Ph.D. candidates are given a great deal of freedom to create an individualized program around
their own interests and objectives. The three principal formal requirements are constituted by
the area exams, oral comprehensive examination/prospectus meeting, and the dissertation.
Students will be encouraged to approach these requirements as articulated parts of their training.
Preliminary Requirements: Ph.D. candidates must meet two of the requirements for our
Master's degree, preferably before admission: they must take a seminar in research methods
equivalent to our English 625 courses; and they must have a graduate level seminar in British
or U.S. literature(s). Students without these courses must take them as soon as possible after
entering the program. Students who enter the Ph.D. program from another field may also be required
to do additional course work.
Foreign Language Requirement: Ph.D. candidates must demonstrate proficiency in two
foreign languages or in one foreign language at an advanced level. Proficiency may be demonstrated
in any of the ways described for M.A. students. Advanced study will be considered a grade of a B or
better in a language course, 302 or above, or in one taught in the foreign language. Students should
demonstrate their proficiency in the language(s) they choose as early as possible after admission to
the Ph.D. program. In accordance with UHM Graduate Division rules, students will not be allowed to
take the prospectus exam before the foreign language requirement has been fulfilled.
Course Requirements: Ph.D. candidates must take:
At least seven graduate-level courses in the Department of English. Graduate Assistants are
required to take English 605 in their first semester in preparation for their teaching duties.
Five of the courses in the English Department must be selected from our regular scheduled
offerings (this effectively caps the number of independent study classes at two). Only three
of the seven counting toward the degree may be creative writing workshops (i.e., 613, 713,
or 699 as a 'workshop').
At least two courses at the 400-level or above in a field outside of English but related to
the student's research interests. Students who have completed a graduate degree or who have
done extensive work in a field outside of English may be considered to have fulfilled this
One course with substantial content in Asia/Pacific, to be fulfilled at the 400-, 600-, or
700-level, in or out of the English Department, while in residence at UH Mānoa.
At least two of these nine courses (seven in our program, two out) must relate to the intended,
or likely subjects of the student's dissertation. Also, at least two of these nine courses
(not necessarily the same as those relating to the dissertation) should bear directly upon the
choice of each area examination subject. One course can serve for more than one area exam.
Students must also meet the residency requirement, set by the Graduate Division, of three semesters of
full-time work or the equivalent in credit hours (24 credits).