The Department of English offers a program leading to the PhD degree in English and American literature. The department is small in numbers and its graduate students are carefully selected on the basis of their professional distinction as teachers, critics, and scholars. Because of its small size, the department affords students exceptionally focused attention.
The department accepts only full-time students for the PhD. Continuance beyond each of the first three years depends on satisfactory performance in the graduate seminars and passing two foreign language examinations. Students who successfully continue are awarded an MA degree in the course of the PhD program, but the department does not offer a separate master’s program. Students proceed to the dissertation after successfully passing a qualifying examination in the third year.
The PhD in English literature at Johns Hopkins consists of two years of course work and three years devoted to the research and writing of a dissertation. Students who remain in good standing will be guaranteed the same level of financial support for the full five years.
Facilities for Research
The cities of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., jointly contain a large collection of manuscripts and printed books. Major libraries and museums in Baltimore possess more than a thousand early manuscripts and 3 million books. The 12 million books and numerous manuscripts in the Library of Congress are supplemented in Washington by many specialized collections, notably those of the Folger Shakespeare Library, with which the university is affiliated. Opportunities for research in those libraries are open to students in the English department.
The Tudor and Stuart Club, along with a number of other outstanding lecture series within the university, enables students to learn about advances in research, criticism, and theory, and to confer with leading American and European scholars.
The Journal Club is a departmental series in which each student presents to the department a paper drawn from the research for his or her dissertation.