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Literature and Criticism, PhD

Nick Katsiadas

INSIGHT INTO PUBLISHING Working as a graduate assistant for Professor David Downing on the journal Works and Days has given Nick Katsiadas, PhD in Literature and Criticism Class of 2018, insight into publishing. An article proposal he worked on with some professors has been accepted by Studies in Comics.

The Literature and Criticism Program's Doctor of Philosophy in English is designed for present or future teachers at the college or university level.

It features both a regular academic year program and a very active summer program for established teachers who wish to complete their degrees in the summers only. The program develops students’ abilities to examine literature critically, to teach literature effectively, and to make professional contributions in the field. 

Courses emphasize the role of theory in understanding literature. Students are asked to apply theory to their teaching and research in the concluding Advanced Seminars. Traditional Literature courses reinforce the student’s understanding of historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts. The Special Literatures section reflects the new works, as they are accepted into the canon. The focus on scholarly skills in the seminars and the mentoring relationships with professors assures that students will acquire a professional competence in literature and critical theory. 

Early in the program, each doctoral student chooses or is assigned a faculty mentor to provide guidance and advice on becoming professionally active. The main components of the program are coursework, a candidacy examination (taken approximately midway in the coursework), proof of second language proficiency, proof of research skills competence, comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation. 

Program Highlights 

  • Specialty in literary theory
  • High job placement rates
  • Summers-only option for academic residency
  • Experienced, dedicated faculty; emphasis on teaching
  • Individualized, comprehensive examinations
  • Friendly, supportive community; down-to-earth atmosphere

Program Requirements

  • Coursework 
  • A candidacy examination (taken approximately midway through coursework) 
  • Second language proficiency 
  • Completion of research skills competence 
  • Comprehensive examinations 
  • Your dissertation

Contact Us

Dr. David Downing
Director, Graduate Studies in Literature and Criticism

Ms. Margaret Shotts
Secretary, Graduate Studies in English

  • Graduate English
  • Leonard Hall, Room 111
    421 North Walk
    Indiana, PA 15705-1094
  • Phone: 724-357-2264
  • Fax: 724-357-3056
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 7:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.