Doctoral Degree

The Ph.D.  program provides advanced studies in the literature and languages of the English-speaking Caribbean. Doctoral students may specialize in Literature or Linguistics. Some students may combine both areas in their dissertations.

The Ph.D. program began in January 2000. Its emphasis is on critical studies of oral and scribal forms of Anglophone literary and cultural expression and on the analysis of the development and structure of Anglophone creole languages within the broader context of Caribbean, Caribbean Rim, and diasporic metropolitan societies and cultures. Its seminars include in-depth analyses of specific Caribbean authors like Naipaul and Walcott, Caribbean literature in metropolitan, postcolonial, and global contexts, Caribbean women’s literature, African influence in the Caribbean, the structure and acquisition of pidgin and creole languages, language, identity, and power relations, and fieldwork in Caribbean and African settings.

Dr. Sally Delgado, Dr. Michel DeGraff, and Dr. Petra Avillan

Admission Requirements

  1. a Master of Arts degree or its equivalent in literature, language, linguistics or related field;
  2. a grade point average of 3.0 in the specialization and all previous graduate work;
  3. a 3 to 5-page essay (in English) describing the candidate’s reasons for pursuing a doctorate in English with specialized studies in Caribbean literature or language;
  4. an interview (when feasible) with the members of the Graduate Admissions Committee;
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. an original piece of research in the field of Caribbean or related studies (i.e. M.A. thesis, published article, scholarly research paper, etc.).

For electronic graduate admission, go to the Admissions Portal

Note: as of October 24, 2018, admissions to the doctoral program are permitted in August and in January of each year.

Additional coursework to supplement the M.A. degree can be required, if deemed necessary, at the time of admission and will be so specified in the letter of acceptance. This work must be passed with the grade of B or better, and 3 credits can be used to satisfy the minimum of 36 required credits. This applies particularly to ENGL 6051 – Syntax I, and ENGL 6499 – Phonology of English, but also to satisfying Masters-level deficiencies in Literature.

Requirements for Graduation (effective 2015)
ENGL 6488 Literature, Language, and Culture of the English-speaking Caribbean                     3 credits
Two (2) Caribbean specific 6000-level courses:
ENGL 6410, ENGL 6486, or ENGL 6489 for Literature specialization
ENGL 6469, ENGL 6045, ENGL 6475, ENGL 6051, or ENGL 6499 for Linguistics specialization.
NOTE: These courses count toward the three (3) required Electives in English (see below)
One (1) Caribbean specific 6000-level courses in other concentration:
ENGL 6410, ENGL 6486, or ENGL 6489 for Literature specialization
ENGL 6469, ENGL 6045, ENGL 6475, ENGL 6051, or ENGL 6499 for Linguistics specialization.
An 8000-level course may fulfill this requirement with Professor’s approval.
3 credits
Five (5) 8000-Level Seminars (Core Courses) in area of specialization (Lit or Ling)15 credits
Three (3) Electives in English at the 6000 or 8000 level
The two (2) Caribbean specific 6000-level courses can be used here.
9 credits
Two (2) Free Electives at the 6000 or 8000 level6 credits
ENGL 8099 Research in Caribbean Literature and Linguistics (Position Paper)0 credits
ENGL 8890 Writing of Doctoral Critical Essays (Comprehensive Exam)0 credits
ENGL 8891 Dissertation I0 credits
Total Credits36 credits

Requirements for Ph.D. in Literature

Requirements for Ph.D. in Linguistics

All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed within seven (7) sequential calendar years for full-time students from the date of first admission/enrollment as a Ph.D. student. Part-time students have 8 (eight) sequential calendar years to complete the requirements. Only under extraordinary circumstances will requests for extensions be considered, and those will normally not exceed a two-year period. Time is measured from initial entry to the program, and is based on academic years, that is, ending either December 15 or May 15. “Time out” is counted, unless the student officially withdraws from the program and then subsequently applies as a new student.

For more information on the program requirements and policies, please see our Graduate Student Manual.

The Department of English offers a special post-M.A. “Certificate in Caribbean Studies in Literature and Language” program for students interested in taking 6000- and 8000-level courses solely for professional improvement or personal interest.

Financial Assistance:

The Department of English graduate program typically offers a limited number of Research Assistantships to promising M.A. students under the Programa de Experiencias Académicas Formativas (PEAF). For more information on Financial Assistance, please see the Dean of Graduate Studies Webpage.

Important Information for Doctoral Students:

Independent Study (8045)
Position Paper (8099)
Comprehensive Examination (8890)
Ph.D. Dissertation (8891-92)