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Graduate Studies Handbook

The Graduate Studies Handbook is provided here in HTML format for ease of reference and searchability. Please use your browser's Find command (ctrl + F on PCs, command + F on Macs) to quickly locate the information you need, and navigate the main sections by means of the Table of Contents below.

A copy of the Graduate Handbook in .pdf format is available here.

Welcome

Zimmerman Library

Welcome to the Graduate Program in English at the University of New Mexico where we train scholars, teachers, and writers who share a common commitment to language and literary studies in our long-established degrees in American and British literatures, Medieval Studies, Rhetoric and Writing, and Creative Writing, as well as in Southwest, Chicano/a, Native American, and in Professional Writing.

Of our approximately 105 students more than half hold teaching or graduate assistantships. Graduate students in the English Department frequently present at local, national, and international conferences; publish in scholarly, creative writing, and professional writing journals; and have received prestigious awards and fellowships, such as from the Association of American University Women, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Bilinski Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Popejoy Dissertation Prize. Our graduates go on to diverse academic and non-academic careers through advanced study in the arts, uses, and powers of language.

This Handbook and its printed version both delineate departmental guidelines, degree requirements, and regulations pertaining to graduate exams, portfolios, dissertations, and teaching assistantships, and supplement the UNM Catalog's official policies, regulations, and deadlines pertaining to the Department of English and to Graduate Studies (GS): http://catalog.unm.edu/catalogs/2015-2016/. English graduate students are responsible for knowing and following the policies, regulations, and deadlines pertaining to their course of study and graduation. Online updates may supersede the printed version of the handbook.

I wish you an enriching, productive, and rewarding academic year.

--Gail Houston
Interim Associate Chair for Graduate Studies

Master of Arts Degree

Concentration in Language and Literature

The Master of Arts, Concentration in Language and Literature, emphasizes research and writing, innovation and tradition, in order to promote well-rounded scholars in British, Irish, and American literature; literary history, criticism, and theory; and language theory. The combination of coursework and the multi-optioned portfolio enables MA students in Language and Literature to develop areas of special emphasis, while ensuring a broad understanding of a variety of historical fields. Applicants should already possess a Bachelor’s degree in English or a closely related discipline.

The degree requires 32 hours of coursework, competency in a language other than English, and a substantial portfolio of scholarly work with a reflective preface situating the work in a critical and/or historical context. All students work under Plan II (no thesis), as described below.

Course Requirements (32 hrs)

Core Courses (9 hrs)

Nine hours of courses including the introduction to professional studies in English, pedagogy, and theory.

  • English 500: Introduction to the Professional Study of English (3 hrs)
  • English 537, 538, 539 or 592: Pedagogy (3 hrs)
  • English 510, 511, 610 (3 hrs)

Area Elective Courses (20 hrs)

Twenty hours of area electives, including two four-hour seminars, with at least one course from each of the following four areas.

  1. Middle Ages (English Literatures and Language to 1485) (547, 548, 549, 550, 551, 581)
  2. Early Modern/Contact Period (Literatures in English 1485-1720) (552, 553, 554, 582)
  3. Eighteenth & Nineteenth Cent. (Literatures in English 1720-1900) (555, 556, 557, 561, 562, 568, 580, 586)
  4. Modern and Contemporary (Literatures in English 1900-Present) (563, 564, 565, 568, 570,572, 574, 580, 586)

Portfolio (3 hrs)

See below for guidelines on completing the portfolio.

  • English 596: Portfolio (3 hrs)

Foreign Language Requirement

All MA students in Language and Literature must demonstrate competency with a grade of B or better through a second semester, second-year level undergraduate course or through a graduate-level reading course in a language other than English. Course work from previous institutions, course work at UNM, and CLEP or UNM-administered tests may be used to fulfill the language requirement. Students may use English 547 (Introduction to Old English) and 548 (Advanced Old English) to fulfill competency. Language course credits cannot be used as part of the 32-hour degree requirement.

The Committee on Studies (COS)

The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS) is the default advisor for MA students in Language and Literature until MA student form a Committee on Studies (COS) no later than the end of the third semester; the COS advises the students on course selection and on portfolio preparation. The committee shall consist of three faculty members: two faculty members, at least one of whom is from the English Department, plus the ACGS.

Portfolio Guidelines

MA students in Language and Literature must complete a portfolio and defense as the equivalent of the Master’s Examination. Students must assemble a portfolio for formal evaluation by the COS no later than the ninth week of the final semester of enrollment. Portfolios may contain two article-length essays from separate periods (25 pages each); or one long essay or project (45-50 pages); or other equivalent combinations of COS-approved scholarly, critical, and academic works from a variety of genres (annotated bibliographies, textual studies, scholarly book reviews, etc.) including written examination essays. All portfolios must also include a twelve- to fifteen-page preface situating the portfolio selections in a critical, theoretical, historical, or professional context. The reflective preface, which cites academic and other sources to demonstrate that the materials in the portfolio engage in the most pertinent theoretical and critical practices in their field(s), is important to evaluating the success of the portfolio.

Portfolio Evaluation and Presentation

In the semester of their graduation, MA students in Language and Literature enroll in English 596 (3 hrs) with the chair of their COS to complete the portfolio materials. The formal examination on and final evaluation of the portfolio by the COS occurs no later than the ninth week of the final semester. Portfolios are evaluated with Pass, Pass with Minor Revisions, or Fail. Any student who fails the portfolio more than once will be dismissed from the program without a degree. The COS reports the results of its evaluation to GS as the “Announcement/Report of Examination.” The COS chair, as the instructor of record for English 596, records the final grade.

Forms to File

Forms are available on the Department Wiki.

Appointment of Committee on Studies Form

This form formalizes the appointment of the Committee on Studies, normally in the third semester of coursework.

Program of Studies Form

This form must be received by the English Graduate Office no later than June 15, September 15, or February 15, in the semester before graduation. The English Graduate Office forwards this form to GS by July 1, October 1, or March 1. The form lists all the courses students will present toward the degree, including transfer credits and such requirements as 596.

Announcement of Examination Form

The English Graduate Office must submit this form to GS at least two weeks before the scheduled Portfolio defense. Hence, students must notify the Graduate Advisor of their intent to defend their Portfolio by the end of the semester before they plan to defend.

The Seven-Year Rule

University regulations stipulate that all work toward the Master’s degree must be completed within seven years of the date of the earliest graduate course listed on the Program of Studies form. This time limit affects transfer credit and the date students need to complete their degree.

Teaching Assistantship Limits

MA students in language and literature who hold Teaching Assistantships are limited to five semesters of assistantship funding, excluding summer TA appointments. MA students who receive a TAship after their first year lose those prior semesters of TAship eligibility.

Concentration in Medieval Studies

Portrait of Chauceer from the Ellesmere ManuscriptThis interdisciplinary, multicultural emphasis in medieval English literature offers students a chance to continue their studies of the Middle Ages beyond the BA level and/or in preparation for PhD study. It also appeals to secondary-school teachers who seek a multidisciplinary graduate degree rich in content.

This concentration requires 34 hours of interdisciplinary work (22 of which must be completed in English), competency in Latin, an MA examination, and a substantial portfolio of scholarly work.

Course Requirements (34 hrs)

Core Courses (15 hrs)

  • English 500: Introduction to the Professional Study of English (3 hrs) (Must be taken in the first semester of graduate study)
  • English 551: Topics in Medieval Studies: Bibliographical and Research Methods (3 hrs)
  • English 547: Introduction to Old English (3 hrs)
  • English 581: Chaucer (3 hrs)
  • History 503 or 504: Early or High Middle Ages (3 hrs)

Distribution Requirements (9 hrs)

Students must take three courses chosen from at least two of the following groups. The four-hour seminar requirement and other courses in Old or Middle English do not count toward the distribution requirements.

  1. British literature to 1660 (547, 548, 549, 550, 551, 552, 553, 554, 581, 582, 650)
  2. British literature from 1660 to 1900 (554, 555, 556, 557, 580, 586, 650)
  3. American literature to 1900 (561, 562, 568, 660)
  4. Literatures in English since 1900 (564, 565, 568, 570, 572, 574, 579, 580, 586, 650, 660)
  5. Literary criticism and theory, rhetoric and writing (510, 511, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 520, 540, 541, 542, 543, 640)

Seminar Requirement (4 hrs)

Any 600-level seminar course in Old or Middle English literature or language.

Multidisciplinary Courses (6 hrs)

Students must take two courses from two of the following disciplines: Art History, History, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, or Latin.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students in this concentration must choose Latin as their foreign language and pass Latin 202 (Intermediate Latin) or Latin 352 (Accelerated Latin—Reading) with a grade of B or better. Course work from previous institutions, course work at UNM, and CLEP or UNM-administered tests may be used to fulfill the language requirement. Language course credits cannot be used as part of the 34-hour degree requirement.

Master’s Examination

This examination is generally taken after completing 24 hours of graduate credit and the foreign language requirement. The examination is given twice per year: on the third Monday in February and the third Monday in September.

The exam is a four-hour, closed-book test consisting of a 60-item list of multidisciplinary medieval works generally covering Old English, Middle English, and History. Students receive a basic list when they enter the Master’s program but are encouraged to work with the members of their COS to arrive at their specific 60-item list.

MA in Medieval Studies Portfolio

The portfolio consists of two article-length essays (25 pages each) showing a high level of scholarship, critical thinking, and writing. The essays must either represent two different medieval periods, combine two different cultures within one period, combine a medieval period with a later historical period, or combine an historical topic with one in literature (or another discipline).

All students with passing portfolios will present their portfolios at an open forum, sponsored by the Medieval Studies faculty. This forum is not a further evaluation; it is a venue for sharing with other faculty and students the work completed and presented in the portfolio.

Forms to File

Forms are available on the English Department Wiki and on the Graduate Office Website.

Appointment of Committee on Studies Form

This form formalizes the appointment of the Committee on Studies, normally in the third semester of coursework.

Program of Studies Form

This form must be received by the English Graduate Office no later than June 15, September 15, or February 15, in the semester before graduation. The English Graduate Office forwards this form to GS by July 1, October 1, or March 1. The form lists all the courses students will present toward the degree, including transfer credits.

Announcement of Examination Form

The English Graduate Office must submit this form to GS at least two weeks before the scheduled MA Exam.

The Seven-Year Rule

University regulations stipulate that all work toward the Master’s degree must be completed within seven years of the date of the earliest graduate course listed on the Program of Studies form. This time limit affects transfer credit and the date students need to complete their degree.

Teaching Assistantship Limits

MA students in the Medieval Studies concentration who hold Teaching Assistantships are limited to six semesters of assistantship funding, excluding summer TA appointments. MA students who receive a TAship after their first year lose those prior semesters of TAship eligibility.

Concentration in Rhetoric and Writing

The MA in English, Concentration in Rhetoric and Writing prepares graduates for careers in professional writing and post-secondary teaching. Students interested in teaching study pedagogical theories and develop practical applications in traditional classrooms and in online or tutoring venues. Students interested in professional writing enroll in writing workshops, where they strengthen existing abilities and sharpen technical expertise in a variety of genres; internship placements in workplace professional writing venues are optional.

This degree requires 32 hours of coursework. Students may choose an emphasis in Writing or Teaching; all students work under Plan II (no thesis); a portfolio (English 596) is required.

Course Requirements (32 hrs)

Core Courses (9 hrs)

  • English 542: Major Texts in Rhetoric (3 hrs)
  • English 543: Contemporary Texts in Rhetoric (3 hrs)
  • English 537, 538 or 539: Teaching Composition, Writing Theory for Teachers or Teaching Professional Writing (3 hrs)

Distribution and Seminar Requirements (10 hrs)

Students must take at least three courses, including one four-hour seminar, chosen from no fewer than two of the following groups:

  • British literature to 1660 (547, 548, 549, 550, 551, 552, 553, 554, 581, 582, 650)
  • British literature from 1660 to 1900 (554, 555, 556, 557, 580, 586, 650)
  • American literature to 1900 (561, 562, 568, 660)
  • Literatures in English since 1900 (564, 565, 568, 570, 572, 574, 579, 580, 586, 650, 660)
  • Literary criticism and theory, rhetoric and writing (510, 511, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 520, 540, 541, 542, 543, 640)

General Electives: (12 hrs)

Four courses from among 538-545, 513-520, 587, or other courses in English as approved by their Committee on Studies (COS) and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS); students may offer up to six hours of courses from departments outside of English as electives approved by their COS and the ACGS; students may offer up to six hours of English 597 (Problems) for work related to teacher training or professional writing experience, as approved by their COS and the ACGS.

MA Portfolio, English 596 (at least 1 hour)

In the semester before graduation, students prepare a portfolio of work under the direction of their COS which is presented for evaluation in the ninth week of the student’s final semester of attendance.

Emphasis in Teaching

Within the 32 hours of required coursework, Teaching Emphasis students take 537, 538 or 539 (depending on what they take for the Core Requirement above) plus nine hours in other pedagogy-based courses offered in English, the College of Education, or other departments as approved by their COS and the ACGS; up to six hours may be offered as Teaching Practicum (English 597, Problems).

Emphasis in Professional Writing

Within the 32 hours of required coursework, Professional Writing Emphasis students must take 539, either in the Core Requirement or as an elective, plus nine or twelve hours (depending on where they count 539) from 513-520, 587. Professional Writing Emphasis students may take up to six hours of courses in other departments as approved by their COS and the ACGS; up to six hours may be offered as Professional Writing Internship (English 598, Internship, CR/NC) as approved by their COS and the ACGS.

Foreign Language Requirement

All MA students in Rhetoric and Writing must demonstrate competency with a grade of B or better through a second semester, second-year level undergraduate course or through a graduate-level reading course in a language other than English. Course work from previous institutions, course work at UNM, and CLEP or UNM-administered tests may be used to fulfill the language requirement. Student may use English 547 (Introduction to Old English) and 548 (Advanced Old English) to fulfill competency. With the approval of the major advisor and the ACGS, students in the MA program in Rhetoric and Writing may substitute competency with a research skill such as a computer-programming language or Statistics for their one required foreign language. Competency in the research skill can be established by the completion of a second-semester, second-year course with a grade of B or better or two graduate courses.. Language course credits cannot be used as part of the 32-hour degree requirement.

Advisement

New MA in R&W students should consult with the Director of RW/PW before October 15 of their first year to review program requirements, course selection, and the COS.

Committee on Studies (COS)

The COS serves an advisory role through the completion of course work and the evaluation of the MA portfolio. Students should select the COS by November 15 of their first year. The Director of RW/PW will serve as the COS advisor until the formal committee has been selected and approved. The COS has at least three members. The COS chair and one other member must be a Rhetoric and Writing tenure-stream faculty member. Other members may be English Department faculty, faculty from other UNM departments, and professionals or experts from the general writing community who hold an advanced degree (e.g., MA, PhD, JD, MFA, MD, or SciD).

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Year 1

Fall
English 537 or other pedagogy course
English 542
Advising with Director of Rhetoric & Writing (by Oct. 15)
Submit COS (by Nov. 15)

Spring
English 543
Finalize Portfolio Director and COS (by April 15)

Year 2

Fall
English 640 or other Distribution Requirement A-E
Draft Portfolio Proposal (by Nov. 15)

Spring
English 640 or other Distribution Requirement A-E
English 596
Defend Portfolio (by April 15)

MA in Rhetoric and Writing Portfolio

MA students in Rhetoric and Writing must complete a portfolio and defense as the equivalent of the Master’s Examination. Students must assemble a portfolio for formal evaluation by their COS no later than the ninth week of the final semester of enrollment. To submit the portfolio, students register in the final semester for one hour (CR/NC) of English 596, Portfolio; the instructor of record must be the COS chair.

In fall semester of year two, students should submit a brief portfolio proposal to the COS for approval. Before the end of that same semester, students must submit the proposal to the full COS and when possible meet with the COS, as a group or individually, to discuss the merits of the proposal. This meeting should take place in the semester before the defense so that students can incorporate suggestions for revisions and corrections from the COS.

Portfolio Structure, Content, and Approach

Portfolios will be various, offering a wide range of approaches to the broad concerns of the field of Rhetoric and Writing. Each portfolio will feature one substantive document or a suite of documents. These documents can come from coursework and/or from work completed in a professional writing or other setting. Portfolios may offer academic work, professional writing workplace projects, pedagogical documents (syllabi, assignments, and other materials from actual or proposed courses), a completed or substantially completed draft of original, nonfiction writing (a biography, a travelogue, or other such work), or other project subject to the approval of the COS. Suggested length for the portfolio is 50 or more pages.

In all cases, the portfolio must include a substantial reflective commentary on the underlying principles of rhetoric and writing that inform the work; this commentary is central to evaluating the success of the portfolio. The reflective commentary cites academic and other sources to demonstrate that the documents in the portfolio follow the theories and best practices of the academic and/or professional-writing community.

Portfolio Evaluation and Presentation

The formal examination on and final evaluation of the portfolio by the COS occurs no later than the ninth week of the final semester. Portfolios are evaluated with Pass, Pass with Minor Revisions, or Fail. The COS reports the results of its evaluation to GS as the “Announcement/Report of Examination.” The COS chair, as the instructor of record for English 596, decides upon the final award of CR or NC for the portfolio and records the grade.

No later than the fourteenth week of the semester, all students with passing portfolios will present their portfolios at an open forum, sponsored by the Rhetoric and Writing faculty. This forum is not a further evaluation; it is a venue for sharing with other faculty and students the work completed and presented in the portfolio.

Forms to File

Forms are available on the English Department Wiki and on the Graduate Office Website.

Appointment of Committee on Studies Form

This form formalizes the appointment of the Committee on Studies, normally in the second semester of coursework.

Program of Studies Form

This form must be received by the English Graduate Office no later than June 15, September 15, or February 15, in the semester before graduation. The Graduate Office processes these forms and forwards them to GS by July 1, October 1, or March 1. The form lists all the courses students will present toward the degree, including transfer credits and such requirements as English 596.

Announcement of Examination Form

The English Graduate Office must submit this form to Graduate Studies at least two weeks before the scheduled Master’s Examination. Hence, students must notify the Graduate Advisor of their intent to take the MA examination by the end of the semester before they plan to take it.

The Seven-Year Rule

University regulations stipulate that all work toward the Master’s degree must be completed within seven years of the date of the earliest graduate course listed on the Program of Studies form. This time limit affects transfer credit and the date students need to complete their degree.

Teaching Assistantship Limits

MA students in rhetoric and writing who hold Teaching Assistantships are limited to five semesters of assistantship funding, excluding summer TA appointments. MA students who receive a TAship after their first year lose those prior semesters of TAship eligibility.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts is the highest terminal degree awarded for creative writing. The English Department’s MFA in Creative Writing, which emphasizes fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, grounds serious apprentice writers in a multi-faceted approach to professional study. Students complete their work along three pedagogical models: a studio model in which writing workshops focus on the processes of generating and revising creative texts; a humanistic, academic model focused on the study of literary tradition and theory; and a pre-professional model that offers focused study and practical experience in arts administration, publishing, and teaching. Applicants should already hold a Bachelor’s degree.

The degree requires 48 hours of coursework, as delineated below; six dissertation hours; and a creative dissertation.

Course Requirements (48 hrs)

Core Course (3 hrs)

English 501: Introduction to the Profession for Writers (3 hrs) (Students are strongly encouraged to take this course in the Spring semester of their first year.)

Workshops (18 hrs)

MFA students must take at least twelve hours in a primary genre; at least three hours must be in a secondary genre.

  • English 521: Fiction Workshop (3 hrs)
  • English 522: Poetry Workshop (3 hrs)
  • English 523: Creative Nonfiction Workshop (3 hrs)

Four of the six workshops are to be taken as regular courses. Two may be taken in an independent study format as studio hours.

Genre Studies (6 hrs)

MFA students must choose at least one genre course (3 hours) in their area of concentration. (Students may take no more than twelve hours of English 587.)

  • English 587: Genre Studies (3 hrs)

Distribution Requirements (12 hrs)

MFA students must take four courses chosen from at least two of the following groups:

  1. British literature to 1660 (547, 548, 549, 550, 551, 552, 553, 554, 581, 582, 650)
  2. British literature from 1660 to 1900 (554, 555, 556, 557, 580, 586, 650)
  3. American literature to 1900 (561, 562, 568, 660)
  4. Literatures in English since 1900 (564, 565, 568, 570, 572, 574, 579, 580, 586, 650, 660)
  5. Literary criticism and theory, rhetoric and writing (510, 511, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 520, 540, 541, 542, 543, 640)

Professional Preparation Electives (6 hrs)

  • English 513-520: Professional Writing courses in Science, Environmental, Medical Writing; Documentation; Publishing: Editing; Biography/Autobiography; Proposal and Grant Writing; Visual Rhetoric; other topics (3 hrs)
  • English 537: Teaching Composition (3 hrs)
  • English 538: Writing Theory for Teachers (3 hrs)
  • English 539: Teaching Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • English 540: Topics in Language or Rhetoric (3 hrs)
  • English 592: Teaching Literature and Literary Studies (3 hrs)

Electives (3 hrs)

May be taken outside of English.

Creative Dissertation (6 hours)

  • English 699: Creative Dissertation (6 hrs)

Foreign Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for the MFA degree.

MFA Committee on Studies (COS)

All MFA students must assemble a COS to assist in planning a program of studies designed to foster a fundamental knowledge of the major field, both in depth and breadth, and facilitate the students’ advancement in their chosen genre(s). The chair of the COS should be chosen by the end of the third semester of study.

The COS generally includes three University of New Mexico faculty members approved by the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS). Students generally select their major advisor to be the chairperson of the COS. The basic role of the committee is to help students plan an integrated individual program of study and creative output that meet general UNM, GS, and specific MFA requirements. The COS will serve as the MFA comprehensive examination committee, and in most cases, as the core of the Dissertation Committee. The COS may also establish prerequisites when needed, recommend transfer of credit, and approve significant changes in the program of studies.

Appointment of the COS involves the following steps:

  1. Students arrange for an appropriate faculty member to serve as COS Chair;
  2. Students confer with their COS Chair to agree upon the remaining members of the Committee;
  3. The ACGS approves the COS, as evidenced by his or her signature on the Committee of Studies form and Application for Doctoral Candidacy.

Comprehensive Examination

MFA students must take and pass a written comprehensive examination as a required component of the MFA graduate degree. The examination, which must adhere to the general MFA exam requirements outlined in the UNM Catalog, is an essay in which students demonstrate their understanding of the theory and craft of their chosen genre(s) and the literary tradition in which they are writing. The exam, which may eventually serve as the preface to the dissertation, is evaluated by the COS. Students must pass the examination before hours in English 699 (Dissertation) will count toward the degree. The English Graduate Office must file the “Announcement/Report of Examination” two weeks before the Committee evaluates the exam. Therefore, students must notify the English Graduate Office in advance of this date. (See the English Department web page for more details about the MFA comprehensive exam.)

Advancement to Candidacy

In order to earn the MFA degree students must file for Advancement to Candidacy by completing the Application to Candidacy form, which formally summarizes their MFA program of studies. The ACGS and the MFA comprehensive examination committee approve the program of studies by signing the form. The English Graduate Office forwards the Application for Candidacy forms to the Dean of Graduate Studies after students pass their MFA comprehensive examination. After determining that all requirements except for outstanding course work and the dissertation have been fulfilled, the Dean of Graduate Studies advances all qualified students to candidacy. (Note: This form must be filed by the end of the semester before graduation and is available at:
http://grad.unm.edu/resources/gs-forms/index.html).

The MFA Dissertation

All MFA students must write a dissertation according to the guidelines that follow.

MFA Dissertation Committee

The MFA Dissertation Committee supervises, directs, reads, and approves the MFA dissertation. The committee consists of four graduate professors, at least one of whom must be from the English Department at UNM and one from outside the English Department. The external reader may be a faculty member from another accredited graduate institution; in such cases the student must submit a formal application to the Dean of Graduate Studies who must approve the appointment of the external member. The Dissertation Committee Chair must be a tenured or tenure-track member of the University of New Mexico faculty and have regular graduate faculty approval.

To select a committee, students should arrange for a qualified faculty member to serve as the director of their dissertation. Together with their director, who serves as the Dissertation Committee chair, students then select the other members of the committee. To get the Dissertation Committee approved, students must file an Appointment of Dissertation Committee form with the English Graduate Office no later than two weeks before the Prospectus defense. Students generally submit this form right after passing the comprehensive exams, and no later than the first semester of 699 enrollment. If the members of the Dissertation Committee change, a revised Appointment of Dissertation Committee form must be submitted to the English Graduate Office for forwarding to GS. GS may request additional documentation when such changes are made, particularly regarding outside readers. (See the UNM Catalog for more details about the Dissertation Committee and qualifications for committee membership: http://catalog.unm.edu/catalogs/2015-2016/graduate-program.html.)

Writing and Submitting the MFA Dissertation

MFA candidates must complete a book-length, creative dissertation in their genre (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction) and defend this dissertation in an oral examination conducted by an approved dissertation committee. The dissertation includes a preface that demonstrates an understanding of the genre(s) covered by the dissertation, and it places the dissertation within a literary tradition. The preface may include material from the comprehensive examination essay, but students will determine the dissertation’s final form in consultation with their dissertation director. Students must submit the dissertation to GS, so the manuscript must adhere to the dissertation format stipulated by GS and outlined under the doctoral section of the UNM catalog.

MFA Dissertation Hours

During the course of their dissertation work, MFA candidates are required to enroll in a minimum of six hours of dissertation (699) credit. Students must pass the comprehensive exams before 699 credit hours will count. Enrollment in 699 cannot begin prior to the semester in which a student takes the MFA comprehensive examination. Only those hours gained in the semester during which the comprehensive examination is passed and in succeeding semesters can be counted toward the six hours required. Students who fail the comprehensive exam cannot apply any 699 credits toward their program of studies until the semester in which they retake and pass the comprehensive examination. After registering in English 699 for the first time, university regulations require that students maintain continuous enrollment in English 699 for a minimum of three hours per semester (excluding summers, when not taking other courses) until successfully completing the dissertation defense.

Final Examination for the MFA (Defense of Dissertation)

The MFA final oral examination is the last formal step before the degree is awarded. Students are responsible for providing each member of their dissertation committee with complete copies of all written materials in ample time for review prior to the examination. The presentation and examination phases of the examination are open to the university community and are published in various sources; the deliberation phase is only open to the committee.

The focus of the final examination is the dissertation and its relationship to the candidate’s major field. Its purposes are:

  1. To provide an opportunity for candidates to communicate the results of their research and creative work to a wider group of scholars through a public reading;
  2. To afford an opportunity for the members of the examination committee, as well as others (faculty, students, staff, etc.), to ask relevant questions;
  3. To ensure that the research and creative work reflects the independence of thought and accomplishment of the candidate; and finally,
  4. To ensure that the candidate is thoroughly familiar not only with the particular focus of the dissertation, but also its setting and relevance to the discipline of which it is a part.

At the conclusion of the examination, the dissertation committee confers and makes a recommendation to accept or reject the dissertation. The committee then submits the Report of Examination to GS communicating the examination results. (Note: In order to qualify to sit for an exam during intersession, students must be registered for the following semester.)

Announcement of Examination/Defense Form

At least two weeks before the final examination is held and no later than November 1 for Fall graduation, April 1 for Spring, or July 1 for Summer, the English Department must notify GS of its scheduled date by submitting the Announcement of Examination/Defense form.

Notification of Intent to Graduate

Students must inform the English Graduate Office in writing of their intent to graduate. The proposed graduation list must be received by GS no later than 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the semester immediately preceding the semester of graduation. (Remember, students must file an Application for Candidacy form in the semester before the semester of graduation.)

MFA Time Limit for Completion of Degree Requirements

MFA candidates have five years from the semester in which they pass their MFA comprehensive examination to complete the degree requirements. The final requirement is generally the acceptance of the dissertation by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships are competitive and are based on a variety of factors including financial need, prior teaching experience, and overall completeness and quality of the application submitted. Decisions are made by a committee including the Director of Creative Writing, the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, and the Associate Chair for Core Writing. Opportunities to teach creative writing (English 224) are also competitive. Students applying for these positions must have one previous year of teaching English 110 or 120 at UNM.

Teaching Assistantship Limits

MFA students who hold Teaching Assistantships are limited to six semesters of assistantship funding, excluding summer TA appointments. Petitions for extensions may be addressed to the Graduate Committee through the ACGS. Extensions are the exception rather than the rule, and all extensions are contingent upon academic progress, the availability of funding, and departmental need. MFA students who receive a TAship after their first year lose those prior semesters of TAship eligibility.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The PhD is the highest research degree in American education, designed primarily for those pursuing careers in college or university teaching or in related professions requiring expertise in research, writing, and scholarship. The PhD program is designed for students who wish to pursue intensive study in English. The PhD program offers three concentrations: British and American literatures, including criticism and theory; an interdisciplinary Concentration in Medieval Studies; and Rhetoric and Writing.

PhD Concentration in English Language and Literature

The degree requires a minimum of four years of extended study to master a specific subject completely and to extend the body of knowledge about that subject. Applicants should already possess a Master's degree in English or a related discipline. The requirements below are for all doctoral students in British and American literatures.

The PhD in Language and Literature degree requires 54 hours of coursework, comprehensive exams in three areas, a Foreign Language requirement, and a doctoral dissertation. Typically, PhD students have recently completed a Master's degree in English with something in excess of 30 semester hours. The English department accepts up to 24 of those hours toward the PhD degree, leaving students 30 hours of regular course work to complete from the time of matriculation.

Note: Students who did graduate work in a discipline other than English likely will not transfer the full 24 hours to the PhD program. Such students will need to complete more than 30 hours of regular course work before moving on to the dissertation. The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS) and the Committee on Studies (COS) determine the number of hours students are able to transfer to the PhD.

Required Coursework

As explained above, PhD students must take 54 hours of course work before taking the Comprehensive Examinations and moving on to the dissertation. These hours must be distributed as follows:

Core Course (3 hrs)

  • English 500: Introduction to the Professional Study of English (3 hrs) (Must be taken in the first semester of graduate study.)

Distribution Requirements (15 hrs)

Students must take 15 hours of coursework in Language, Theory, and Pedagogy, as described below.

Language and Theory (9 hrs)

Students must take a total of nine hours from Language and Theory courses, at least three of which are from Language and three from Theory courses.

Language (at least 3 hrs from the following)

  • English 541: English Grammar (3 hrs)
  • English 545: History of the English Language (3 hrs)
  • English 547: Introduction to Old English (3 hrs)
  • English 548: Advanced Old English (3 hrs)
  • English 549: Middle English Language (3 hrs)

Theory (at least 3 hrs from the following)

  • English 510: Criticism and Theory (3 hrs)
  • English 511: Special Topics: Criticism and Theory; Literacy and Cultural Movements (3 hrs)
  • English 610: Studies in Criticism and Theory (4 hrs)

Pedagogy (6 hrs) Students must take six hours of pedagogy courses from the following or from approved substitutions in other departments.

  • English 537: Teaching Composition (required of all new TAs) (3 hrs)
  • English 538: Writing Theory for Teachers (3 hrs)
  • English 539: Teaching Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • English 540: eComp Practicum
  • English 540: Stretch/Studio Practicum
  • English 592: Teaching Literature (3 hrs)

Seminars (12 hrs)

All PhD students must take at least three four-hour seminars offered in the English Department; these seminars are often, but not always, in their fields of study.

  • English 610: Studies in Criticism and Theory (4 hrs)
  • English 650: Studies in British Literature (4 hrs)
  • English 660: Studies in American Literature (4 hrs)
  • English 680: Studies in Genre, Backgrounds, Forces (4 hrs)

Electives (24 hrs)

The required courses above total 30 hours; students who have transferred 24 hours from the MA into the PhD will have fulfilled the minimum course requirements, excluding dissertation hours, required for the degree. Students who need more course credits, should fulfill their remaining hours with approved graduate courses in English or related disciplines under the advisement of the COS and the ACGS. All 54 regular course requirements must be completed before enrolling for dissertation hours, English 699.

Dissertation (no fewer than 18 hrs)

See below for more information on completing dissertation hours.

  • English 699: Dissertation (3-12 hrs, no limit)

Foreign Language Requirement

With the approval of the ACGS and COS, PhD students may satisfy the language requirement in one of three ways.

  1. By demonstrating competency in two foreign languages. "Competency" can be demonstrated with a grade of B or better through a second semester, second-year level undergraduate course or through a graduate-level reading course in a language other than English. Students may use English 547 (Introduction to Old English) and 548 (Advanced Old English) to fulfill competency.
  2. By demonstrating fluency in one foreign language. "Fluency" can be demonstrated in one of several ways with a grade of B or better: through the second-semester, third-year level undergraduate course in a language other than English; or through two graduate-level reading courses in a language other than English. Students may use English 547 (Introduction to Old English), 548 (Advanced Old English), and an Old English 650 or another 548 to fulfill fluency.

Competency and Fluency can be demonstrated through course work from previous institutions, course work at UNM, and CLEP or UNM-administered language tests. The decision as to which research skills courses such as a computer-programming language and Statistics will satisfy the Department's language requirements will be negotiated between the ACGS, COS, and appropriate faculty from other departments; other research tools may be approved in exceptional cases in which similar provisions must be made for rigorous academic study in the subject.

Note: Course credits for classes used to complete the language or research requirement cannot be counted toward the 54-hour requirement for regular course work.

The Committee on Studies (COS)

As soon as the first and no later than the second semester in the program, PhD students choose three tenure-track faculty members from the Department of English to serve as their Committee on Studies. The COS serves as the primary source of advisement during the first phases of the PhD degree, guiding students in the selection of course work, preparation for the comprehensive examination, and in professional development. One faculty member must be designated as the Chair of the COS. Students may add a fourth member from outside the department to the COS. Since members of the COS write and grade the comprehensive examinations, COS members are typically specialists in each of the three examination areas. Often, but not always, these same faculty members serve later on the Dissertation Committee.

Comprehensive Examinations

To ensure a thorough and broad knowledge of English as a discipline, the Department of English requires PhD students to take comprehensive examinations in three different fields. Under the advisement of the COS, PhD students should select their three fields of study early in the course of their doctoral program, so that they can take course work that enhances their understanding of their three fields.

PhD students must choose their fields from among the following categories, each of which designates a typical field of study for which the faculty have drawn up reading lists for the comprehensive examinations. These reading lists include key works, histories, and critical and theoretical works for each area of study. For the examinations, students must choose at least one of the fields from the "Literary Historical Periods" category; only one field may be from an individualized reading list.

Literary Historical Periods

  • Old English
  • Middle English
  • Early Modern Literature
  • Georgian Literature (Eighteenth Century)
  • British and Irish Romanticism
    Victorianism
  • Early American
  • Nineteenth Century American
  • Modern British
  • Modern American
  • Contemporary British
  • Contemporary American

Thematic Disciplines

  • African American Literature
  • Chicano/a Literature
  • Composition
  • Contemporary Rhetoric
  • Criticism and Theory
  • Feminist Literature and Theory
  • Indigenous Literature
  • Postcolonial Literature and Theory
  • Southwestern Literature
  • Transatlantic Modernism

Reading lists can be found on the English Department Wiki

Individualized Reading Lists

Several individualized reading lists are available for PhD students to review and to use as a basis for drawing up their own individualized lists. Individualized lists enable students to focus upon new areas of study that are not covered under the Literary Historical Periods or Thematic Disciplines lists. A student's COS must supervise and approve any individual reading list. By the end of the semester before exams are taken, students will submit the individual lists and a signature sheet, with signatures of approval from all COS members, to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies for review.

Schedule of Examinations

PhD comprehensive examinations are scheduled on the second, third, and fourth Mondays of February and the second, third, and fourth Mondays of September. See the Graduate Student Deadlines Document for the date to submit the memo outlining the three fields of examination to the ACGS.

Format of Examinations

Each field examination is four hours long, with extra time for preparation and breaks. Formats vary and depend in part on discussions between students and their COS. Examinations may include identification questions, short essays, and longer essays.

Grading the Examinations

The three members of the COS read all three examinations and grade them "Pass" or "Fail." Students will receive notice of the results within a week after completing the last of the three examinations.

These examinations are meant to be rigorous. The COS and the ACGS may require a student to correct any deficiency by taking further coursework, by writing a review essay or research paper in the field, or by re-taking any or all of the examinations. Students who fail a single examination or any combination of the examinations may retake them in a later semester. Those who fail a second time will be dismissed from the program without a degree.

Dissertation Committee

The Dissertation Committee guides, directs, reads, and approves the PhD dissertation. The committee consists of four graduate professors, at least one of whom must be from the English Department and one from outside the English Department. The Dissertation Committee Chair must be a tenured or tenure-track member of the University of New Mexico faculty and have regular graduate faculty approval. The COS often forms the core of the Dissertation Committee; however, faculty other than members of the COS may and regularly are invited to serve as members of the Dissertation Committee. To get the Dissertation Committee approved, students must file an Appointment of Dissertation Committee form with the English Graduate Office no later than two weeks before the Prospectus defense. (See the UNM Catalog for more on the Dissertation Committee: http://catalog.unm.edu/catalogs/2015-2016/graduate-program.html ).

Dissertation Prospectus and Its Defense

After passing the Comprehensive Examinations, PhD students must organize a Dissertation Committee, write and submit a Dissertation Prospectus, and successfully defend the prospectus before the Dissertation Committee. The prospectus defense must be completed no later than six calendar months after passing the Comprehensive Examinations.

The Prospectus

While Dissertation Committees may require different formats for the prospectus, the Graduate Committee recommends that the dissertation prospectus be a ten- to fifteen-page document (excluding bibliography), developed under the advisement of the Dissertation Committee. The prospectus should articulate the dissertation's thesis, provide a statement of purpose, and explain the critical/theoretical principles and methods that underlie the project. In addition, the prospectus should include a literature review and outline the proposed chapter organization of the dissertation. The Dissertation Prospectus should be construed as a formal proposal, aiming to persuade the professionals in the field of the value and timeliness of the project, its feasibility, and the grounds upon which the study is based. See the Department Wiki for more instructions on the prospectus.

Doctoral students defend the dissertation prospectus in a formal event before their Dissertation Committee, leading to a mark of "Accept" or "Resubmit." "Accept" might still involve revisions to the prospectus; "resubmit" means that a student has up to six months to produce and defend an acceptable dissertation prospectus. The Dissertation Committee should have the dissertation prospectus at least a week before its defense. Students and their Dissertation Committee should discuss during the defense the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed dissertation project, and the Dissertation Committee should provide concrete advice for successful completion of the dissertation. In the case of a resubmit, the Dissertation Committee chair should work closely with the student to produce an acceptable revision of the dissertation prospectus.

The prospectus and its successful defense are considered fundamental requirements for academic progress towards the doctoral degree. Any student who does not produce an acceptable prospectus after the second defense will be considered as not making satisfactory academic progress, which could lead to the suspension or withholding of a TA contract.

Upon completion of the Prospectus defense, the Dissertation Committee Chair must file a completed Dissertation Prospectus Defense form with the ACGS. This form is available from the English Department Graduate Advisor.

English 699 Dissertation Hours

Students may register for English 699 Dissertation under their Dissertation Chair's section number no sooner than the semester in which they take the Comprehensive Examinations. Students cannot enroll in, and no credit will be accepted from, English 699 before that semester. After registering in English 699 for the first time, university regulations require that students maintain continuous enrollment in English 699 for a minimum of three hours per semester (excluding summers, when not taking other courses) until successfully completing the dissertation defense. ABD students who enroll in any other course during a summer, or students who plan to graduate during the summer, must register for English 699. The PhD degree requires a minimum of 18 hours of English 699.

The PhD Dissertation

A dissertation is a formal, scholarly document, seldom less than 150 double-spaced pages and often much longer, which makes an original contribution to its field and shows a professional mastery of academic methods and materials. Few dissertations are written in less than a calendar year. PhD students who are also Teaching Assistants commonly find that the process takes two years. UNM requires that students must complete all degree requirements, including the dissertation and defense, within five years of advancing to candidacy (i.e. passing the Comprehensive Examinations).

Style

The English department requires that all dissertations follow the newest edition of The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing on matters of style and documentation. The UNM Office of Graduate Studies, which has final approval and grants the PhD degree, maintains strict guidelines about the format for submitting all dissertations. These guidelines may be found at<br />http://grad.unm.edu/degree-completion/thesis-dissertations/index.html. Further help is available in the Office of Graduate Studies from the staff member who reviews dissertations for final approval.

The Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense is a public event, advertised one week in advance and typically lasting 60-90 minutes, during which time the Dissertation Committee members, including any outside reader(s), evaluate the candidate's dissertation and general knowledge of the field. Prior approval of the Dissertation Committee is required before scheduling the defense. In order to schedule this event, students must file an "Announcement of Final Exam" form at least two weeks in advance. The defense must take place well in advance of the deadline for submitting the dissertation, in order to allow time for making minor revisions and/or corrections before submitting the manuscript to the Office of Graduate Studies.

The usual format for the dissertation defense is for the candidate to make a short (fifteen- to twenty-minute) presentation concerning the ideas, methods, and significance of the dissertation, followed by questions from both Dissertation Committee members and any members of the faculty or public who wish to participate. The four members of the Dissertation Committee will evaluate the dissertation and its defense and recommend grades of "Pass," "Pass with Minor Revisions" (including appropriate guidelines from the readers), or "Fail." Students who fail the dissertation defense may resubmit their work after revisions supervised by their committee. Those who fail a second time will be dismissed from the program without a degree.

After successfully defending the dissertation, the candidate should prepare the final copy and supporting documents in the style required by GS. This office has set strict deadlines for the submission of dissertations, and failure to meet these deadlines will mean postponing graduation. The deadlines are as follows: November 15 (for December graduation), April 15 (for May graduation), and July 15 (for Summer graduation).

Forms to File

Forms are available on the English Department Wiki and on the Graduate Office Website.

Appointment of Committee on Studies Form

This form formalizes the appointment of the Committee on Studies, normally in the second semester of coursework.

Announcement of Comprehensive Examination Form

This form, which states the intent to take the Comprehensive Examinations and designates the examining committee, must be filed two weeks before the scheduled date of the first of the three examinations.

Application to Candidacy Form

This form must be filed the semester before the dissertation defense takes place. It is advantageous, however, to file this form after the Comprehensive Examinations have been passed. This form lists all the courses, including Master's credits and transfer hours, which make up the required 54 hours.

Appointment of Dissertation Committee Form

This form confers formal approval of the dissertation committee; it should be filed as early as possible but no later than two weeks before the Prospectus defense. (If at any time the membership of the Dissertation Committee changes, a new form must be filed immediately.) This form allows Graduate Studies to check the graduate status of the faculty on the Dissertation Committee. GS must approve this form before a dissertation defense can be scheduled.

Dissertation Prospectus Defense Form

This form and the prospectus must be filed with the ACGS after the prospectus defense in order to record its outcome.

Announcement of Dissertation Defense Form

At least two weeks before the dissertation defense date, this form must be filed with the Graduate Advisor, who forwards it to GS.

The Five-Year Rule

UNM regulations stipulate that PhD candidates must successfully complete and defend their dissertations within five years of the semester in which they pass the Comprehensive Examinations and are formally advanced to candidacy.

Teaching Assistantship Limits

PhD students who hold Teaching Assistantships are limited to ten semesters of assistantship funding, excluding summer TA appointments. Petitions for extensions may be addressed to the Graduate Committee through the ACGS. Extensions are the exception rather than the rule, and all extensions are contingent upon academic progress, the availability of funding, and departmental need. PhD students who receive a TAship after their first year lose those prior semesters of TAship eligibility.

PhD Concentration in Medieval Studies

The PhD Concentration in Medieval Studies offers advanced students an alternative means of acquiring bodies of knowledge presently isolated in separate disciplines. Rich in content, the course of study differs from the typical PhD in Medieval English Literature in that it involves diverse departments (such as Art History, English, History, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Spanish, and Philosophy) and presents exciting and provocative points of intersection between the literatures and cultures of the Middle Ages and the present.

The PhD Concentration in Medieval Studies is a professional degree that focuses entirely upon the English medieval period and the complexity of its literature, a literature that reflects a multi-lingual and highly stratified culture constituting a coalescence of Nordic, Germanic, Norman, Celtic, and Latin elements. This course of study offers students substantive training for academic positions in the medieval period that spans some six centuries.

The PhD Concentration in Medieval Studies degree requires 54 hours of coursework, comprehensive examinations in three medieval studies areas, a Foreign Language requirement, and a dissertation. Typically, PhD students have recently completed a Master's degree in English with something in excess of 30 semester hours. While the English department accepts up to 24 of those hours toward the PhD degree, the course requirements for the PhD, Concentration in Medieval Studies typically limit the number of transferable hours to eleven.

Required Coursework (54 hrs)

Foundational Courses (15 hrs)

All students must have taken the following courses, either in their MA program or within the first two years of the PhD program:

  • English 500: Introduction to the Professional Study of English (3 hrs) (Must be taken in the first semester of graduate study)
  • English 551: Topics in Medieval Studies: Bibliographical and Research Methods (3 hrs)
  • English 547: Introduction to Old English (3 hrs)
  • English 581: Chaucer (3 hrs)
  • History 503 or 504: Early or High Middle Ages (3 hrs)

Core Courses (30 hours)

PhD students in Medieval Studies must take thirty hours of core courses including courses in Medieval Language and Literature (9 hrs), Multidisciplinary Studies (9 hrs), English and History Seminars (11 hrs), and Problems (1 hr), as follows:

Medieval Language and Literature (9 hrs)

  • English 548: Advanced Old English (3 hrs)
  • English 549: Middle English Language (3 hrs)
  • English 550: Middle English Literature (3 hrs)
  • English 551: Topics in Medieval Studies (3 hrs)

Multidisciplinary Coursework (9 hrs)

These courses are taken in Art History, Medieval History, Medieval Philosophy, and Medieval Language and Literature other than English, such as Old Norse, Medieval Latin, and Medieval Spanish. (Only one course [3 hrs] may be counted from the History department.)

English & History 600-level Seminars (11 hrs)

All PhD students must take a minimum of eleven hours of seminars—one from the Department of History. The following seminars count toward the degree and should be taken when offered in topics related to Old or Middle English or Medieval Language, History, and Culture.

  • English 650: Studies in British Literature (4 hrs)
  • English 680: Studies in Genre, Backgrounds, and Forces (4 hrs)
  • History 601 or 602: Anglo-Saxon England, 450-1066 or The Crusades (3 hrs each).

See the Medieval Studies Director for other approved seminars.

English 697: Problems for the Doctor's Degree (1 hr)

Under the guidance of the students' committee members, students must prepare and submit an article-length essay (20 to 30 pages, inclusive of notes) for publication in any of the major Medieval Studies' journals.

Electives (9 hrs)

The required courses above total 45 hours, inclusive of foundational and core courses; students who have transferred at least nine hours from the MA into the PhD will have fulfilled the minimum course requirements, excluding dissertation hours, required for the degree. Students who need more course credits, should fulfill their remaining hours with approved graduate courses in English or related disciplines under the advisement of their COS and the Director of Medieval Studies in English. All 54 regular course requirements must be completed before enrolling for dissertation hours, English 699.

Dissertation (no fewer than 18 hrs)

See below for more information on completing dissertation hours.

  • English 699: Dissertation (3-12 hrs, no limit)

Foreign Language Requirement

PhD students in Medieval Studies must demonstrate a reading knowledge of Latin, to be satisfied no later than the second year. Competency is satisfied either by passing a language examination or Latin 202 (Intermediate Latin) or Latin 352 (Accelerated Latin Reading) with a grade of B or better. Students must also demonstrate competency in an additional language other than English. Competency can be demonstrated with a grade of B or better: through the second semester, second-year undergraduate level in a language other than English; or through a graduate-level reading course in a language other than English.

Course work from previous institutions, course work at UNM, and CLEP or UNM-administered tests may be used to fulfill the language requirement. Note: Course credits for classes used to complete the language or research requirement cannot be counted toward the 54-hour requirement for regular course work.

The Committee on Studies (COS)

As soon as the first and no later than the second semester in the program, PhD students choose three tenure-track faculty members from the Department of English to serve as their Committee on Studies. The COS serves as the primary source of advisement during the first phases of the PhD degree, guiding students in the selection of course work, preparation for the comprehensive examination, and in professional development. One faculty member must be designated as the Chair of the COS. Students may add a fourth member from outside the department to the COS. Since members of the COS write and grade the comprehensive examinations, COS members are typically specialists in each of the three examination areas. Often, but not always, these same faculty members serve later on the Dissertation Committee.

PhD Comprehensive Examinations

In accordance with the Department of English policy on PhD exams, students must take three field examinations of four hours length each. Because a degree in the PhD concentration in Medieval Studies in English connotes a special mastery of medieval English, the examinations must cover Old English, Middle English, and one other medieval disciplinary field.

Schedule of Examinations

PhD comprehensive examinations are scheduled on the second, third, and fourth Mondays of February and the second, third, and fourth Mondays of September. See the Graduate Student Deadlines Document for the date to submit the three fields of examination to the ACGS.

Format of Examinations

Each field examination is four hours long. Formats vary and depend in part on discussions between students and their COS. Examinations may include identification questions, translations, short essays, and longer essays.

Grading the Examinations

The three members of the COS read all three examinations and grade them "Pass" or "Fail." Students will receive notice of the results within a week after completing the last of the three examinations.

These examinations are meant to be rigorous. The COS and the ACGS may require a student to correct any deficiency by taking further coursework, by writing a review essay or research paper in the field, or by re-taking any or all of the examinations. Students who fail a single examination or any combination of the examinations may retake them in a later semester. Those who fail a second time will be dismissed from the program without a degree.

Dissertation Prospectus and Its Defense

After passing the Comprehensive Examinations, PhD students must organize a Dissertation Committee, write and submit a Dissertation Prospectus, and successfully defend the prospectus before the Dissertation Committee. The prospectus defense must be completed no later than six calendar months after passing the Comprehensive Examinations.

Dissertation Committee

The Dissertation Committee guides, directs, reads, and approves the PhD dissertation. The committee consists of four graduate professors, at least one of whom must be from the English Department and one from outside the English Department. The Dissertation Committee Chair must be a tenured or tenure-track member of the University of New Mexico faculty and have regular graduate faculty approval. The COS often forms the core of the Dissertation Committee; however, faculty other than members of the COS may and regularly are invited to serve as members of the Dissertation Committee. To get the Dissertation Committee approved, students must file an Appointment of Dissertation Committee form with the English Graduate Office no later than two weeks before the Prospectus defense. (See the UNM Catalog for more on the Dissertation Committee: http://catalog.unm.edu/catalogs/2015-2016/graduate-program.html

The Prospectus

While Dissertation Committees may require different formats for the prospectus, the Graduate Committee recommends that the dissertation prospectus be a ten- to fifteen-page document (excluding bibliography), developed under the advisement of the Dissertation Committee. The prospectus should articulate the dissertation's thesis, provide a statement of purpose, and explain the critical/theoretical principles and methods that underlie the project. In addition, the prospectus should include a literature review and outline the proposed chapter organization of the dissertation. The Dissertation Prospectus should be construed as a formal proposal, aiming to persuade the professionals in the field of the value and timeliness of the project, its feasibility, and the grounds upon which the study is based.

Doctoral students defend the dissertation prospectus in a formal event before their Dissertation Committee, leading to a mark of "Accept" or "Resubmit." "Accept" might still involve revisions to the prospectus; "resubmit" means that a student has up to six months to produce and defend an acceptable dissertation prospectus. The Dissertation Committee should have the dissertation prospectus at least a week before its defense. Students and their Dissertation Committee should discuss during the defense the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed dissertation project, and the Dissertation Committee should provide concrete advice for successful completion of the dissertation. In the case of a resubmit, the Dissertation Committee chair should work closely with the student to produce an acceptable revision of the dissertation prospectus.

The prospectus and its successful defense are considered fundamental requirements for academic progress towards the doctoral degree. Any student who does not produce an acceptable prospectus after the second defense will be considered as not making satisfactory academic progress, which could lead to the suspension or withholding of a TA contract.

Upon completion of the Prospectus defense, the Dissertation Committee Chair must file a completed Dissertation Prospectus Defense form with the ACGS. This form is available from the English Department Graduate Advisor.

English 699 Dissertation Hours

Students may register for English 699 Dissertation under their Dissertation Chair's section number no sooner than the semester in which they take the Comprehensive Examinations. Students cannot enroll in, and no credit will be accepted from, English 699 before that semester. After registering in English 699 for the first time, university regulations require that students maintain continuous enrollment in English 699 for a minimum of three hours per semester (excluding summers, when not taking other courses) until successfully completing the dissertation defense. ABD students who enroll in any other course during a summer, or students who plan to graduate during the summer, must register for English 699. The PhD degree requires a minimum of 18 hours of English 699.

The PhD Dissertation

The policies regarding protocols and procedures for completing the doctoral dissertation in the PhD Concentration in Medieval Studies in English generally fall in line with the English Department's and University's policies. Because the concentration is distinctively interdisciplinary, the dissertation should show some expertise in a discipline (or subdivision of a discipline) other than English, as for example, English medieval literature and history of medicine (subdivision of History); English medieval literature and philosophical thought (sub-division of Philosophy); or English medieval literature and the aesthetics or influences of medieval art (subdivision of Art History). The candidate and the dissertation committee discuss these issues.

A dissertation is a formal, scholarly document, seldom less than 150 double-spaced pages and often much longer, which makes an original contribution to its field and shows a professional mastery of academic methods and materials. Few dissertations are written in less than a calendar year. PhD students who are also Teaching Assistants commonly find that the process takes two years. UNM requires that students must complete all degree requirements, including the dissertation and defense, within five years of advancing to candidacy (i.e. passing the Comprehensive Examinations).

Style

The English department requires that all dissertations follow the newest edition of The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing on matters of style and documentation. The UNM Office of Graduate Studies, which has final approval and grants the PhD degree, maintains strict guidelines about the format for submitting all dissertations. These guidelines may be found at<br />http://grad.unm.edu/degree-completion/thesis-dissertations/index.html. Further help is available in the Office of Graduate Studies from the staff member who reviews dissertations for final approval.

The Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense is a public event, advertised one week in advance and typically lasting 60-90 minutes, during which time the Dissertation Committee members, including any outside reader(s), evaluate the candidate's dissertation and general knowledge of the field. Prior approval of the Dissertation Committee is required before scheduling the defense. In order to schedule this event, students must file an "Announcement of Final Exam" form at least two weeks in advance. The defense must take place well in advance of the deadline for submitting the dissertation, in order to allow time for making minor revisions and/or corrections before submitting the manuscript to the Office of Graduate Studies.

The usual format for the dissertation defense is for the candidate to make a short (fifteen- to twenty-minute) presentation concerning the ideas, methods, and significance of the dissertation, followed by questions from both Dissertation Committee members and any members of the faculty or public who wish to participate. The four members of the Dissertation Committee will evaluate the dissertation and its defense and recommend grades of "Pass," "Pass with Minor Revisions" (including appropriate guidelines from the readers), or "Fail." Students who fail the dissertation defense may resubmit their work after revisions supervised by their committee. Those who fail a second time will be dismissed from the program without a degree.

After successfully defending the dissertation, the candidate should prepare the final copy and supporting documents in the style required by GS. This office has set strict deadlines for the submission of dissertations, and failure to meet these deadlines will mean postponing graduation. The deadlines are as follows: November 15 (for December graduation), April 15 (for May graduation), and July 15 (for Summer graduation).

Forms to File

Forms are available on the English Department Wiki and on the Graduate Office Website.

Appointment of Committee on Studies Form

This form formalizes the appointment of the Committee on Studies, normally in the second semester of coursework.

Announcement of Comprehensive Examination Form

This form, which states the intent to take the Comprehensive Examinations and designates the examining committee, must be filed two weeks before the scheduled date of the first of the three examinations.

Application to Candidacy Form

This form must be filed the semester before the dissertation defense takes place. It is advantageous, however, to file this form after the Comprehensive Examinations have been passed. This form lists all the courses, including Master's credits and transfer hours, which make up the required 54 hours.

Appointment of Dissertation Committee Form

This form confers formal approval of the dissertation committee; it should be filed as early as possible but no later than two weeks before the Prospectus defense. (If at any time the membership of the Dissertation Committee changes, a new form must be filed immediately.) This form allows Graduate Studies to check the graduate status of the faculty on the Dissertation Committee. GS must approve this form before a dissertation defense can be scheduled.

Dissertation Prospectus Defense Form

This form and the prospectus must be filed with the ACGS after the prospectus defense in order to record its outcome.

Announcement of Dissertation Defense Form

At least two weeks before the dissertation defense date, this form must be filed with the Graduate Advisor, who forwards it to GS.

The Five-Year Rule

UNM regulations stipulate that PhD candidates must successfully complete and defend their dissertations within five years of the semester in which they pass the Comprehensive Examinations and are formally advanced to candidacy.

Teaching Assistantship Limits

PhD students in the Medieval Studies Concentration who hold Teaching Assistantships are limited to eleven semesters of assistantship funding, excluding summer TA appointments. Petitions for extensions may be addressed to the Graduate Committee through the ACGS. Extensions are the exception rather than the rule, and all extensions are contingent upon academic progress, the availability of funding, and departmental need. PhD students who receive a TAship after their first year lose those semesters of TAship eligibility.

PhD Concentration in Rhetoric and Writing

The PhD emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing includes courses covering topics such as language diversity, multimodal composition, technical communication, community literacy, public rhetorics, online writing instruction, second language writing, and writing program administration. In addition to gaining valuable face to face and online teaching experience in courses ranging from first-year writing to technical writing and professional communication, students have the opportunity to engage in program building efforts via a variety of administrative positions connected with first-year writing, online writing instruction, as well as technical writing and professional communication.

The PhD in Rhetoric and Writing degree requires 54 hours of coursework, comprehensive exams in three areas, a Foreign Language requirement, and a doctoral dissertation. Typically, PhD students have recently completed a Master’s degree in English with something in excess of 30 semester hours. The English department accepts up to 24 of those hours toward the PhD degree, leaving students 30 hours of regular course work to complete from the time of matriculation.

Note: Students who did graduate work in a discipline other than English likely will not transfer the full 24 hours to the PhD program. Such students will need to complete more than 30 hours of regular course work before moving on to the dissertation. The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS) and the Committee on Studies (COS) determine the number of hours students are able to transfer to the PhD.

Required Coursework

As explained above, PhD students must take 54 hours of course work before taking the Comprehensive Examinations and moving on to the dissertation. These hours must be distributed as follows:

Core Course (3 hrs)

  • English 500: Introduction to the Professional Study of English (3 hrs) (Must be taken in the first semester of graduate study.)

Distribution Requirements (15 hrs)

Students must take 15 hours of coursework in Language, Theory, and Pedagogy, as described below.

Language and Theory (9 hrs)

Students must take a total of nine hours from Language and Theory courses, at least three of which are from Language and three from Theory courses.

Language (at least 3 hrs from the following)

  • English 541: English Grammar (3 hrs)
  • English 545: History of the English Language (3 hrs)
  • English 547: Introduction to Old English (3 hrs)
  • English 548: Advanced Old English (3 hrs)
  • English 549: Middle English Language (3 hrs)

Theory (at least 3 hrs from the following)

  • English 538: Writing Theory for Teachers (3 hrs)
  • English 540: Topics in Language or Rhetoric (3 hrs)
  • English 542: Major Texts in Rhetoric (3 hrs)
  • English 543: Contemporary Texts in Rhetoric (3 hrs)

Pedagogy (6 hrs)

Students must take six hours of pedagogy courses from the following or from approved substitutions in other departments.

  • English 537: Teaching Composition (required of all new TAs) (3 hrs)
  • English 538: Writing Theory for Teachers (3 hrs)
  • English 539: Teaching Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • English 540: eComp Practicum
  • English 540: Stretch/Studio Practicum
  • English 592: Teaching Literature (3 hrs)

Seminars (12 hrs)

All PhD students must take at least three four-hour seminars offered in the English Department; these seminars are often, but not always, in their fields of study.

  • English 610: Studies in Criticism and Theory (4 hrs)
  • English 640: Studies in Language and Rhetoric (4 hrs)
  • English 650: Studies in British Literature (4 hrs)
  • English 660: Studies in American Literature (4 hrs)
  • English 680: Studies in Genre, Backgrounds, Forces (4 hrs)

Electives (24 hrs)

The required courses above total 30 hours; students who have transferred 24 hours from the MA into the PhD will have fulfilled the minimum course requirements, excluding dissertation hours, required for the degree. Students who need more course credits should fulfill their remaining hours with approved graduate courses in English or related disciplines under the advisement of the COS and the ACGS. All 54 regular course requirements must be completed before enrolling for dissertation hours, English 699.

Dissertation (no fewer than 18 hrs)

See below for more information on completing dissertation hours.

  • English 699: Dissertation (3-12 hrs, no limit)

Foreign Language Requirement

With the approval of the ACGS and COS, PhD students may satisfy the language requirement in one of three ways.

  1. By demonstrating competency in two foreign languages. “Competency” can be demonstrated with a grade of B or better through a second semester, second-year level undergraduate course or through a graduate-level reading course in a language other than English. Students may use English 547 (Introduction to Old English) and 548 (Advanced Old English) to fulfill competency.
  2. By demonstrating fluency in one foreign language. “Fluency” can be demonstrated in one of several ways with a grade of B or better: through the second-semester, third-year level undergraduate course in a language other than English; or through two graduate-level reading courses in a language other than English. Students may use English 547 (Introduction to Old English), 548 (Advanced Old English), and an Old English 650 or another 548 to fulfill fluency.
  3. By combining competency in one foreign language with a similar competency in a research skill such as a computer-programming language or Statistics. Competency in the research skill can be established by the completion of a second-semester, second-year course with a grade of B or better or two graduate courses.

Competency and Fluency can be demonstrated through course work from previous institutions, course work at UNM, and CLEP or UNM-administered language tests. The decision as to which research skills courses such as a computer-programming language and Statistics will satisfy the Department's language requirements will be negotiated between the ACGS, COS, and appropriate faculty from other departments; other research tools may be approved in exceptional cases in which similar provisions must be made for rigorous academic study in the subject.

Note: Course credits for classes used to complete the language or research requirement cannot be counted toward the 54-hour requirement for regular course work.

The Committee on Studies (COS)

As soon as the first and no later than the second semester in the program, PhD students choose three tenure-track faculty members from the Department of English to serve as their Committee on Studies. The COS serves as the primary source of advisement during the first phases of the PhD degree, guiding students in the selection of course work, preparation for the comprehensive examination, and in professional development. One faculty member must be designated as the Chair of the COS. Students may add a fourth member from outside the department to the COS. Since members of the COS write and grade the comprehensive examinations, COS members are typically specialists in each of the three examination areas. Often, but not always, these same faculty members serve later on the Dissertation Committee.

Comprehensive Examinations

To ensure a thorough and broad knowledge of English as a discipline, the Department of English requires PhD students to take comprehensive examinations in three different fields. Under the advisement of the COS, PhD students should select their three fields of study early in the course of their doctoral program, so that they can take course work that enhances their understanding of their three fields.

PhD students must choose their fields from among the following categories, each of which designates a typical field of study for which the faculty have drawn up reading lists for the comprehensive examinations. These reading lists include key works, histories, and critical and theoretical works for each area of study. For the examinations, students must choose at least one of the fields from the "Literary Historical Periods" category; only one field may be from an individualized reading list.

Literary Historical Periods

  • Classical Rhetoric
  • Old English
  • Middle English
  • Early Modern Literature
  • Georgian Literature (Eighteenth Century)
  • British and Irish Romanticism
  • Victorianism
  • Early American
  • Nineteenth Century American
  • Modern British
  • Modern American
  • Contemporary British
  • Contemporary American
  • Contemporary Rhetoric

Thematic Disciplines

  • African American Literature
  • Chicano/a Literature
  • Composition
  • Criticism and Theory
  • Feminist Literature and Theory
  • Indigenous Literature
  • Postcolonial Literature and Theory
  • Southwestern Literature
  • Transatlantic Modernism

Reading lists can be found on the English Department Wiki.

Individualized Reading Lists

Several individualized reading lists are available for PhD students to review and to use as a basis for drawing up their own individualized lists. Individualized lists enable students to focus upon new areas of study that are not covered under the Literary Historical Periods or Complementary Disciplines lists. A student's COS must supervise and approve any individual reading list. By the end of the semester before exams are taken, students will submit the individual lists and a signature sheet, with signatures of approval from all COS members, to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies for review.

Schedule of Examinations

PhD comprehensive examinations are scheduled on the second, third, and fourth Mondays of February and the second, third, and fourth Mondays of September. See the Graduate Student Deadlines Document for the date to submit the memo outlining the three fields of examination to the ACGS.

Format of Examinations

Each field examination is four hours long. Formats vary and depend in part on discussions between students and their COS. Examinations may include identification questions, short essays, and longer essays.

Grading the Examinations

The three members of the COS read all three examinations and grade them "Pass" or "Fail." Students will receive notice of the results within a week after completing the last of the three examinations.

These examinations are meant to be rigorous. The COS and the ACGS may require a student to correct any deficiency by taking further coursework, by writing a review essay or research paper in the field, or by re-taking any or all of the examinations. Students who fail a single examination or any combination of the examinations may retake them in a later semester. Those who fail a second time will be dismissed from the program without a degree.

Dissertation Committee

The Dissertation Committee guides, directs, reads, and approves the PhD dissertation. The committee consists of four graduate professors, at least one of whom must be from the English Department and one from outside the English Department. The Dissertation Committee Chair must be a tenured or tenure-track member of the University of New Mexico faculty and have regular graduate faculty approval. The COS often forms the core of the Dissertation Committee; however, faculty other than members of the COS may and regularly are invited to serve as members of the Dissertation Committee. To get the Dissertation Committee approved, students must file an Appointment of Dissertation Committee form with the English Graduate Office no later than two weeks before the Prospectus defense. (See the UNM Catalog for more on the Dissertation Committee: http://catalog.unm.edu/catalogs/2015-2016/graduate-program.html.)

Dissertation Prospectus and Its Defense

After passing the Comprehensive Examinations, PhD students must organize a Dissertation Committee, write and submit a Dissertation Prospectus, and successfully defend the prospectus before the Dissertation Committee. The prospectus defense must be completed no later than six calendar months after passing the Comprehensive Examinations.

The Prospectus

While Dissertation Committees may require different formats for the prospectus, the Graduate Committee recommends that the dissertation prospectus be a ten- to fifteen-page document (excluding bibliography), developed under the advisement of the Dissertation Committee. The prospectus should articulate the dissertation’s thesis, provide a statement of purpose, and explain the critical/theoretical principles and methods that underlie the project. In addition, the prospectus should include a literature review and outline the proposed chapter organization of the dissertation. The Dissertation Prospectus should be construed as a formal proposal, aiming to persuade the professionals in the field of the value and timeliness of the project, its feasibility, and the grounds upon which the study is based. See the Graduate Program website for more instructions on the prospectus.

Doctoral students defend the dissertation prospectus in a formal event before their Dissertation Committee, leading to a mark of "Accept" or "Resubmit." "Accept" might still involve revisions to the prospectus; "resubmit" means that a student has up to six months to produce and defend an acceptable dissertation prospectus. The Dissertation Committee should have the dissertation prospectus at least a week before its defense. Students and their Dissertation Committee should discuss during the defense the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed dissertation project, and the Dissertation Committee should provide concrete advice for successful completion of the dissertation. In the case of a resubmit, the Dissertation Committee chair should work closely with the student to produce an acceptable revision of the dissertation prospectus.

The prospectus and its successful defense are considered fundamental requirements for academic progress towards the doctoral degree. Any student who does not produce an acceptable prospectus after the second defense will be considered as not making satisfactory academic progress, which could lead to the suspension or withholding of a TA contract.

Upon completion of the Prospectus defense, the Dissertation Committee Chair must file a completed Dissertation Prospectus Defense form with the ACGS. This form is available from the English Department Graduate Advisor.

English 699 Dissertation Hours

Students may register for English 699 Dissertation under their Dissertation Chair’s section number no sooner than the semester in which they take the Comprehensive Examinations. Students cannot enroll in, and no credit will be accepted from, English 699 before that semester. After registering in English 699 for the first time, university regulations require that students maintain continuous enrollment in English 699 for a minimum of three hours per semester (excluding summers, when not taking other courses) until successfully completing the dissertation defense. ABD students who enroll in any other course during a summer, or students who plan to graduate during the summer, must register for English 699. The PhD degree requires a minimum of 18 hours of English 699.

The PhD Dissertation

A dissertation is a formal, scholarly document, seldom less than 150 double-spaced pages and often much longer, which makes an original contribution to its field and shows a professional mastery of academic methods and materials. Few dissertations are written in less than a calendar year. PhD students who are also Teaching Assistants commonly find that the process takes two years. UNM requires that students must complete all degree requirements, including the dissertation and defense, within five years of advancing to candidacy (i.e. passing the Comprehensive Examinations).

Style

The English department requires that all dissertations follow the newest edition of The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing on matters of style and documentation. The UNM Office of Graduate Studies, which has final approval and grants the PhD degree, maintains strict guidelines about the format for submitting all dissertations. These guidelines may be found at
http://grad.unm.edu/degree-completion/thesis-dissertations/index.html. Further help is available in the Office of Graduate Studies from the staff member who reviews dissertations for final approval.

The Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense is a public event, advertised one week in advance and typically lasting 60-90 minutes, during which time the Dissertation Committee members, including any outside reader(s), evaluate the candidate's dissertation and general knowledge of the field. Prior approval of the Dissertation Committee is required before scheduling the defense. In order to schedule this event, students must file an "Announcement of Final Exam" form at least two weeks in advance. The defense must take place well in advance of the deadline for submitting the dissertation, in order to allow time for making minor revisions and/or corrections before submitting the manuscript to the Office of Graduate Studies.

The usual format for the dissertation defense is for the candidate to make a short (fifteen- to twenty-minute) presentation concerning the ideas, methods, and significance of the dissertation, followed by questions from both Dissertation Committee members and any members of the faculty or public who wish to participate. The four members of the Dissertation Committee will evaluate the dissertation and its defense and recommend grades of "Pass," "Pass with Minor Revisions" (including appropriate guidelines from the readers), or "Fail." Students who fail the dissertation defense may resubmit their work after revisions supervised by their committee. Those who fail a second time will be dismissed from the program without a degree.

After successfully defending the dissertation, the candidate should prepare the final copy and supporting documents in the style required by GS. This office has set strict deadlines for the submission of dissertations, and failure to meet these deadlines will mean postponing graduation. The deadlines are as follows: November 15 (for December graduation), April 15 (for May graduation), and July 15 (for Summer graduation).

Forms to File

Forms are available on the English Department Wiki and on the Graduate Office Website.

Appointment of Committee on Studies Form

This form formalizes the appointment of the Committee on Studies, normally in the second semester of coursework.

Announcement of Comprehensive Examination Form

This form, which states the intent to take the Comprehensive Examinations and designates the examining committee, must be filed two weeks before the scheduled date of the first of the three examinations.

Application to Candidacy Form

This form must be filed the semester before the dissertation defense takes place. It is advantageous, however, to file this form after the Comprehensive Examinations have been passed. This form lists all the courses, including Master's credits and transfer hours, which make up the required 54 hours.

Appointment of Dissertation Committee Form

This form confers formal approval of the dissertation committee; it should be filed as early as possible but no later than two weeks before the Prospectus defense. (If at any time the membership of the Dissertation Committee changes, a new form must be filed immediately.) This form allows Graduate Studies to check the graduate status of the faculty on the Dissertation Committee. GS must approve this form before a dissertation defense can be scheduled.

Dissertation Prospectus Defense Form

This form and the prospectus must be filed with the ACGS after the prospectus defense in order to record its outcome.

Announcement of Dissertation Defense Form

At least two weeks before the dissertation defense date, this form must be filed with the Graduate Advisor, who forwards it to GS.

The Five-Year Rule

UNM regulations stipulate that PhD candidates must successfully complete and defend their dissertations within five years of the semester in which they pass the Comprehensive Examinations and are formally advanced to candidacy.

Teaching Assistantship Limits

PhD students who hold Teaching Assistantships are limited to ten semesters of assistantship funding, excluding summer TA appointments. Petitions for extensions may be addressed to the Graduate Committee through the ACGS. Extensions are the exception rather than the rule, and all extensions are contingent upon academic progress, the availability of funding, and departmental need. PhD students who receive a TAship after their first year lose those prior semesters of TAship eligibility.

Teaching Assistantships

The English Department's main goal is to engage in writing, research, teaching, and public service that advance our understanding of English literature and our expanding heritage of literatures in English. In addition to preparing future scholars, writers, and teachers, the English department supports the university's undergraduate Core Curriculum writing requirement by providing four writing courses at the 100-200 level, as well as the Core Curriculum Humanities requirement by providing three literature courses at the 100-200 level. To meet these related goals, as well as to provide needed financial aid and valuable teaching experience, we encourage our graduate students at both MA and PhD levels to apply for Teaching Assistantships.

Teaching Assistantships in the Department of English are the primary form of financial aid to our graduate students. Teaching Assistants earn a stipend of about $1,400-$1,600 per month, depending on their academic level, and receive tuition remission of up to twelve hours per semester and graduate student health insurance. These hours do not automatically carry over to future semesters or the Summer term. Teaching Assistants must be registered for six hours of graduate credit in both Fall and Spring semesters and for three hours of graduate credit if teaching during the Summer term.

Applying for a TAship

Teaching Assistantships begin in the Fall semester, and applications are due January 15 as part of the admissions application.

Reapplication Process

Students who do not receive a TAship upon first application should reapply by the January 15 deadline for the following year. Applications must include a letter of intent, two recommendation letters from people who can address the applicant's teaching potential, as well as a ten- to fifteen-page expository or argumentative writing sample. Email these documents to the Graduate Advisor (englishgrad@unm.edu). Students who receive a TAship after their first year in the program lose those semesters of TAship eligibility.

Procedure for Obtaining a Teaching Assistantship

This procedure outlines the process for obtaining a Teaching Assistantship and the criteria for teaching courses other than English 110 and 120 during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Usually, students applying for admission to one of the English Department's nine graduate degree programs will also apply for a TAship at the same time. There is a three-step TAship selection process:

  1. The Disciplinary Field Group evaluates the application.
  2. The Graduate Committee and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS) vet the Field Group recommendation.
  3. The Associate Chair for Core Writing (ACCW) evaluates the application.

Usually, during the admissions process, the TAships assigned to each Field Group will go to the top candidates in that pool but can be reassigned to the waitlisted applicants should the first ones turn them down. When the field group admissions waitlists are exhausted and if there are still TAships available, the ACGS and the ACCW consult to establish a ranked TAship waitlist from which to award TAships until all have been distributed.

Students applying for TAships in the second or later year of their programs are evaluated in that year's regular admissions pool with the same procedures (1-3) above. It is thus up to the Field Groups to rank current students with new admits for TAships.

All TAship offers are made by the Graduate Office in English with the funding limits for individual degree programs outlined in the Handbook for Graduate Studies. Renewal of TAships is dependent on proper academic progress in the degree program and satisfactory review of teaching performance.

Procedure for Selecting TAs to Teach Courses

After one year of teaching English 110 and 120, TAs who meet the requirements listed in this document have the opportunity to teach other undergraduate composition courses, creative writing courses, or literature courses (if ABD). To be eligible to teach one of these courses, TAs must complete the Schedule Request form online each semester and/or respond to email inquiries about interest in teaching online and English 220 or other courses. The possibility of TAs teaching courses other than English 110 and 120 depends on the staffing needs of the English Department. Further, except where noted otherwise, the University status listed below will determine who has preference in teaching these courses.

  1. Faculty (tenure-track and lecturers)
  2. English Department TAs
  3. TAs from other departments
  4. Term Teaching Faculty and PTIs

Courses available for TAs to teach are listed below. Please note: We cannot promise every student these opportunities but will do our best to ensure fairness as we fulfill the needs of the department.

Special Opportunities

  • Online and Hybrid courses: We offer English 110, 120, 219, and 220 online each semester; English 120 and 219 as hybrids each semester; and English 219 online in the summer. Occasionally, we offer an online version of English 250. English 540 Online Teaching Practicum required.
  • Intersession courses: We offer an English 110 & 120 Portfolio Rescue Workshop in early January. The rescue course gives students a second chance to improve their portfolios to passing level and move on to more advanced writing courses. The Workshop is a three-day class with two TAs who coach the students as they work on revising their portfolios.
  • Summer courses: We offer English 110, 111, 112, 120, 219, and 220, and selected literature classes during the summer.

Rhetoric & Writing

  • Freshman Learning Community (FLC) English 110: Students co-enroll in a Freshman Seminar taught by a faculty member from a variety of disciplines along with English 110. The writing assignments are integrated and unified with the topic of the seminar.
  • English 111-12: First and second semester of Composition I and II sequence. Focuses on analyzing rhetorical situations and responding with appropriate genres and technologies. English 540 Stretch/Studio Practicum required.
  • English 113: Covers Composition I and II in one semester with a 1 credit hour lab. Focuses on analyzing rhetorical situations and responding with appropriate genres and technologies. Credit not allowed for both 113 and 110, or for both 113 and 112. English 540 Stretch/Studio Practicum required.
  • English 120W: Students practice writing analytical and argumentative documents that focus on Writing Across the Community subjects.
  • English 219: Technical and Professional Writing: Students learn to research, write and edit workplace documents such as correspondence, manuals, reports and proposals, focusing on technical, ethical, and multi-cultural considerations.English 539 Practicum required.
  • English 220: Expository Writing: Students learn to improve their writing skills to meet the demands of academic and professional writing in diverse disciplines. Students explore a subject through reading and writing, and create documents associated with that subject.
  • English 240: Traditional Grammar: Study of the basic analysis of English sentences: identifying parts of speech, functional units of sentences and basic sentence patterns.

Creative Writing

  • English 224: Introduction to Creative Writing: A survey of creative writing conventions including those of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.
  • English 494/497: MFA Tutorials: Advanced undergraduates work one-on-one with second- or third-year MFA students to prepare their work for submission to an MFA program or for publication.

Language & Literature

  • English 150: The Study of Literature (for non-majors): Introductory course on the analysis and appreciation of literature, covering literary conventions, writers' techniques and important themes.
  • English 248: Topics in Popular Medieval Literature and Studies: Reading and analysis of popular contemporary literature and film of the medieval period.
  • English 250: The Analysis of Literature: Study of literary analysis and critical writing about literature.
  • English 264: Survey of Native American Literatures and Rhetorics: A general overview of the history and diversity of the literatures and rhetorics of Native peoples, including oral tradition, film, autobiography, fiction, poetry, art, drama and ceremony. Focus is on American Indian texts.
  • English 265: Introduction to Chicana/o Literature: Survey of Chicana/o novels, short stories, essays, poetry, and drama from nineteenth century to the present, with emphasis on major themes such as history, culture, identity, language, and region.
  • English 292: World Literatures: Ancient World through the 16th Century: Survey of key texts in world literature from the ancient world through the 16th century.
  • English 293: World Literatures: 17th Century through the Present: Survey of key texts in world literatures from the 17th century through the present.
  • English 294: Survey of Earlier English Literature: A study of the principal literary movements and selected works from Old English to 1798.
  • English 295: Survey of Later English Literature: A study of the principal literary movements and selected works from 1798 to the present.
  • English 296: Earlier American Literature: A general survey of American Literature to the mid-19th century.
  • English 297: Later American Literature: A general survey of American Literature from the mid-19th century to the present.

Please note: These literature courses require English 592 or commensurate preparation. We cannot promise that every eligible PhD student will be able to teach one or more of these literature courses. We will do our best to ensure fairness as we fulfill the needs of the department.

General Criteria

General criteria used to determine which TAs are chosen to teach these courses include:

  1. Progress on studies. TAs who are making clear progress on their degree requirements are given preference over those who are behind in their degree requirements.
  2. Veteran status. (except where noted otherwise) In most cases, we allow TAs to teach the course a second time to reward TAs who choose to develop their teaching expertise and to provide these TAs with the opportunity to teach a course a second time to further develop their teaching skills in that subject, However, to ensure that other TAs have the opportunity to teach courses other than English 110 and 120. TAs who haven't taught the course yet get preference over those who have taught it two or more times. Thus, the order of preference is:
    1. Except for Literature classes, TAs who have taught the course once before
    2. TAs who have not taught the course previously
    3. TAs who have taught the course two or more times
  3. Positive teaching record. TAs with a positive teaching record—based on student evaluations, observations, and student and faculty testimonials—are given preference over those with lesser records.

Section Cancellation Policies

In the event that a section does not have a minimum of 15 enrolled students, the Dean's office will cancel the section. English Department staff will check enrollments on the Friday prior to the start of classes. If a section doesn't have enough enrolled students, staff members will consult with the Chair and then notify the TA that the section he or she was scheduled to teach is being canceled. In rare events, a class will lose enrolled students over the weekend, causing the class to be canceled on the first day of class.

If there are multiple sections of a course available and in the week prior to the start of class enrollment in one or more of the sections is below the 13 students required, the staff, after consulting with the Chair, may move TAs who have higher standing (based on these protocols) to a section that is more likely to make. Thus, a TA with lower standing will be the first to have their class canceled.

The following pages provide specific criteria for selecting who teaches each course and also information about special teaching opportunities, such as teaching online, intersession courses, and summer courses.

Criteria for Selecting TAs for Freshman Learning Community (FLC) Courses

The Associate Chair for Core Writing will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Arrangement between FLC instructor and English 110/150 instructor. TAs selected by an FLC instructor (and who are deemed acceptable by the FE and FLC Directors) are given preference. For English 150 courses the TA must meet the criteria for that course.
  • Expertise in subject of FLC. TAs who can demonstrate expertise and knowledge relevant to the subject of the course are given preference over those who do not.
  • Commitment to FLC goals. TAs who show a commitment to the FLC goals—eagerness to collaborate with A&S counterpart and to participate with FLC programs and directors, willingness to participate in portfolio system—are given preference over those who show less commitment.

Criteria for Selecting TAs for English 111-112 and 113 Courses

The Associate Chair for Core Writing in consultation with the English 111-112 and 113 Coordinators will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Experience or training. TAs who have successfully taken English 540, Stretch/Studio Practicum.

Criteria for Selecting TAs for English 120W Courses

The Associate Chair for Core Writing in consultation with the Writing Across Communities Faculty Advisor will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Experience or training. TAs who have demonstrated interest and experience in Writing Across Communities (WAC) initiatives through course work, participation in WAC events, or other relevant experience or training are given preference.

Criteria for Selecting TAs for English 219 Courses

The Associate Chair for Core Writing in consultation with the English 219 Coordinator will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Experience or training. TAs who have successfully taken English 539, English 538 (with a concentration in teaching English 219), taught a course similar to English 219 at another university or college, or have extensive professional writing experience are given preference.
  • Studies focused on technical and professional writing. TAs who have or are taking courses in the Professional Writing sequence are given preference.

Criteria for Selecting TAs for the English 220

The Associate Chair for Core Writing in consultation with the English 220 Coordinator will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Proposal submission. TAs must submit a proposal to teach English 220 that describes the topic they would like to teach, outlines three major writing assignments, and includes possible texts to be used in the course.
  • Appropriate subject. Proposals that show the subject and assignments that provide students with ample opportunities to improve their writing skills are given preference.

Criteria for Selecting TAs for English 240 Courses

The Director of Rhetoric and Writing and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in consultation with faculty who regularly teach this course will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Experience or training. TAs who have taken English 240 at either UNM or another university, observed several classes of English 240, or demonstrate strong knowledge of grammar are given preference.

Criteria for Selecting TAs for English 224

The Director of Creative Writing along with the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Experience or training. TAs who have successfully taken English 501: Introduction to the Profession for Writers, taught a course similar to English 224 at another university or college, or have extensive creative writing experience are given preference.
  • University status (preference is given in this order)
    1. TAs in the MFA Program
    2. Creative Writing Faculty (tenure-track and lecturers)
    3. Visiting Lecturers
    4. TAs from other departments
    5. PTIs

Criteria for Selecting TAs for Literature Classes (English 150, 248, 250, 265, 292-297)

The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in consultation with the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies and Field Group Coordinators will use the following criteria in making selections, including for summer literature courses.

  • Academic standing. PhD students who have achieved ABD (All But Dissertation) status, which in the English Department is defined as having passed comprehensive examinations, are the only TAs allowed to apply for and teach lower division literature classes.
  • Experience or training. ABDs must have taken English 592: Teaching Literature or an equivalent Independent Study with a professor approved by the ACGS, or served in an apprentice capacity with a professor, such as TAing for a large section literature class. In the case of an apprenticeship scenario, it is desirable that the supervising professor provide a performance review for the TA to be filed with the ACGS office. Newly awarded ABDs might first TA for a large section literature class before getting an individual course assignment.
  • Subject area expertise. ABDs must have preparation in the specific academic field covered in the course. For example, an ABD in American Literary Studies will not be assigned to teach a class in British Literature and vice versa.

Please note: We cannot promise that every eligible PhD student will be able to teach one or more of these literature courses. We will do our best to ensure fairness as we fulfill the needs of the department.

Criteria for Selecting TAs for English 494/497 (MFA Tutorials)

The Director of Creative Writing along with the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Academic Status: Only second and third year creative writing TAs are allowed to teach the MFA Tutorials.
  • Experience. Those who have not taught the MFA tutorial in the past are given preference.

Criteria for Selecting Instructors for Online & Hybrid Core Writing Courses

The Associate Chair for Core Writing in consultation with the Online Coordinator will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • Previous expertise teaching online. TAs who have taught online before at another university or have taken a class in online pedagogy, such as English 540, Multimodal and Online Pedagogy, will receive preference.
  • Commitment to online learning goals. TAs who show a commitment to online learning goals—eagerness to attend trainings provided by the Online Coordinator and NMEL, investigate online pedagogy and technology—will receive preference over those who show less commitment.

Criteria for Selecting Instructors for Intersession Courses

The Associate Chair for Core Writing will use the following criteria in making selections.

  • For English 110 (120) Portfolio Workshop: TAs who have taught English 110 (or 120 if the workshop is for 120 students) for three or more semesters and are active within the Core Writing Program are given preference. Please note: Teaching this course is demanding work because of the long hours spent working individually with students each day and the associated grading.
  • For English 219: In the case that no faculty are available to teach English 219 during the intersession, only TAs who have taught English 219 before can teach an intersession section of English 219. The fast-paced nature of the class isn't conducive for new English 219 instructors. The instructor must have solid experience teaching English 219 to be able to adapt it to an eight-day schedule.

Criteria for Selecting Instructors for Summer Core Writing Courses

The Associate Chair for Core Writing will use the following criteria in making selections. Note: For literature courses offered during the summer, please refer to the criteria above.

  • Previous experience. TAs who have taught the course previously during the Fall or Spring semesters, or who have successfully taken course work to prepare them to teach the course have preference.
  • Veteran status. TAs who did not teach in the previous summer have preference if there are more TAs interested than sections available. However, TAs with experience teaching English 219 may teach English 219 in two consecutive summers when needed to cover available sections.

Requirements, Renewals, and Teaching Evaluations

Teaching Assistant contracts are annual term appointments; renewal of TA contracts is contingent upon the TAs classroom performance, academic standing, and departmental teaching needs and budget.

In addition to the composition pedagogy course, the Department holds an orientation before each semester and provides mentorship, observation, and evaluation to assure that its Teaching Assistants learn to teach effectively. It is mandatory that ALL TAs are available for orientation by Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

Classroom performance is evaluated by classroom visits and end-of-term teaching evaluations. All TAs, including those who are teaching online courses, must ensure that their students complete the online evaluations. Failure to do so may result in the suspension or loss of the TAship.

Termination of Assistantship Before End of Appointment Period

The graduate unit will make notification of termination to the student and forward a copy of this notification to the Dean of Graduate Studies. In the case of students who are placed on academic probation, Graduate Studies will terminate the contract and notify the appropriate graduate unit and the student. The stipend for assignments that are terminated before the end of the appointment will be prorated for the period during which the assistant was employed.

Medical Leave While Holding an Assistantship

Assistantship recipients who suffer a serious medical condition requiring absence from assigned duties for two consecutive weeks may be granted, upon written request to the head of the graduate unit, a two-week sick leave without loss of stipend. After this leave, the student will be paid only for the time the assistantship responsibilities were fulfilled. The graduate unit must notify the Graduate Studies office whenever it grants an assistant a two-week sick leave, as well as the date that the assistant returns to his/her position.

Leaves of Absence

Students who take official leaves of absence must arrange in writing with the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS) and the Associate Chair for Core Writing to defer their TAship to the semester they intend to return to the graduate program. Students who fail to make such arrangements in writing or students who take unofficial leaves by dropping out of the program must reapply by the January 15 deadline for a TAship for the following year. Such students will compete for TAships; hence, renewal of the TAship is not guaranteed.

Absence without Leave

Individuals who are awarded a contract and receive payment from the University of New Mexico, but who do not attend or are absent without leave will be required to repay any stipend collected from UNM.

Policy on Other Accommodations: TBA

Time Limits and Petitions for Extension

TA time limits are as follows: five semesters for MA Language and Literature and MA Rhetoric and Writing students; six semesters for MFA and MA in Medieval Studies students; ten semesters for PhD students; and eleven semesters for PhD in Medieval Studies students. Summer appointments do not count against the term limits.

Petitions for extensions to the above term limits may be made to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies. The petition must include a statement explaining the reasons for requesting an extension, proof of successful academic progress (fulfilled requirements; finished chapters; works in progress; etc); a timeline outlining a schedule for completing the degree; and a letter of support from the Committee on Studies or Dissertation Committee chair addressing the student's academic progress and affirming the projected timeline for completing the degree. Petitions for extensions for either Fall or Spring semesters must be submitted to the ACGS by January 15, so they can be weighed as part of the annual TA application process.

Extensions are granted only in exceptional circumstances, and they are contingent upon department teaching needs and budget, as well as the TAs teaching evaluations and academic performance. Under normal circumstances, all students teaching on extension will teach courses in Core Writing. Exceptions will be made only on the grounds of departmental teaching needs and budgetary constraints.

Outside Teaching and Contract Restrictions

Occasionally, PhD students may have the opportunity to teach a class in a UNM department other than English (Women Studies, Honors, Chicana/o, or Native American Studies, for instance). The English Department encourages such opportunities and recognizes that they enhance a student's teaching repertoire. Nonetheless, outside teaching comes with some restrictions, as well as with the caveat that each graduate student's primary responsibility is to his/her course of studies and completion of the graduate degree. Outside teaching assignments should be taken only when they will not detract from the student's academic work and will not impede progress towards the degree. Therefore, the English Department recommends that only advanced PhD students (ABD) contract to teach courses outside the UNM English Department.

While the Office of Graduate Studies allows graduate students to teach up to .75 FTE (i.e., the equivalent of three classes per semester), the English Department maintains that Teaching Assistantships are granted primarily to support successful academic progress toward the completion of the degree. To this end, the English Department limits its English Teaching Assistants to .50 FTE (i.e. the equivalent of two classes per semester) to ensure that our graduate Teaching Assistants maintain steady progress on their degree while providing quality classroom teaching. Students who are hired to teach outside of English must negotiate a .25 contract in English (equal to one class) and a .25 contract in the other department for a total of .50 FTE. Students cannot hold a .50 contract in English plus a contract of .25 or above in another UNM department because the combined contracts will exceed the English Department's .50 limitation.

Note: Stretch/Studio courses are 4 credit hours and affect the FTE of the TA.

TAships and Major Fellowships

Because the purpose of these fellowships is to enable students to take full advantage of the opportunity these fellowships provide to advance in their degrees and focus on research and writing, TA assignments will not exceed .25 per semester during the term of the fellowship. Major fellowships would be defined as $10,000 and up. Students on fellowship should be considered for priority scheduling.

ABD Salary Increase

PhD students who have passed their PhD examinations and filed their Application for Candidacy form with the Office of Graduate Studies are eligible for an ABD pay raise of $600.00 in the subsequent academic year.

Grievance Procedures for Students Holding Assistantships

Student who hold assistantships and are seeking direction for submitting a formal grievance related to the assistantship are referred to the section on Academic Freedom of Graduate, Teaching, Research and Special Assistants in the University of New Mexico Faculty Handbook and to the Pathfinder, the UNM Student Handbook: http://pathfinder.unm.edu

Graduate Assistantships

The English Department and its affiliated programs, along with other UNM entities, provide opportunities for English graduate students to hold a variety of Graduate Assistant (GA) positions. GA positions enable students to gain experience in research, administration, and teaching outside of the Core Writing Program. The English department has several standing GA positions, subject to the availability of funds and departmental needs, which will be advertised and need to be applied for.

In addition to the above, GA positions and readerships are sometimes available to support the research and teaching of individual faculty members, special projects, and departmental initiatives. English graduate students often find GAships in other departments and programs such as CAPS, the Anderson School of Management, the Feminist Research Institute, Women Studies, the Health, the International Studies Program, Medicine and Human Values Program, as well as other programs.

General Regulations

Admissions

The deadline for Fall admission to all programs and for financial aid is January 15. There is no Spring or Summer admission.

Students holding an MA in English from UNM may apply to the PhD program, although they are not guaranteed admission. To qualify for admission, these students must have a 3.76 cumulative grade point average in all graduate work completed at UNM; must have received a grade of Pass on the Master’s Portfolio Examination; and must submit three letters of recommendation from UNM faculty. Master’s candidates may be provisionally admitted to the program contingent on the successful completion of the Portfolio requirement.

Transferring Credit into Graduate Programs

With the approval of the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, MA and MFA students may transfer up to twelve hours, and PhD students up to 24 hours, of credit from graduate-level courses taken at other accredited graduate institutions, including graduate courses taken in non-degree status at UNM.

Graduate Minors and Dual Degrees

Students in our MA programs may apply to minor in such departments and programs as Comparative Literature/Cultural Studies, American Studies, Latin American Studies, Spanish, Anthropology, or History. Consult the Graduate office for more information.

A minor in English for students in other Master’s programs requires 15 hours of graduate-level coursework, including Engl. 500: Introduction to Graduate Study. Students who wish to declare a graduate minor in English must notify the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies before completing six of those hours and gain the ACGS’s approval for all courses involved.

Students may also complete a dual Master’s degree, with approval from their two graduate departments and the Office of Graduate Studies. Students who apply for dual degree programs must prepare a written rationale for the dual degree program, including a proposed program of study. These must be formally approved by both graduate units and by the Graduate Dean. See the UNM Catalog for more information about applying for a dual degree program.

Required Enrollment

All graduate students in English must enroll for a minimum of three hours in English graduate courses per semester. Teaching Assistants must be enrolled for six hours of English graduate credit per semester. In both cases, the summer session is excluded unless the student holds a summer Teaching Assistantship. Summer TAs must enroll for three graduate credits of coursework.

Incompletes

When circumstances beyond a student’s control prevent the completion of requirements for a course or courses by the end of the term, students may receive a grade or grades of “Incomplete.” The awarding of Incomplete grades is at the discretion of the professor or professors involved. Incomplete grades must be resolved no later than one year (twelve months) from the published end day of the semester in which the grade was assigned. Incomplete grades not resolved within the time frame stated in this policy will be converted automatically to an F (failure) grade. Students with any grade of Incomplete cannot graduate until the Incomplete is resolved; students with six or more credit hours of Incomplete are placed on Type 3 Academic probation and risk losing eligibility to hold an assistantship. For the form and instructions to apply for an incomplete extension, see http://registrar.unm.edu/forms/index.html.

Independent Studies

Students at all levels may design independent studies through the use of Engl. 597 Problems for the Master’s Degree, 697 Problems for the Doctor’s Degree, and 698 Independent Study. Independent Studies are designed to supplement, not to replace, the regular graduate curriculum for students who are working on non-traditional, non-canonical materials and topics that are not covered in graduate courses in English or in related departments. All Independent studies are subject to a review process. To seek approval, students must file a formal proposal, signed by the instructor of record for the course, with the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the semester BEFORE the proposed independent study. The proposal should offer a statement of purpose, explain the rationale for the course, describe the course plan and assessment tools, and include a syllabus or schedule of readings.

Both the English department and GS discourage excessive use of Problems and Independent Study courses (not more than 6 hours), in part because prospective employers or admissions officers frequently wonder about the content of such courses. While GS does not impose a limit upon Individual Studies for the MFA and PhD, the English department recommends a maximum of nine hours.

Filing of Portfolios and Dissertations for Graduation

After completing their requirements for graduation and successfully defending the portfolio or dissertation, all graduate students should submit an electronic copy of their portfolio or dissertation to the Graduate Advisor: englishgrad@unm.edu. The English Department will maintain an electronic database of portfolios and dissertations for purposes of outcomes assessment and for future convenience if students need copies of their work.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

University Scholarships & Fellowships

UNM’s Office of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the Department of English, offers a range of fellowships and scholarships, including awards for students from groups traditionally underrepresented in graduate education, tuition fellowships for New Mexico residents, and grants to support research, travel, and dissertation-writing. For more information on these awards, see the Deadlines Document.

Departmental Awards

The Department of English offers prizes, scholarships, and fellowships to its students as well as paid opportunities to work on journals and other projects. For a complete list of Department of English awards, see the departmental Scholarship page.

Staying Informed, Becoming Involved

Keeping apprised of deadlines, regulations, and policies impacting the MA, MFA, and PhD programs can help graduate students have a more efficient and rewarding experience in their graduate programs. Consult the Graduate Students Deadlines Document that was emailed to you and is available on the website. Thus, all graduate students are encouraged to meet regularly with their committee chairs and committee members, with the directors of their programs, and with the graduate advisor, as well as to be involved with the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) and other graduate student organizations both within and outside of the department. Being involved with the network of your professors and peers will help you face the difficult and sometimes daunting challenges of graduate study.

The ACGS holds regular office hours throughout the school year to field questions about programs, courses, and careers. This senior faculty member also chairs the department’s policy setting Graduate Committee, which includes a graduate student representative.

The Graduate Advisor is a full-time staff member who knows what forms need to be filed and how and when to file them. All paperwork should go through the Graduate Advisor.

The Committee on Studies and Dissertation Committee chairs, as well as the committee members, are there to offer useful intellectual and degree-oriented support. Students should set up regular meetings with these advisors to keep focused on immediate and long-term goals.

To keep in touch and to develop good practices of departmental citizenship, a sense of community, and collegiality, students should:

  • Sign up for the English graduate student listserv enggradstudents-L@unm.edu to stay current on many matters, including bureaucratic and social announcements.
  • Join the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) Facebook page and attend meetings to become involved with ongoing graduate student projects and events.
  • Consult bulletin boards on the second floor of the Humanities Building to learn about colloquia, meetings, job offers, and the latest developments.
  • Meet regularly with committee chairs and members.
  • Meet at least once a year with the Graduate Advisor and/or ACGS to be sure that their files and paperwork are completed and up-to date for the next steps of their program.
  • Attend and participate in departmental lectures and colloquia, even (or especially!) when the papers or discussion topics lie outside their own areas of specialty.

    Graduate Faculty

    The graduate faculty in the English Department consists of thirty-six tenured or tenure-track and several visiting professors, whose areas broadly encompass British, Irish, and American Literatures; Composition, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy Studies; and Creative Writing in Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction. Faculty members have a range of critical and theoretical interests and have experience teaching a range of subjects within their fields.

    Department Chair

    Dr. Anita Obermeier
    Humanities 227
    277-6347
    aobermei@unm.edu

    Associate Chair for Graduate Studies

    Dr. Gail T. Houston
    Humanities 229
    277-3103
    ghouston@unm.edu

    Graduate Advisor

    Dylan Gauntt
    Humanities 267
    277-4437
    englishgrad@unm.edu

    Associate Chair for Core Writing

    Dr. Chuck Paine
    Humanities 365
    277-3528
    cpaine@unm.edu

    Director of Creative Writing

    Luci Tapahonso
    Humanities 339
    277-6347
    tapahons@unm.edu

    Director of Literature

    Dr. Jesse Aleman

    Director of Medieval Studies

    Dr. Anita Obermeier

    Director of Rhetoric and Writing/Professional Writing

    Dr. Chuck Paine

    Graduate Faculty

    Jesse Aleman (Professor): Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies; Chicano/a Literature; Southwest Literature and Film; the American Gothic.

    Stephen Benz (Assistant Professor): Professional Writing

    Joseph Bartolotta (Visiting Assistant Professor; Assistant Director of Core Writing) Rhetoric and Writing; Professional Writing

    Tiffany Bourelle (Assistant Professor; Co-Director of eComp.): Rhetoric and Writing; Professional Writing

    Andrew Bourelle (Assistant Professor; Co-Director of eComp.): Rhetoric and Writing; Professional Writing

    Pisarn Bee Chamcharatsri (Assistant Professor): Rhetoric and Writing; Emotions and Second Language Writing; Identity Construction; World Englishes; Literacy; ESL Composition; Sociolinguistics; TESOL; Applied Linguistics; Writing Center

    Lisa D. Chávez (Associate Professor): Creative Writing (Poetry) and Multicultural American Literatures.

    Finnie D. Coleman (Associate Professor; Director of ALS): Nineteenth-Century American Literature; African American Literature; Hip Hop

    Bethany Davila (Assistant Professor): Composition Theory; Rhetoric of Neutrality and Whiteness; Perceptions of Standardness; Indexicality; Assessment

    Jonathan Davis-Secord(Assistant Professor): Old English Language and Literature; History of the English Language

    David K. Dunaway (Professor): Professional Writing (Biography); Creative Non-Fiction, Chicano/a and Southwest Studies

    Cristyn Elder (Assistant Professor): Rhetoric and Writing; Writing Program Administration; Multilingual Writers; Writing Center Theory and Practice; Research Methods

    Marissa Greenberg (Associate Professor) Early Modern Literature and Culture; Shakespeare; Milton; Medieval, Renaissance, and Restoration Drama; Performance Studies; Genre Studies. On Sabbatical 2015-16.

    Gary Harrison (Professor; UNM Presidential Teaching Fellow): Romantic Poetry; 18th and 19th-Century Literature; World Literature; Poetics; Literary Theory; Literary Pedagogy; Nature Writing. On Sabbatical Fall 2015.

    Aeron Haynie (Associate Professor; Executive Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning): Victorian Literature and Culture; Pedagogy Studies

    Bernadine Hernandez (Assistant Professor): American Literature, Chicano/a Studies

    Scarlett Higgins (Assistant Professor): Contemporary American Literature; Poetry & Poetics; Film & New Media; Experimental Literature; Cold War Culture; Psychoanalytic & Critical Theories; Gender & Sexuality Studies

    Matthew R. Hofer (Associate Professor): Poetry and Poetics; Experimental Literature; Satire and Polemic; Formalist Criticism; Literary History; Political and Public Sphere Theory

    Gail T. Houston (Professor; Associate Chair for Graduate Studies): Victorian Novel; Nineteenth-Century British/Irish Women Writers; Feminism; Cultural Studies

    Feroza Jussawalla (Professor): Postcolonial Studies and Postmodernism

    Michelle Hall Kells (Associate Professor): Public Rhetorics; Language Diversity; Composition Studies; Community Literacy

    Gregory Martin (Professor; Director of the BAMD Program): Creative Writing (Creative Nonfiction and Fiction) and Memoir

    Kadeshia Matthews (Assistant Professor): African American Literature and Film; Hip Hop; Hispano-American Literature; Twentieth-Century American Literature. On Leave Fall 2015

    N Scott Momaday (Visiting Professor) Creative Writing

    Daniel Mueller (Professor; Departmental Faculty Mentor): Creative Writing (Fiction)

    Carmen Nocentelli (Associate Professor): Comparative Literature and Early Modern Literatures. On Leave 2015-16

    Anita Obermeier (Professor; Department Chair; Director of Medieval Studies): Middle English Language and Literature; Medieval Studies; Comparative Literature; Feminist, Gender, and Queer Studies; Medievalism.

    Charles Paine (Professor; Associate Chair for Core Writing; Director of Rhetoric and Writing/Professional Writing): Writing Program Administration; History of Rhetoric and Composition; Theory and Practice of Teaching Writing

    Todd Ruecker (Assistant Professor; Assessment Coordinator for Arts and Sciences) Rhetoric and Writing; Professional Writing; L2 Writing; K-12 Learners; Research Methods; WPA. On Fellowship Spring 2016

    Yulia Ryzhik (Visiting Professor) Early Modern Studies

    Julie Shigekuni (Professor): Creative Writing (Short Fiction and Novel)

    Luci Tapahonso (Professor; Director of Creative Writing): Creative Writing (Poetry); American Indian Literature; Navajo Literature; Contemporary American Poetry.

    Diane Thiel (Professor; Acting Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies Fall 2015): Creative Writing (Poetry); Poetics; Nonfiction and Creative Writing Pedagogy; Contemporary Poetry and Translation. On Sabbatical Spring 2016.

    Sarah Townsend (Assistant Professor): Irish and Global Literature

    Melina Vizcaino-Alemán (Assistant Professor): Regional and Twentieth-Century American Literatures; Southwest and Chicano/a Cultural Studies

    Belinda Wallace (Assistant Professor) Postcolonial; Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies; African Diaspora Literature; Caribbean Feminist Epistemologies

    Sharon Oard Warner (Professor; Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies Spring 2016; Director of the Taos Conference): Creative Writing (Short Story and Novel). On Sabbatical Fall 2015

    Kathleen Washburn (Assistant Professor): Native American Literature and Film; Modern American Literature and Culture; Comparative Ethnic Studies; Literature of the American West/Southwest; Gender & Sexuality Studies. On Leave Fall 2015

    Kathryn Wichelns (Assistant Professor): Nineteenth-Century American Literature; Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Feminist Theory; Queer Theory and Sexuality Studies; Psychoanalysis and Literature. On Research Leave Fall 2015

    Carolyn Woodward (Associate Professor; Director of BILS): Enlightenment Studies; Cultural History; Gender Studies; The Development of Fiction; British & Irish 18th-Century Studies; Women Writers

    Daniel Worden (Associate Professor): American Literature and Culture after 1865; Western American Literature; Comics and Graphic Novels; Gender, Masculinity, and Sexuality Studies; Literary Theory; History of Literary Criticism

Department of English Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Second Floor
MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021

english@unm.edu