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Application Guidelines for Graduate Study in Creative Writing

APPLICATION GUIDELINES is a PDF file that contains everything you'll need to apply for admission to the graduate programs at the Center for Writers.

The document includes information about degree and course requirements, course distributions, areas of concentration, assistantships and other financial aid, thesis and dissertation requirements, language requirements, comprehensive exams for Ph.D. students, deadlines for admission, forms required for admission, online application forms--all materials necessary for understanding the degrees we offer and how to complete your application, right down to a checklist to be sure you get it right the first time.

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FORMS FOR ONLINE APPLICATION THE THE GRADUATE PROGRAM. This is a direct link to the Southern Mississippi application forms.

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PH.D. PROGRAM

Note: This information changes with time.  Please download the "Application Guidelines" above for the most current information.

The candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must complete 54 graduate hours beyond the master's degree, with 12 hours reserved for the dissertation. No more than 6 hours of coursework at the 500 level can count toward the degree. He or she must also pass a qualifying examination, pass written comprehensive examinations, submit an acceptable Ph.D. dissertation, and orally defend the dissertation. The Ph.D. candidate must also satisfy the specific requirements listed below.

Required Courses: The following are required: 1) English 640 (Bibliography and Methods of Research); 2) English 540 or English 744 (History of Criticism or Seminar in Literary Criticism); and 3) 12 hours of English 898 (Dissertation). The candidate must take at least 3 hours of 898 in the semester the dissertation is defended. After the candidate selects a specialization from the 5 areas listed in "Comps" below, he/she must take at least two courses in three other areas of literature.

Qualifying Exam: The Ph.D. candidate must take an oral qualifying exam after completing 9 semester hours of doctoral work. The exam will be administered by a committee of at least three members, including all of the faculty who have taught the student. The Qualifying Exam serves both as an evaluation of the student's work and as a formal advisement session. Passing the Qualifying Exam constitutes permission to continue in the Ph.D. program. The exam may be repeated only once.

Residency: All Ph.D. candidates must complete 24 graduate hours of continuous study on the Hattiesburg campus during two consecutive semesters. Students holding assistantships may fulfill the residency requirement by earning a total of 24 semester hours within three consecutive semesters (including the summer term).

Foreign Languages: Ph.D. candidates must demonstrate proficiency in two research tools: one foreign language and either a second foreign language or 12 hours of graduate work in another discipline (by arrangement with candidate’s Qualifying Committee). See General Guidelines (page 1 of this document) for specific requirements.

Comps: The written comprehensive examination, taken after all course work and language requirements have been completed, will be administered by a committee approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Office of Graduate Studies. This committee will consist of at least five members of the graduate faculty. The comprehensive exams will be drawn from the following 5 areas of study.

1) British Literature I (Beginning to 1660, including Milton)
2) British Literature II (1660-1900)
3) American Literature to 1900
4) Twentieth-Century British and American Literature
5) Creative Writing

Literature Comprehensive Exams: The candidate will take a four-hour examination in one of the first four areas listed above. The candidate must take two examinations of three hours each, one covering a single author and the other another period or special area. Exam areas must be approved by the doctoral committee at least one semester before the scheduled examination.
Creative Writing Comprehensive Exams: The candidate will take a four-hour exam in creative writing and three-hour exams in (1) an area other than creative writing and (2) a single author or special area. Exam areas must be approved by the doctoral committee the semester before the scheduled examination.

Creative Writing Comprehensive Exams: The candidate will take a four-hour exam in creative writing and three-hour exams in (1) an area other than creative writing and (2) a single author or special area. Exam areas must be approved by the doctoral committee the semester before the scheduled examination.

Failure of Comprehensive Exams: A candidate may fail all or any part of the comprehensive examination. Any part of the exam may be retaken only once; failing any part of the examination twice will result in dismissal from the Ph.D. program.
Dissertation: The dissertation calls for planning and completing an original and substantial piece of scholarship (or creative writing) under the supervision of a dissertation committee appointed by the Office of Graduate Studies on the advice of the Director of Graduate Studies. This committee consists of the dissertation director and four additional members of the graduate faculty. Upon completion, the dissertation must be defended orally before the dissertation committee. For information about the precise dissertation requirements, the candidate should consult the "Graduate Office Policies for Preparing Theses and Dissertations" available online, www.usm.edu/graduatestudies.

Dissertation: The dissertation calls for planning and completing an original and substantial piece of scholarship (or creative writing) under the supervision of a dissertation committee appointed by the Office of Graduate Studies on the advice of the Director of Graduate Studies. This committee consists of the dissertation director and four additional members of the graduate faculty. Upon completion, the dissertation must be defended orally before the dissertation committee. For information about the precise dissertation requirements, the candidate should consult the "Graduate Office Policies for Preparing Theses and Dissertations" available online, www.usm.edu/graduatestudies.

 

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E-Mail: rief@CENTERFORWRITERS.COM  The University of Southern Mississippi  AA/EOE/ADAI  Last Modified: June 18, 2006