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, was revised in 1986 and again in 2000, and most recently included the low-residency option in 2021.

    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 second summer session (Low Residency) or fall (international full-time students) and must start with ENGL 825 and ENGL 830. Students have 15 elective hours in the program, with courses offered in rhetoric, literacy, and applied linguistics. In addition, students have other required and elective courses.

    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 Low Residency program option.

    Program Requirements

    Composition and Applied Linguistics Discipline Courses (9cr)

    Course Title Credits
    ENGL 825 Second Language Literacy
    3cr
    ENGL 830 Research and Practice in the Teaching of College Composition
    3cr
    ENGL 870 Teaching Practicum 3cr

    Research Sequence (12cr)


    Course Title Credits
    ENGL 815 Qualitative Research Methods in Composition and Applied Linguistics
    3cr
    ENGL 820 Quantitative Research Methods in Composition and Applied Linguistics
    3cr
    ENGL 835
    Research Design and the Craft of Writing
    3cr
    ENGL 900 Dissertation Writing 3cr

    Advanced Research Seminars (two courses required)

    Course Title Credits
    ENGL 846 Research Seminar*
    3cr

    (*May also be taken for repeat credit as an elective)

    Electives (three courses required)

    Course Title Credits
    ENGL 805 Language and Social Context
    3cr
    ENGL 808 Technology and Literacy
    3cr
    ENGL 810 Narrative Inquiry 3cr
    ENGL 823 Critical Perspectives on Second Language Teaching
    3cr
    ENGL 824 Second Language Acquisition
    3cr
    ENGL 831 Rhetorical Traditions
    3cr
    ENGL 833 Theories of Composition 3cr
    ENGL 836 Life Writing Autoethnography 3cr
    ENGL 840 Digital Rhetoric 3cr
    ENGL 842
    Cross-Cultural Communication
    3cr
    ENGL 848
    Advanced Topics in Linguistics
    3cr
    ENGL 851 Writing in Transnational Contexts 3cr
    ENGL 854
    World Englishes in Comp & Applied Linguistics
    3cr
    ENGL 867
    Research on Writing Centers and Writing Program Administration 3cr
    ENGL 880 Writing for Publication 3cr
    ENGL 881
    Special Topics
    3cr

     (May be taken as an online course)

    Courses in Other Programs Such as Literature & Criticism or Education

    (as approved by Composition and Applied Linguistics director)

    Total Course Hrs. 36cr
    Dissertation 12cr