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PhD in Composition and TESOL: FAQ

  • What is the cost?

    Please refer to the IUP Bursar’s office for up-to-date information on tuition and fees for graduate students.

    Is financial aid available?

    Yes. Academic-year students may apply for a graduate assistantship. GA awards are decided in the spring for the following academic year. Awards are decided according to program, academic performance, and background. Full assistantships carry a tuition waiver and a stipend of around $6,800 in return for assisting a professor with research or academic work for 20 hours per week. Most assistantships are awarded to entering PhD students on a competitive basis (with a probability of a second-year award). Some international students are awarded a partial tuition waiver by the Office of International Affairs; students seeking this partial tuition waiver must contact the Office of International Affairs at 724-357-2295. Student loans are also available. To reach the Financial Aid Office, call 724-357-2218 or e-mail financial-aid@iup.edu. To read about support for C&T graduate students, please visit Financial Resources for C&T Students.

    What accreditations are awarded to IUP?

    IUP is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, IUP holds over 25 additional accreditations for specific programs.

    Are graduate assistantships available for summer?

    No, we do not offer assistantships in the summer.

    How long does it take to get a PhD degree at IUP?

    The School of Graduate Studies and Research allows students seven years from the date of matriculation to complete the PhD. The program goal is to complete the degree in five years.

    There are two options for attendance that effect the duration of your study. Students have the option of attending solely in the summer semesters, or attending solely during the academic year (fall and spring semesters). Please refer to residency requirements.

    What if I need more time?

    The seven-year limit begins in the semester in which you take your first course in the doctoral program. As a basic rule, the seven-year timeline is not to be extended. Only under exceptional circumstances will the SGSR grant an extension. A student may contact the C&T program director prior to their seven-year time expiration limit if exceptional circumstances require the student to be considered for an extension.

    Official documentation of the reason for the extension is required and must be sent directly to the SGSR. In general, extension requests will be considered only under these conditions: (1) The request has been submitted before the seven-year deadline is reached, (2) the Research Topic Approval Form and IRB approval are on file, (3) there has been a successful three-chapter defense, and (4) data has been collected (assuming data collection is part of the project). Extensions are discouraged, rare, and never automatically granted.

    What is the dissertation registration policy?

    Beginning with the semester following completion of all courses (fall), C&T doctoral students must enroll for at least two dissertation credits each semester (fall and spring, but not summer) until they reach the total of 12 hours. If students have not graduated at this point, they must maintain continuous enrollment by registering for one extended credit each fall and spring semester until they graduate.

     While paying dissertation credits and extended credits, if needed, the student will be considered a full-time doctoral student. Until the dissertation is successfully defended, a grade of “R” will be assigned to each registered credit. Upon successful completion of the dissertation, the grade assigned by the dissertation director will apply to all registered dissertation credits. Grades earned for dissertation credits will remain part of the cumulative grade calculation; however, grades posted for extended credit registration will be excluded from the cumulative grade calculation. Students must pay tuition and mandatory university fees (equal to the part-time mandatory fees) and may choose to pay Student Health and Activity Fees if the associated services will be used. The dissertation policy may be found in the Graduate Catalog. Be sure to check the catalog for updates.

    It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that he/she maintains continuous enrollment. Please be aware that missing one semester of enrollment is a violation of the continuous enrollment policy. If the student is not successfully enrolled by the official add/drop date of the next semester, the student will be inactived in the program. Students inactivated from the program will not be considered for re-admission.

    If it is the doctoral student’s intent to discontinue the program, he/she must schedule an appointment with the C&T program director as soon as possible to avoid any further registration and subsequent billing.

    Are any tests required for admission, like the GRE or TOEFL?

    We do not require the GRE examination. International applicants are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) taken no more than one year prior to the expected date of enrollment.

    TOEFL and IELTS scores are not required for students from countries where the first language is English (principally the United States, Canada, England and the British Isles, and Australia), or when an applicant has earned a master’s degree from a college or university in the United States. All other international applicants must submit either TOEFL or IELTS scores.

    We look for a minimum TOEFL score of 600 paper-based (PBT), or 100 Internet-based (iBT) and a minimum TWE (Test of Written English) score of 5.0. IELTS score must be at least 6.0 to be considered and a 6.5 to be competitive.

    Do I need to be proficient in a foreign language?

    The PhD program in Composition and TESOL does not have a foreign language requirement.

    How many courses do I have to take?

    The PhD Program in Composition and TESOL requires 36 credit hours of course work. After course work is completed, students must enroll for 12 hours of dissertation. If the total of 12 dissertation credits is reached before a dissertation defense takes place, continuous enrollment must be maintained with the enrollment in one extended credit each fall and spring semester until the dissertation is completed. A student must be enrolled in the semester in which he/she uploads the final version of the dissertation to the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

    For what courses should I register in my first semester?

    Students should follow the guidelines of their specific programs before registering. For the Composition and TESOL program, these courses are ENGL 800: Introduction to Research, ENGL 825: Second Language Literacy, and ENGL 833: Theories of Composition. If you encounter any difficulties registering for these three courses in your first semester, please contact the program director for a possible registration override.

    How many courses can I take each semester?

    For Summer Cohort Students

    In the first year, summer, cohort students will take two courses in Summer I and two courses in Summer II. During the following two years of their program, students will take two courses in Summer I and two courses in Summer II, with the option of taking a pre-session course with a total of no more than five courses in a summer. The exception to this is the final Summer II, in which students may take only the number of courses required to complete the required 36 hours. Summer cohort students may only take one academic year course during their program and two with the permission of the program director. Leaves of absence are not permitted as noted in the “Leaves of Absence” policy.

    For Academic-year Cohort Students

    Academic-year cohort students will take three courses in each of the fall and spring terms and may take one course each summer, two with the approval of the doctoral coordinator. The exception to the three courses each semester requirement relates to students final spring semester when they may take the number of courses required to complete the required 36 hours. Leaves of absence are not permitted as noted in the “Leaves of Absence” policy.

    Please refer to residency requirements.

    May I combine the C&T and L&C doctoral programs?

    While there are open electives built into each program to allow students to customize their program to fit their needs, each program has limited numbers and courses that can be taken outside of the program. Any open electives should be approved by the program director.

    May I transfer courses?

    The Composition and TESOL PhD program does not accept transfer credits.

    Are there any online courses?

    Only ENGL 724/824 Second Language Acquisition and 742/842 Cross-cultural Communications are occasionally offered online.

    How do I fulfill the residency requirement?

    For Summer Cohort Students

    In the first year, summer, cohort students will take two courses in Summer I and two courses in Summer II. During the following two years of their program, students will take two courses in Summer I and two courses in Summer II, with the option of taking a pre-session course with a total of no more than five courses in a summer. The exception to this is the final Summer II, in which students may take only the number of courses required to complete the required 36 hours. Summer cohort students may only take one academic year course during their program and two with the permission of the program director. Leaves of absence are not permitted as noted in the “Leaves of Absence” policy.

    For Academic-year Cohort Students

    Academic-year cohort students will take three courses in each of the fall and spring terms and may take one course each summer, two with the approval of the doctoral coordinator. The exception to the three courses each semester requirement relates to students final spring semester when they may take the number of courses required to complete the required 36 hours. Leaves of absence are not permitted as noted in the “Leaves of Absence” policy.

    How does the summer residency work?

    For Summer Cohort Students

    In the first year, summer, cohort students will take two courses in Summer I and two courses in Summer II. During the following two years of their program, students will take two courses in Summer I and two courses in Summer II, with the option of taking a pre-session course with a total of no more than five courses in a summer. The exception to this is the final Summer II, in which students may take only the number of courses required to complete the required 36 hours. Summer cohort students may only take one academic year course during their program and two with the permission of the program director. Leaves of absence are not permitted as noted in the “Leaves of Absence” policy.

    What are the dining options?

    Graduate students have a variety of choices for meals on and around campus. We recommend that you consider at least a partial meal plan on campus if you are coming for our summer program. Studying in the summer is intense; not having to shop, cook, and clean can help with time management. There are many restaurants within walking distance to campus. Meal plans are affordable, and some plans allow you to use your I-Card for restaurants near campus. More information about meal plans can be obtained from the Housing, Residential Living, and Dining Office: 724- 357-2696 or by e-mail at iup-ohrl@iup.edu.

    For information on meal plans, consult the IUP Bursar’s office.

    Where do graduate students live?

    Graduate students may choose to live on campus, but most prefer to live off campus. Surrounding campus are a number of accommodations ranging from dorm-style living to apartment living (both furnished and unfurnished). Information about housing, both on campus and off campus, can be obtained from the Housing, Residential Living, and Dining Office at 724-357-2696 or by e-mail at iup-ohrl@iup.edu. There is also a link to off-campus housing available at the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining website. English Department graduate students may also contact the Graduate English Office secretary for a list of housing options.

    How will my transcript describe the degree?

    When a PhD in English–Composition and TESOL degree is awarded, the transcript will show the following (this is an example only):

    Degree/Certificate Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy dd-mm-yyyy
    Major: English
    Maj/Concentration: Composition and TESOL