In order to fulfill the basic requirements for the program, a student must:
1. Complete twelve courses – six courses with at least one grade of Honors and a maximum of one grade of Pass by July 15 following the first year; at least twelve courses with grades of Honors in at least four of these courses and not more than one Pass by July 15 following the second year. One of these twelve courses must be The Teaching of English (ENGL 990). Courses selected must include one medieval, one early modern, one eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century, one twentieth- and/or twenty-first century.
2. Satisfy the language requirement by the end of the second year. Two languages appropriate to the student’s field of specialization, each to be demonstrated by a) passing a translation exam administered by a Yale language department or (for languages not tested elsewhere at Yale) by the English Department; b) passing an advanced literature course at Yale (graduate or advanced undergraduate, with DGS approval); or c) passing both English 500 and English 501.
3. Pass the oral examination before or as early as possible in the fifth term of residence. The exam consists of questions on five topics, developed by the student in consultation with examiners and subject to approval by the DGS. (At least three topics will comprise works chosen from distinct periods of literary history, as a norm approximately one hundred years each. As many as two topics may be organized around a genre, a mode, a theme, or a field of theory.)
4. Submit a dissertation prospectus, normally by January 15 of the third year.
5. Teach a minimum of two terms.
6. Submit a dissertation.
Upon completion of all predissertation requirements, including the prospectus, students are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. Admission to candidacy must take place by the end of the third year of study.
M.A. (en route to the Ph.D.) Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program may receive the M.A. upon completion of seven courses with at least one grade of Honors and a maximum of one grade of Pass, and the passing of one foreign language.
Terminal Master’s Degree Program Students enrolled in the master’s degree program must complete either seven term courses or six term courses and a special project within the English department (one or two of these courses may be taken in other departments with approval of the DGS). There must be at least one grade of Honors, and there may not be more than one grade of Pass. Students must also demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language (as described under Ph.D. Requirements, above). Full-time students normally complete the program in one year.