of 5 long essay questions.
 
The distribution of formats among the areas is as follows:
Format I: Areas 1,2,3,10
Format II: Areas 4,5,6,7
Format III: Areas 8,9,12
 
The default format for Area 11 exams will be Format II. The following frequently recurring Area 11 exams will follow formats described by the relevant faculty and available from the Graduate Coordinator:
Format I: Narrative Film, Drama
Format II: Children's Literature, African-American, Creative Writing Studies, Science Fiction, Southern Literature, The Gothic
Format III: Women's Literature & Feminist Theory
 
Examination Procedure
The PhD exam committee will select three faculty members to prepare each exam, two writers and one compiler. The chair of the PhD exam committee will distribute the names of faculty writing PhD comprehensive exams and the areas covered (including area 11 special topics) to both the faculty at large and to all graduate students via departmental listservs and memos within at least one week after the exam assignments have been distributed to graduate faculty examiners. The role of the faculty member in the exam is not to be disclosed.
 
Each writer will prepare, independently and without consultation, an entire examination in the designated area. The compiler will take the two complete exams and create from them the final draft of an exam that will then be submitted to the chair of the PhD committee for format and editing approval. Questions not used by the compiler will be returned to the writers.
 
Primary and secondary exams will be the same in each area, but those students taking an exam in their primary area will be expected to show evidence of more extensive knowledge, especially by using secondary material.
 
The Ph.D. Examination Committee specifies the time and place of every exam. Exams are normally scheduled to occur once per week for four consecutive weeks in the middle of each Fall and Spring semester. On the day and time assigned to the taking of each exam, students will be given a packet with the exam. Opening the exam packet constitutes the taking of the exam.
 
Students must notify administrators if they cannot take a designated exam, though exams cannot normally be given again until the next semester. Failing to show for an arranged exam constitutes a failure on that exam.
 
Students will be allowed five hours to complete the exam.
 
An examiner is allowed to discuss such issues as exam coverage and evaluation with graduate students in such manner as that faculty member deems professionally appropriate up to the day that examination is given. No discussion of the exams will take place after the exams have been administered until the official exam results have been released to the examinees by the graduate coordinator. The anonymity of students taking the exams is to be protected.
 
Grading Procedures
All written primary and secondary Ph.D. examinations will be graded independently by two departmental graduate faculty readers. Readers of written Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams will independently assign each examination paper the grade of "Pass," "Fail," or "Pass with Distinction" (see below). Grades will be submitted independently by written ballot. Pass-fail deadlocks are broken by the independent judgment of a third graduate faculty reader. The Chair of the Ph.D. Examinations Committee reports the results to the Graduate Coordinator, who then notifies the students. The students may consult with the Graduate Coordinator or the Chair of the Ph.D. Examinations Committee about the readers' comments; however, all readers' comments remain anonymous.
 
Ph.D. Exams "Passed with Distinction"
Ph.D. students whose performance on primary and secondary written examinations meets the following high standards will be honored with a "pass with distinction" by the English Department:
 
1. The primary written examination must be independently graded "pass with distinction" either by both first readers, or, if one of the first two readers passes the exam with distinction but the other evaluates it only with a pass, a third reader (the compiler) will read the exam only to determine whether it passes with distinction or not.
 
2. All secondary written examinations must be graded at least "pass" by all first readers. Any grade of "fail" on any examination will disqualify a student for "pass with distinction." Thus any student who has to retake an exam is no longer qualified to "pass with distinction."
 
3. On all four written examinations, primary and secondary, a majority of total readers—normally five readers or more out of eight—must independently grade the student's work "pass with distinction."
 
4. The student must pass the oral examination.
 
The student who meets all of the above requirements will be awarded a letter for his or her permanent academic file. The letter, co-signed by the Graduate Coordinator and the Department Head, will state that the student has written his or her Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams "with distinction." A copy of the letter will be given to the student and to his or her dissertation director (if the latter has been chosen at that point).
 
Failed Ph.D. Exams
The provisions for retaking failed written examinations are as follows:
 
1. If a student fails any written or oral examination it must be repeated, normally during the next semester.
 
2. In accordance with the policy of the University, no student will be permitted a third opportunity to take an examination.
 
3. Should a student have to retake one or more examinations, he or she is ineligible for the department's "pass with distinction" (see above).
 
4. If a student opts for a 2-2 schedule and fails one of the first two tests, then the student will retake the failed exam the following semester, along with the remaining two tests, in the course of the normal testing period.
 
5. If a student opts for a 2-2 schedule and fails both exams in the first testing period, then the student may opt to retake them in the following semester's testing period, before scheduling any remaining examinations in the subsequent semester.
 
Oral Comprehensive Examination
After passing all four written examinations, all Ph.D. students must schedule an oral examination to take place before the end of that semester. The exam will be 60 to 90 minutes long. The three examiners will be appointed by the departmental Ph.D. Examination Committee, one from the student's primary area and one each from two of the student's secondary areas.
 
Guidelines for Ph.D. Oral Exams
1. The oral exam will (in contradistinction to the written exams) aim to demonstrate the candidate's capacity to use an oral format to develop and refine ideas in a literary/cultural conversation in ways we expect of professional literary generalists in their roles as teachers and critics; the oral format should permit and encourage ample give and take among all parties to the exam.
 
2. It will stress synthesis of literary, cultural, and professional information.
 
3. Examiners may use the oral format to review weaknesses or consider omissions in the written exams.
 
4. Examiners may raise "meta" kinds of questions--critical or theoretical concerns aimed at opening the kind of discussion indicated in (1).
 
5. Examiners may introduce a focus on pedagogical issues related to the candidate's interests.
 
6. The above recommendations for form and content are not intended to be exhaustive; the committee should discuss its approach in advance of the exam.
 
7. The Graduate Coordinator will be prepared to give copies of the student's written primary and secondary examinations to the student and other committee members before the oral exam. The chair should request copies of the exams and graders' comments that are deemed appropriate for the oral examination.
 
8. The committee chair should expect to receive a ballot from the Graduate Coordinator and return it to the Graduate Coordinator with the signatures of the committee after the student completes the oral exam.
 
Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy
Ph.D. students should apply to the Graduate School for admission to candidacy immediately after the successful completion of the Oral Comprehensive Exam; i.e., before the end of the semester in which they passed their exams (Here is the Ph.D. candidacy form). If this is not possible, they should apply for candidacy at the very beginning of the following semester. After successful completion of the form, the University Graduate Council advances the student to Ph.D. candidacy.
 
Dissertation Committee
The dissertation committee oversees the writing of the dissertation and conducts the defense. Because this is an extremely important committee, members should be selected carefully for their scholarly expertise. The committee must have a minimum of three members: the chair (director) and two additional readers of the dissertation, all of whom must be members of the UL Graduate Faculty. Another professor not on the graduate faculty may serve on the committee, which may have as many as five members, including a professor from another university.
 
It is always a good idea to schedule classes in such a way as to become acquainted with various members of the graduate faculty, thus providing a large pool from which to choose the members of the committee. The most important member of the committee is the director or major professor. This faculty member must be approached first. The remaining members of the committee will then be selected in consultation with the major professor. Generally speaking, the committee members should either teach courses in the student's field of specialization or have some interest in it, but exceptions to this practice can be made. It is in the student's best interest to compile a short list of the faculty members who might serve on the committee for submission to the major professor, who can then make suggestions that may help in the final selection.
 
Dissertation Prospectus
Requirements
The dissertation prospectus marks the step following a candidate’s successful completion of the Ph.D. comprehensive exams. An approved dissertation prospectus must include:
 
1. a title page that conforms to the Graduate School model;
 
2. a second page that contains the names and signatures of the dissertation committee members with their appropriate titles, as well as the name of the Dean of the Graduate School, who is a member of all dissertation committees. On this page, the name of the dissertation director should be listed first, followed by that of the co-director if there is one; the remaining members of the committee should be listed in alphabetical order; the Dean of the Graduate School is listed last;
 
3. the prospectus itself;
 
4. a working bibliography, the guidelines of which will be set by the candidate's dissertation committee.
 
The candidate needs to prepare six copies of the approved prospectus. Each member of the dissertation committee should receive a copy; one copy is placed on file with the department; and the original, with all the signatures, goes to the Graduate School. The candidate retains a copy as well. For samples of the required prospectus formatting, please see the graduate student handbook.
 
General information
For most Ph.D. concentrations, the content portion of the prospectus should provide background for the topic and identify the research question, the tentative thesis, or hypothesis. The prospectus should reflect a sense of the relevant materials in the field and the nature of the original contribution the study will make to existing scholarship. It should then outline the approach or method that will be employed in the dissertation and the organizational pattern the finished product will likely follow.
 
Throughout the prospectus and in the working bibliography, the candidate must demonstrate familiarity with the topic and awareness of current research. Therefore, a review of periodical literature, Dissertation Abstracts, and major books in the field is in order to insure that the dissertation will not duplicate other research. Candidates should consult with their dissertation director about all aspects of the prospectus including how comprehensive a bibliography is expected.
 
Recommended timeline
The department strongly encourages the Ph.D. candidate, upon completion of the Ph.D. comprehensive exams, to follow this process and timeline in drafting and submitting the dissertation prospectus.
 
Early in the semester following the completion of his/her Ph.D. comprehensive exams, and after consulting closely with the dissertation director, the candidate meets with his/her dissertation committee. At the meeting, the conversation focuses on the scope of the dissertation, its viability as a project within the given discipline(s) or field(s), potential structuring principles, and any advice about writing the prospectus the committee is willing to provide. The candidate may elect to submit prior to this meeting a draft of the prospectus for the committee members’ consideration in order to facilitate discussion at this meeting.
 
In early March or October, the candidate presents the prospectus at a second meeting with his/her dissertation committee (candidates are urged to circulate at least one draft of the prospectus amongst dissertation committee members for feedback before this presentation). At this oral presentation, the candidate will describe the dissertation as a project, touching on issues of content, methodology, organization, or concerns committee members have already articulated (approximately 20 minutes). The presentation may be open to the public, depending on the preference of the candidate and his/her director. At the end of the presentation, the dissertation committee members may pose questions of the candidate. A dissertation committee may choose to use this presentation as the moment at which committee members officially approve the prospectus (by signing the signature page). A dissertation committee may require the candidate to make revisions as a condition of prospectus approval.
 
Sample Dissertation Prospectus--Literature
Sample Disssertation Prospectus--Creative Writing
Sample Disssertation Prospectus--Renaissance
 
Dissertation Defense
When a draft of the dissertation has been completed to the dissertation committee's satisfaction, all members agreeing that the candidate is ready to defend, the director will contact the candidate, all committee members, and the outside observer to set the date and time of the defense. Once the date is set, the director makes a public announcement of the defense, e.g., through the department listservs.
 
When the candidate is ready to prepare the final draft of the dissertation, he or she should consult the Graduate School's Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations.
 
Dissertation Printing Services
There are a variety of ways to print your dissertation. The University’s Printing Services office is located on the first floor of Stephens Hall. You must bring your own paper and the charge is 10 cents per page. You may also choose to go to local businesses (i.e. Kinko’s, Office Depot) to have your dissertation printed. Do not, under any circumstance, print your dissertation on the staff computers in Room 214.
 
Ph.D. students should consult with their faculty directors to determine if, and in what format, a director wants a final copy of the dissertation.
 
Be sure to check with the graduate school for the approved paper type that must be used when printing your dissertation. You can find the graduate school’s guidelines for theses and dissertations, checklists, and copyright information at: http://gradschool.ucs.louisiana.edu/?q=content/forms
 
You are also eligible to apply for GSO funds up to $100 for dissertation expenses. This will help defray paper and printing costs. You can find more information on GSO funds at: http://anisette.ucs.louisiana.edu/Student/Organizations/GSO/funding/index.html
 
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SPECIAL COURSES
 
Individual Directed Study (Engl. 597 or 598)
The intent of an individual directed study course is to enable the graduate student to undertake an intensive study of a specific subject or general area or theme that is otherwise unavailable to him or her. Courses may not be available because of infrequency of offerings, cancellation, or genuine conflicts of schedule that prevent registration. The individual study course must have genuine relevance to the English graduate program of study.
 
The student must (1) secure preliminary (oral) agreement of a professor to direct the individual study course, (2) obtain the designated proposal form from the English Department, (3) submit the completed form to the professor for his/her approval signature. Since an individual study course constitutes an overload for the director, no professor is obligated to direct one, nor does the professor's approval assure registration in the course. The student then (4) obtains the signatures of the Graduate Coordinator and the Chair of the English Graduate Committee. Their signatures do not automatically allow a student's registration in an individual study course either. The student then (5) secures the signature of the Department Head who, after review of the proposal, allows or disallows registration in the course.
 
Students should be aware of the following restrictions:
1. The requirements (in primary and secondary reading, in research and writing) of the individual study course must be at least equal to the requirements of a graduate catalog course.
 
2. The student is required to meet periodically with the director (ordinarily an hour or more once a week).
 
3. A student may take no more than two individual study courses in the pursuit of any graduate degree.
 
4. A professor may direct an individual study course only in his/her designated area(s) of specialization.
 
English 595-Special Projects
English 595 is available only during summer sessions. Normally, enrollment, which must first be approved by the Department Head, is restricted to University Fellows. A student then selects a professor and submits a reading list or project for approval in areas other than that of the student's thesis or dissertation. The reading/project must be completed over the summer to the satisfaction of the professor who then awards a grade. Students may enroll in 595 for a maximum of two times.
 
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ACADEMIC STANDING AND SATISFACTORY PROGRESS
(updated 9/30/2013)
Graduate Students are expected to maintain good academic standing and make satisfactory progress toward their declared degree objective. The Graduate School determines academic standing using both individual semester grades and the cumulative graduate grade point average. MA students may apply no more than three semester hours with a grade of C toward the fulfillment of degree requirements. PhD students may not apply any courses with a grade of C toward their degrees. Students who receive a grade of C or lower in a graduate course will be required to meet with the Graduate Coordinator and Major Professor to discuss their progress and performance in the program. A second grade of C or lower in an English graduate course will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
 
The Graduate School uses all grades received in graduate courses at this university in computing official grade point averages for graduate students. MA and PhD students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. Students whose cumulative averages fall below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters will be dismissed from the program.
 
Note: The English Department does not allow the practice of re-taking a course to replace a higher grade. Courses that are repeatable for credit may be repeated, but each will be considered a separate course for the purposes of calculating the student’s GPA.
 
The English Department has established a general timeline by which satisfactory progress may be judged. Barring illness or other serious issues that might interfere with studies, the Department expects students to reach major checkpoints within the allotted period of time. Failure to do so will be considered sufficient cause for the nonrenewal of funding and/or dismissal from the program.
 
Any student unable to pass a comprehensive exam or defend a thesis in a timely manner may be dismissed from the program.
 
The Graduate Coordinator, after consulting with the student's Major Professor and informing the student, will bring the name of any student recommended for dismissal before the Graduate Appeals Committee for approval.
 
Timeline
Full time MA students are expected to sit for exams or defend their thesis before the end of their 4th semester.

Full time PhD students entering the program directly, without any transfer hours, are expected to complete the comprehensive exams before the end of the sixth semester, the prospectus before the end of the seventh semester, and defend their dissertation within the tenth semester. Students who enter the PhD program with an MA or MFA should proceed one year ahead of this schedule.
 
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APPEALS
 
All appeals for waiver/exception/substitution of any English Department or Graduate School requirement must be submitted in writing along with all relevant evidence (e.g., transcripts, supporting letters, etc.) to the departmental Graduate Appeals Committee. Appeals should be made early in the semester, if possible. All appeals are to be addressed to the English Department Graduate Appeals Committee and delivered to the Graduate Coordinator, who presents the request to the committee. Appeals of English Deparment requirements are decided by the departmental appeals committee alone, while appeals of Graduate School or university requirements must first be submitted to the English Department appeals committee and then (after the departmental committee has voted on the appeal) submitted to the Appeals Committee of the Graduate Council.
 
Click here for a sample letter of appeal.
 
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TRANSFER OF CREDIT
 
The Graduate School stipulates rules for transfer of graduate credit in the Graduate Bulletin. Its section entitled "General Regulations," section V (Course and Credit Regulations), subsection D (Transfer of Credit) outlines all the policies for transfer of credit which the Graduate School will accept and approve.
 
The transfer of graduate courses for credit should be completed during the student's first semester. (For M.A. students, the Graduate School limit is twelve hours of transferred credit, provided this number does not exceed one third of the total course credits; for Ph.D. students, no specified limit, except that all Ph.D. students must take at least 21 post-MA hours in this department.) Knowledge of approved transfer credits will enable students and their advisors to plan the course of future study more effectively.
 
When applying for transfer credit, the M.A. student should fill out the Transfer of Credit form and take it with a transcript and if possible a copy of the syllabus for the course(s) to the Graduate Coordinator for evaluation. The course(s) must be acceptable to the English Department and the Graduate School. Furthermore, the courses are still subject to the Graduate School time limitation of six years. Ph.D. students use the Plan of Study form for transfer credit, in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator and the Preliminary Advisor.
 
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THE GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP
 
Orientations
Before the fall semester begins, the Graduate School conducts a two-day orientation for Graduate Assistants. This orientation presents general information regarding the University and its graduate programs. At this orientation, GAs fill out paperwork for the business office (failure to do so at this point may result in late paychecks) and receive a brochure entitled Guidelines for Graduate Assistants. The brochure includes important general information about duties and responsibilities, parking, library privileges, the ombudsman, the GSO, academic honesty, sexual harassment, etc. All GAs should obtain and read this brochure.
 
In addition to the University's orientation for GAs, before the opening of the fall semester, the English Department holds special sessions designed to inform entering GAs about departmental traditions, policies, and regulations. The Graduate Coordinator explains some of the practical aspects of registration and scheduling, and entertains questions regarding the graduate program. The Director of First-Year Writing, the Director of the Writing Center, and the Assistant Department Head explain various aspects of the department. The directors also discuss effective ways to deal with students and describe the support programs offered by the University and the English Department, such as those available from the Graduate Student Organization. Other experienced faculty members discuss how to deal with attendance records, paper grading, student conferences, and personal absences. In addition, they provide practical information about a variety of other topics, including library privileges, office maintenance, and paycheck policies.
 
Not the least important aspect of the orientation sessions is that they give GAs an opportunity to meet the faculty in an informal setting. The social reception that brings the sessions to a close allows the graduate students to visit with the professors with whom they will be studying and working over the next few years.
 
Teaching and Tutoring Duties
Due to a mandate from our accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), graduate students who receive an assistantship at UL Lafayette may not actually teach until they have earned 18 credit hours of graduate-level course work in English.
 
The teaching load for GAs is two courses per semester. The usual policy has been as follows: the first course GAs teach is either ENGL 90 (Developmental English) or ENGL 101 (Introduction to Academic Writing). By their third or fourth semester of teaching, they may also teach ENGL 102 (Writing & Research about Culture). Ph.D. assistants often teach a sophomore survey course (e.g., ENGL 205 or 206), either during the semester of their comprehensives or during the semester prior to them. Rhetoric Ph.D. students usually substitute Advanced Writing (ENGL 360) for the sophomore survey course. Experienced GAs in Creative Writing often get to teach ENGL 223 (Introduction to Creative Writing). GAs who enroll in the summer session do not usually teach (requests for the few available positions are handled on a rotation basis by the department's course scheduler), but may earn their fee waiver for a six-hour load by working for the department (e.g. as a research assistant) eight hours per week.
 
GAs with less than the requisite 18 hours usually earn their stipends by tutoring in the Writing Center. The work load is 20 contact hours per week. Tutors are not responsible for grading papers, nor are they given any work outside the writing center.
 
Details of policies and procedures concerning tutoring are covered during the English Department's GA Orientation, when the Writing Center Director and the Director of First-Year Writing meet with all new GAs to explain this system.
 
In addition to the above course loads and required courses, GAs should also be aware of the following information:
Information for Freshman English Instructors
All beginning teachers should read carefully the handout entitled Information for Freshman English Instructors, available from the department's secretary or the Director of First-Year Writing. The handout includes information on the diagnostic essay to be written by freshmen on the first day of class. Procedures for checking the rosters are also explained on this handout.
 
More information about the policies, goals, grading standards, and outcomes for ENGL 101 and 102 may be found in The Freshman Guide to Composition, a book published by the department and required of all students taking these two courses. GAs can get a desk copy from the department's secretary. Included in this book is important information regarding plagiarism policies: 101 and 102 students are required to sign a Plagiarism Contract, as described in the Guide. They must also sign a statement from this book stating that they have met the prerequisites for the course. Instructors are required to turn signed contracts from all their students in to the English office each semester.
 
Departmental and Individual Course Syllabi
GAs should obtain the departmental syllabi for the classes they will be teaching from the department's secretary or from the Director of First-Year Writing. In addition to the departmental syllabus, GAs must compose their own syllabus following departmental guidelines and university policies for absenteeism and grading. A copy must be submitted to the Director of First-Year Writing for review. By the end of the first week of classes, all instructors are required to submit their syllabi to the English department, which keeps them on file.
 
Policy Sheets
 
Every instructor must provide for students a policy sheet (usually part of the syllabus). The University requires that all instructors hand out to their students (or distribute to them through Moodle) a written explanation of their policies concerning absences, make-up work, late papers, and grading procedures. In ENGL 90 and 101, instructors should distribute their policy sheets on the second day of class (the first is devoted to the diagnostic essay--see the handout Information for Freshman English Instructors).
 
Excessive Absences
Instructors should determine their policy on absences, distribute copies of it at the beginning of each semester, and keep attendance records. The instructor is responsible for determining whether or not an absence is excused; however, if the instructor feels that the student may be giving incorrect or false information, he or she may refer the student to the Dean of Student Personnel for possible disciplinary action.
 
In a MWF class 4-6 unexcused absences or in a TR class 3-4 are generally considered excessive. (Note that the instructor's definition of excessive must not be less than the University's minimum of 10% of the total class meetings.) Many instructors have a policy of lowering the final grade for this number of cuts. If a student cuts 7 or more times in a MWF, 5 or more in a TR, he/she may fail the course, but note the following exception.
 
Officially Excused Absences
Absences because of officially-sanctioned University events (e.g., field trips, athletic events) are considered excused. Students should provide written proof of their participation in these events. Policy sheets should explicitly state that students are nonetheless responsible for both the work missed and the work due.
 
Make-Up Work and Late Papers
Allowing students to make up work or hand in late papers is at the descretion of the instructor. Most instructors allow make-up work and late papers only if the student has been ill and/or has an acceptable excuse.
 
Final Essay and Final Grade for ENGL 90, 101, and 102
Policy sheets for ENGL 90, 101, and 102 should remind students that a final grade of C or better is required to advance to the next level English class. Further, students cannot earn a C or better in the course without having earned a C or better on the final essay.
 
Office Hours, Files, and Grade Books
Once GAs are teaching, they must post and keep regular office hours. The minimum number of office hours is two hours per class per week (i.e., at least four hours for most GAs).
 
The need also to keep files of freshman papers and accurate records of student grades. The department's secretary collects grade books from GAs at the end of every semester, and GAs get them back after the break. All grade books and all files of freshman papers a year or less old are to be left with the English Department when the GA leaves the program.
 
Textbook Selection and Desk Copies
All instructors of freshman courses fill out a Textbook Selection Sheet. Beginning teachers must use the standard texts adopted for these courses. Desk copies of the texts are available from the secretary who handles Freshman English.
 
Ph.D. assistants teaching sophomore survey courses may obtain desk copies of the textbook from the Freshman English secretary.
 
Retaining Assistantships
Since most M.A. students can complete their degree in two years and a summer, the normal term for an M.A. assistantship is two years. Ph.D. students may retain their assistantships for four years. All GAs, however, must make satisfactory progress toward their respective degrees and perform their duties in a responsible manner in order to retain their assistantships. Satisfactory progress toward the degree is generally defined as the successful completion of 18 hours of graduate course work with a grade of B or above in the first year of the M.A. program (including pedagogical courses) and a minimum of 12 hours a year thereafter.
 
Special Courses for Graduate Assistants
M.A. Graduate Assistants are required to take ENGL 509, College English Practicum, for two semesters. Ph.D. GAs with little or no teaching experience are encouraged to take this course for at least one semester when they begin teaching. The department also sometimes requires a GA who is having problems teaching to take ENGL 509.
 
Another pedagogy course, ENGL 501, Teaching College English, is highly recommended for all GAs; it includes valuable information on professional practices, ethics, and teaching techniques, as well as supervised teaching and observation.
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AWARDS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
In addition to the teaching awards mentioned above, there are several other competitive awards available for graduate students:
 
The Shelley Martin Award for the Best Graduate Seminar Paper--see the Graduate Coordinator for details.
 
The Darrell Bourque Award--for the most outstanding paper presented at the Louisiana Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture.
 
The Florence Sanders Jones English Endowment Scholarship --a one-year $1,000 scholarship awarded to one or more graduate students each year. Applicants must be enrolled in the English graduate program (preferably full time), with a strong academic record and a good record of extracurricular activities (publications, conference participation, academic and community service). Financial need is considered by the selection committee. See the Graduate Coordinator for an application.
 
Teaching Awards --Each spring the Bernice and Robert M. Webb Awards for Excellence in Teaching are presented respectively to an outstanding beginning teacher and an outstanding experienced teacher. To be considered for this award, graduate students must compile a teaching portfolio that includes a statement of teaching philosophy.
 
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SUPPORT SERVICES
 
Dupre Library
Information regarding Dupre Library is available at their web site and in the Graduate School booklet, Guidelines for Graduate Assistants. Both publications contain information about borrowing, interlibrary loan, study carrels, reserve reading, library tours, and all library facilities. The following information is only a supplement to that found in these two publications.
Databases
Dupre Library subscribes to a number of online databases, such as Academic Search Premier and JSTOR. Students can print up to 50 pages a day on site at no cost. Students can access research databases from off campus by supplying a UCS CLID (campus logon ID) and UCS password, when prompted.
 
Extended Loan Privileges
Books circulate normally for a period of three weeks; however, graduate assistants or graduate students working on their thesis or dissertation or with a professor on a project may request from Circulation extended loan privileges for a semester or an intersession. Request forms are available at Circulation. Books checked out under extended loan are subject to recall.
 
Personal Reserve, Hold, Trace
If students need a book not on the shelf, they should check with Circulation and have the book, if checked out, put on hold or personal reserve. If the book is not checked out, they may request that a trace be put on it. In either case, the library will notify them when the book is returned or located.
 
Tours
An award of $500 is presented annually for the outstanding scholarly paper utilizing the primary source materials held in the special collections of the library. There are no topic restrictions, but papers must be typed, double spaced, and unbound, and must adhere to the style manual of the author's discipline (e.g., MLA style). Papers are judged by a panel and must be submitted to the Director's Office, Dupre 306, by an announced deadline (usually the first Friday in March). Students may call 482-5702 to verify the deadline. Further information is available from the Archives and Special Collections Department in Dupre.
 
Lafayette Parish Library
The Lafayette Parish Public Library's main branch is at the corner of W. Congress and Lafayette Streets in downtown Lafayette (261-5775). There is also a Southside branch in Time Plaza on Johnston St., and several other branches in neighboring communities. The library allows UL Lafayette students to check out books, CDs, DVDs, etc. if they present a valid driver's license from any state or a current UL Lafayette ID, along with their parents' or spouse's name, address, and place of employment. See the library's web site for more information.
 
The Graduate Student Organization
The Graduate Student Organization is the campus-wide voice of the UL Lafayette graduate students. Its officers are voting members of the Graduate Council, Masters Fellowship Committee, and the Graduate Council Appeals Committee. These officers (chair, vice-chair, and secretary/treasurer) are elected by GSO representatives. Each academic department with a graduate program elects a graduate student representative who is required to attend one meeting per month.
 
The GSO is funded entirely by UL Lafayette graduate students. The GSO fee is part of the total fees a graduate student pays each fall and spring semester.
 
The GSO helps to finance presentations of papers at conferences and thesis/dissertation research. Presentations can include the reading of original poems and/or short stories or staging of plays at recognized conferences. Thesis/dissertation research has included travel expenses to visit libraries that have non-lendable holdings pertinent to thesis/dissertation research. The GSO has also purchased copies of dissertations from universities unwilling to lend them. These copies are then given to Dupre Library for all students and faculty to use.
 
GSO funding policies continually change. Representatives can provide information regarding current policies and procedures.
 
Audiovisual Equipment; SMART classrooms
Audiovisual equipment, including VCRs, DVD players, film projectors, overhead projectors, computer carts, etc., is available for classroom use from HLG 214 and from the Media Center in Dupre 335 (482-6780). The departmental checkout system is fully explained during the GA Orientation.
 
Graduate Assistants can also request to teach certain classes in the several SMART classrooms in Griffin Hall. These rooms are equipped with computers, document cameras, VCRs and DVD players, all in a console connected to an LCD projector. Instructors must attend an orientation before they can teach in these rooms.
 
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STANDING COMMITTEES
 
The following is a list of English Department standing committees and the English Department Graduate Committee's standing subcommittees along with their functions. Departmental committees on which there is or can be graduate student representation are indicated by an asterisk. The English Department Graduate Committee itself has such graduate student representation.
 
English Department Committees
Adjunct Faculty - Discusses concerns of adjunct faculty and represents those concerns to the department.
 
Advanced Writing - supports present courses in advanced composition (ENGL 355, 360) through review of new texts and current pedagogy; makes such information available to teaching staff; recommends ways of improving advanced writing.
 
Awards and Recognitions - Organizes and oversees awards for undergraduate and graduate students in English and plans the department's end-of-year student award ceremony.
 
*Creative Writing - designs the curriculum of the Ph.D. Creative Writing concentration and the M.A. emphasis in Creative Writing; coordinates such extra-curricular activities as the Deep South Festival of Writers, the Thursday Night Reading Series, and publication of The Southwestern Review.
 
*Diversity Committee - discusses how the department’s curriculum and instruction addresses questions of diversity and difference as well as diversity in recruitment of students and faculty.
 
*English Majors - Discusses purpose, goals, missions, and future of the English major.
 
*English-Education Majors - performs same duties for English-Education majors as English Majors Committee does.
 
Film Committee - designs the curriculum of the undergraduate minor in Film and related activites.
 
Flora Levy Foundation Committee - invites speakers for the annual Flora Levy lecture.
 
*Freshman English - plans, develops, and carries out all aspects of the freshman English program.
 
*Folklore - assists in planning, coordinating, and supervising folklore offerings and opportunities within the department; consults with faculty from other departments on campus in order to insure coherence in folklore study on campus.
 
*Graduate Committee - supervises and makes policies for graduate education in English. See below for subcommittees. Two graduate student representatives are elected annually.
 
Hospitality - arranges departmental social occasions.
 
*Linguistics - designs the curriculum of the Ph.D. Linguistics primary and secondary concentrations and the M.A. emphasis in Linguistics.
 
*Literary Rally - carries out the duties of the English section of the annual high school competition held each spring.
 
Personnel Committee - elected committee that acts in an advisory capacity to the Department Head on matters of hiring, promotion, and tenure.
 
Retreat Committee - organizes the biennial departmental retreat.
 
*Rhetoric - designs the curriculum of the Ph.D. Rhetoric primary and secondary concentrations and the M.A. emphasis in Rhetoric; coordinates such extra-curricular activities as the Rhetoric Reading Group and the annual Rhetoric Symposium.
 
*Sigma Tau Delta - supports and advises the honor society for English majors.
 
Sophomore English - drafts guidelines and selects default texts for the 200-level literature courses.
 
*Symposium Committee - organizes department symposiums.
 
Technical Writing - supports present offerings (ENGL 365, 463, 464, and 465) through review of new texts and current pedagogy; makes such information available to teaching staff; recommends ways of improving program.
 
Technology and Distance Learning - recommends and carries out policies related to the use of departmental computers and online courses.
 
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee - reviews proposals for course changes, additions, deletions, descriptions, etc.
 
*Website Committee - Maintains the department's web site.
 
Women's Studies - oversees the undergraduate minor in Women's Studies and activities in Women's Studies at the graduate and undergraduate level.
 
English Department Graduate Committee Subcommittees
Area 11 Committee - evaluates proposals for Area 11 exams; provides advice to students applying for these exams.
 
Committee on Graduate Curriculum and Requirements - reviews the department's graduate-level courses and graduate degree requirements.
 
Departmental Graduate Appeals Committee - considers requests from graduate students seeking exemption from a departmental requirement.
 
Graduate Applications Committee - reviews applications and ranks assistantship applicants.
 
Graduate Course Offerings Committee - establishes rotation of graduate courses and faculty members offering them.
 
Graduate Placement Committee - assists students in their job searches.
 
Graduate School Speaker Fund Committee
 
*Judiciary Committee - hears cases of GAs charged with serious neglect of assistantship responsibilities.
 
M.A. Examinations Committee - solicits questions, prepares exams, posts literary passages seven days prior to exam, and compiles results.
 
Ph.D. Examinations Committee - solicits questions, prepares exams, and compiles results.
 
*Recruitment - develops and implements plans for recruiting graduate students. (Two graduate student reps.)
 
Screening Committee for Continuing Assistantships - reviews the work of GAs who wish to continue in the program on assistantship.
 
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THE GRADUATE FACULTY
 
Faculty members at UL Lafayette provide a friendly, supportive environment in which informal contact is encouraged. The English Graduate Faculty consists of approximately twenty-five to thirty members with various areas of expertise, including the traditional periods of English and American Literature, as well as creative writing, rhetoric, linguistics, folklore, film, children's literature, women's studies, and others. Many faculty members have received national and international recognition for their distinguished scholarship and for their creative writing. UL Lafayette is proud to have Rikki Ducornet as Writer-in-Residence, and Ernest J.Gaines as Writer-in-Residence Emeritus.
 
Listed below are the current members of the English Graduate Faculty.
 
See also the English Department Web Site for more information about faculty.
 
The Graduate Faculty and Their Specializations
 
JOSEPH D. ANDRIANO, Ph.D., Washington State University, 1986
American literature
Gothic literature; science fiction & the fantastic
Creative writing (fiction)
 
ELIZABETH BOBO, Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University, 2005
Renaissance literature
Milton
Eighteenth-century British literature
 
JOANNA DAVIS-McELLIGATT, Ph.D., University of Iowa
 
CHRISTINE DEVINE, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2001
Nineteenth-Century British literature and culture
Travel writing
Women’s writing
The Bloomsbury Group
 
KEITH DORWICK, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 1998
Queer studies
Technology studies
Children’s literature
Disability studies
Drama
History of rhetoric
The essay
WILLARD FOX, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, 1981
Creative Writing (poetry)
Contemporary American poetry (especially avant garde poets)
Modernist American poetry
Bibliography (enumerative)
 
JENNIFER GEER, Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2002
Children's literature
Victorian literature
 
JONATHAN GOODWIN, Ph.D., University of Florida, 2005
Twentieth-century and contemporary literature; modernism
Cognitive science and narrative theory
Film and new media studies
 
JOHN C. GREENE, Ph.D., George Washington University, 1981
Restoration/eighteenth-century literature
Irish theater history
Irish periodicals
 
CHRISTOPHER A. HEALY, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 2002
Middle English
Textual scholarship
Linguistics
 
MARK HONEGGER, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana, 1997
Linguistics
Speech/Writing Differences
TESOL
Malay
 
JOHN LAUDUN, Ph.D., Indiana University, 1999
Folklore and folklife studies
Nonfiction writing and media production
 
JAMES C. McDONALD, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1987
Rhetoric and Composition Studies
Renaissance/Shakespeare
 
JERRY L. McGUIRE, Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo, 1981
Creative writing (poetry)
20th/21st century literature
Literary theory
Film
 
CLANCY A. RATLIFF, Ph. D, University of Minnesota, 2006
Rhetoric
Computers and Composition
Gender Studies
 
CLAIBORNE RICE, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2002
Cognitive poetics
English linguistics
American poetry
 
LYDIA WHITT RICE, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2007
Contemporary Southern literature
African-American literature
Twentieth-century American fiction
 
CHARLES E. RICHARD, M.F.A., Louisiana State University 1993
Cinema studies
Creative writing (screenwriting, fiction, non-fiction)
Louisiana studies
 
DAYANA STETCO, Ph.D., Wayne State University, 1998
Creative writing (drama)
Modern and postmodern drama
Film
Literary theory
 
JENNIFER VAUGHT, Ph. D., Indiana University, 1997
Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Renaissance literature
Spenser and Shakespeare
 
MARY ANN WILSON, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 1977
Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature
Southern literature
Women’s studies
 
YUNG-HSING WU, Ph.D., Indiana University, 1998
Critical theory
Ethnic and postcolonial literatures
Women’s literature and feminist theory
 
REGINALD S. YOUNG, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 1990
Creative writing
African-American literature
American literature (1865-present)
African literature
 
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Document last revised Wednesday, May 14, 2014 2:33 PM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department of English · P.O. Box 44691, Lafayette LA 70504
Griffin Hall, Room 221 · english@louisiana.edu · 337/482-6908