Foreign Language Requirement
Demonstrated proficiency in one foreign language by one of the following means:
• Place beyond Level IV in a language placement test (administered by World Language Education)
• Earn a B or better in one of the graduate courses Reading for French, Spanish, or German
• Earn a B or better in two semester courses of an intermediate foreign language (e.g. Spanish III and Spanish IV)
• Earn a B or better in a fourth semester language course (e.g. Spanish IV)
• Earn a B or better in a second semester Latin course
For students in the Literature Concentration, the portfolio and its oral defense serve in lieu of a qualifying exam and together form a required stage to advance to candidacy. Each doctoral literature student designs a portfolio in close consultation with professors in her/his field(s) during the first and second years of the program, culminating normally in the third year in a submission of diverse written items that show the student’s knowledge, writing, and critical thinking in her/his selected general and more specific areas of specialization (by period, genre, topics, or other meaningful groupings). An oral defense of these items is scheduled soon after submission.
Students in the Rhetoric and Composition Concentration, after completing 30 hours of coursework, the language requirement, and all incomplete grades, may take the Ph.D. qualifying examination. The standardized exam will be offered twice each academic year for all eligible students and consists of:
• A 24-hour take-home exam divided into four written sections (1,000 words apiece), the content of which corresponds to the four core courses: Composition Theory, Research Methods, Rhetoric and Technology, and Historical Rhetorics. Questions will be available in Canvas office at 9:00 a.m. on the day of the exam. Questions will be digitally submitted to the exam chair by 9:00 a.m. on the following day for SafeAssign (or other software as approved by University and Department) submission in Canvas.
• A manuscript suitable for publication in a specified scholarly journal (7,000-8,500 words) to be turned in at the same time as the 24-hour exam. The topic of the manuscript should be based on the student’s specialization in Rhetoric and Composition. This manuscript can be a revision of a course paper or conference paper or an extension of their project from the Scholarly Writing and Research class. It must contribute to the discipline by advancing scholarly discussions in Rhetoric and Composition studies and offering new knowledge.
Both parts of the exam carry equal weight. All exams will be assessed by a rotating committee of at least 3 Rhetoric and Composition faculty representing different areas of disciplinary expertise. Every exam question will be graded by each member of the committee, although emphasis will be placed upon readers’ areas of specialization when determining the final score for each question.