Apr 16, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Option 3: Professional Development Track (Non-Thesis)

Required: 36 hours of approved courses including ENGL 6973  - Comprehensive Written Examination, or 24 hours of approved courses including ENGL 6973  with an approved minor. 

Students must complete three stages in the Professional Development Track process: (1) select Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC), (2) enroll in ENGL 6973  and prepare a reading list, and (3) successfully complete the Comprehensive Written Examination.

1. Select Graduate Advisory Committee

Prior to registering for ENGL 6973 , the student will form a committee  of no fewer than three graduate faculty members to guide the design of the final comprehensive written examination. The student must obtain members’ signatures on the Graduate Advisory Committee form and submit the form to the Graduate Coordinator. Once this paperwork is received, the student will be considered a candidate for the degree and may register for ENGL 6973 .


2. Enroll in ENGL 6973: Comprehensive Written Examination

In the final semester before graduation, a student pursuing the PDT will enroll in ENGL 6973. Under the direction of the student’s GAC chair, the student will conduct a concentrated study of selected literary periods, critical or theoretical approaches, and writing disciplines in preparation for completing a three-question, take-home, comprehensive written exam. In the first week of the semester, the student will work with the GAC to identify and select the three reading concentration areas on which the three questions will be based. The readings will be selected from the following areas:

  • World Literature
  • British Literature
  • American Literature
  • Composition Pedagogy and Practice
  • Rhetoric and Language
  • Professional and Technical Writing


3. Successfully Complete the Comprehensive Written Examination

a. In the second week of class, the GAC will provide the student a three-question examination. The student must complete and submit the examination to the GAC by the tenth week of class. Each question response must contain a minimum of 1,250 words. Documentation will be formatted according to the current edition of the MLA Handbook [for Writers of Research Papers] or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, pending GAC approval, and the writing will reflect the conventions of edited American English. Students may consult references and notes, but they may not have their exams edited or proofread by a third party.

b. One week after the completed exam has been submitted for grading, the student will meet with the GAC to discuss the exam results. Each question response will be graded separately. To satisfy the Comprehensive Written Examination requirement, a student must receive a grade of C or better for each of the three question responses.