PhD Procedural Requirements and Timeline

These procedural requirements apply to all Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) students in literature, English education, writing, rhetorics, and literacies, and linguistics and applied linguistics. This timeline is typical for someone who already has an Master of Arts in English and is a teaching assistant in our department.  Others—for example, those who are not TAs—may proceed at a faster rate. You must get these items checked off and signed every year by the program director or co-director or your Ph.D. committee chair. At the end of every academic year, students should return the signed page to the Graduate Program Manager in LL 543B, keeping a copy for themselves and providing a copy to their chair if desired.  This Ph.D.  Progress Report timeline must be submitted annually by February 15 or registration for research/dissertation hours may be placed on hold for the fall semester.  Note:  students must maintain continuous enrollment in the Ph.D. program

 Download the Timeline form.

First Semester

  • Attend departmental orientation meeting for all new graduate students.
  • Meet with director or codirector of your Ph.D. program, either in literature or in rhetoric/composition/linguistics. Consult with that director or codirector about course of study and time to graduation. Discuss your previous graduate work during this consultation.
  • Meet members of the program faculty individually.

First Year

  • Take the required 500-level research methods course that is appropriate for your program. This course is normally taken in the first semester.
  • Complete appropriate 500-level course(s) to satisfy foundational distribution requirements (rhetoric/composition and linguistics) or distribution requirements (literature). Teaching assistants should take no more than six hours of course work in the fall and six to nine hours in the spring. All other students should take six to nine hours of course work in the fall and six to nine hours in the spring.
  • Teaching assistants take ENG 594 T.A. Seminar in the fall and teach ENG 101 (fall) and ENG 102 (spring).
  • Graduate Education requires Ph.D. students to file their interactive plan of study iPOS before they have completed 50 percent of their program. Students unsure of their dissertation chair or topic at this point can still file an iPOS using the name of the program director or codirector. Changes to the committee can be made at a later date. After consulting with the program director, program codirector or chair of your supervisory committee, file an iPOS through MyASU.

Second Year

  • Begin the year by meeting with the director or codirector of your Ph.D. program or the chair of your committee, if known. Consult that person about course of study and time to graduation.
  • Take appropriate 600-level courses to satisfy advanced studies distribution or seminar requirements.
  • Take appropriate additional courses to help satisfy continuing concentration or Interdisciplinary option requirements.
  • Complete foreign language requirement.
  • Choose a chair of your Ph.D. supervisory committee based on that professor’s expertise relevant to the anticipated direction of the dissertation. Before asking a professor to chair your committee, ask that person about his/her availability in subsequent semesters and determine if he/she has received a forthcoming sabbatical or leave or anticipates receiving such a sabbatical or leave. Before asking a professor to chair your committee, also ask that person about his/her availability during summer months. Consider that summer is often an excellent time for Ph.D. work, but also consider that most professors are on are on nine-month contracts and may be unavailable during the summer. After arriving at a mutually understood timeline and mutually understood times of availability, ask a professor to chair your committee.
  • Submit your iPOS. After it is approved, select two other members for your Ph.D. committee, and if necessary, replace the name of your program director or codirector with the name of your chair, to complete committee membership by filing a committee appointment/change request through MyASU.

Third Year

  • Begin the year by meeting with the chair of your Ph.D. supervisory committee. Consult with that chair about your course of study and timeline to graduation.
  • Finish course work by the end of the fifth semester in the program. The Doctor of Philosophy requires a total of 84 hours of course work. If you hold an Master of Arts you must complete 54 hours after admission, which must include 12 hours of ENG/LIN 799 Dissertation. ENG/LIN 792 Research may be applied towards the 54 hours in consultation with the chair of your Ph.D. supervisory committee.
  • Complete Part I of the PhD Exam (two, papers or the lit essay) by end of the first year.
  •  Study for and complete Part II of the PhD exam ( the oral or written exam)  by the end of the third year.
  • Speak with your chair about publishing venues.
  • Suggested: consider taking  Preparing Future  Faculty (PFF) or Preparing Future cholars (PFS)training through graduate education.

Fourth Year

  • Begin the year by meeting with your Ph.D. committee chair and advisor to consult about the course of study and timeline to graduation.
  • Work closely with chair and/or committee members to outline dissertation prospectus . Meet with committee to discuss outline and receive additional guidance/feedback
  • Work closely with chair of Ph.D. supervisory committee to plan your dissertation.
  • Defend dissertation prospectus and advance to candidacy. Return signed form to Sheila Luna.
  • Information on the examination process.
  •  Collect and analyze data if conducting quantitative or qualitative dissertation.
  •  Begin writing dissertation chapters.  Meet with chair as needed to continue making progress.  As they are drafted, chapters should be shown to the chair . Chapters are to be shown to other committee members as agreed upon by the committee . (see 5th year)
  • Consider taking the academic job market class (ENG 791 ), offered through the English Department

Fifth Year

  •  Take ENG 791 Academic Job Market course, offered by the English Department (strongly encourage).
  • Show each of your dissertation chapters to the chair of your Ph.D. supervisory committee and ask for suggestions for revisions. Make the revisions. Doctoral committee members will also want to suggest revisions and have input and do not want simply to “rubber stamp” their approval to a dissertation. Make those revisions, checking often with the director. Many chairs prefer to have the student complete the dissertation to their satisfaction before sending it to committee members. Some chairs (and some committee members) prefer that committee members see it one chapter at a time.
  • Finish dissertation, to the satisfaction of the chair and the committee.
  • Agree with chair of Ph.D. supervisory committee and with committee members on time hold the defense.
  • Schedule oral defense with Graduate Education and submit document for format approval at least 10 working days before the defense. Check Graduate College deadlines.
    Note: For PhD candidates entering the academic job market, it is advisable to take any professionalization and job market class or workshops offered appropriate to your discipline..  For those students not entering the academic job market, take Alt-Ac workshops offered through the Department and or Graduate Education . Some students may wish to do both job market training and Alt-Ac training.