PhD in Composition and Applied Linguistics: Course Requirements

  • The program is designed to meet the needs of English instructors at two-year and four-year colleges and universities. The core courses provide a foundation for students to specialize in composition and applied linguistics. This foundation is flexible enough to meet students’ individual needs and those of the academic marketplace.

    The core curriculum connects theory with practice and is designed to increase the professional qualifications and teaching effectiveness of instructors in teaching positions. The Composition and Applied Linguistics Program began in 1975 and was revised in 1986 and again in 2000.

    The Composition and Applied Linguistics Program recognizes the changing structure of education and the interdisciplinary nature of research into the nature and transmission of literacy. It provides central courses in research methods, technology and literacy, and language theory and offers options for a nine-credit specialization in Composition and Applied Linguistics. Doctoral students may begin the program in the summer or fall and must start with ENGTL 800 and ENGL 808. Students have 15 elective hours in the program, with courses offered in rhetoric, reading theory, and literacy theory. In addition, students may take courses from other programs, or they may opt to take the second specialization in the CT Program.

    The program emphasizes the flexible yet intensive preparation of instructors of literacy. To achieve this flexibility, the program permits variation in the fields of concentration. All students study a common body of knowledge in central courses and focus their research on the uses of interdisciplinary knowledge for the transmission of literacy in the teaching of English. A unique feature is that students can select an academic year or a summers-only program option.

    Program Requirements

    Core Courses (9 cr.)

    Course Title Credits
    ENGL 800 Introduction to Research 3 cr.
    ENGL 808 Technology and Literacy 3 cr.
    ENGL 803 Language and Cognition 3 cr.
    ENGL 805 Language and Social Context 3 cr.

    Specialization (9 cr.)

    Course Title Credits
    ENGL 833 Theories of Composition 3 cr.
    ENGL 830 Teaching Writing 3 cr.
    ENGL 831 Rhetorical Traditions 3 cr.

    TESOL Specialization

    Course Title Credits
    ENGL 823 Second Language Teaching 3 cr.
    ENGL 824 Second Language Acquisition 3 cr.
    ENGL 825 Second Language Literacy 3 cr.

    Research (3 cr.)

    ENGL 815 Qualitative Research Methods in Rhetoric and Linguistics 3 cr.


    another approved research course, such as EDSP 817 Applied Educational Research Methods

    Electives (15 cr.)

    Course Title Credits
    ENGL 834 Linguistics and the English Teacher 3 cr.
    ENGL 845 Theories of Literacy 3 cr.
    ENGL 842 Cross-Cultural Communication 3 cr.
    ENGL 844 Reading Theory and the College English Teacher 3 cr.
    ENGL 846 Advanced Seminar in Literacy 3 cr.
    ENGL 848 Advanced Topics in Linguistics 3 cr.
    ENGL 897 Independent Seminar 3 cr.

    Courses in Other Programs Such as Literature or Education

    Total Course Hrs. 36 cr.
    Dissertation 12 cr.