Texas Tech University

PhD Degree Requirements

About the Program

Generally speaking, the Ph.D. requires 30 hours of coursework beyond the M.A. degree, or a total of 60 hours of coursework in English beyond the B.A. 


Students specializing in creative writing must pass qualifying examinations in their primary genre(s) and defend a creative dissertation, typically either a collection of poems, a collection of short stories or nonfiction essays, or a novel or book-length work of creative nonfiction. Students must also acquire or demonstrate reading knowledge of two foreign languages or high proficiency in one foreign language.

By design, we expect the Ph.D. to take 4-5 years of full-time study. Some of this time must be spent in full-time residence at Texas Tech University, which requires 24 hours of on-site doctoral coursework in a period of 18 months. During this period of study, doctoral students are expected to meet general requirements in areas like research methods, critical methods, and British and American literature. (Many of these requirements have already been satisfied by students who have completed the M.A. in English.) But at least 12 of the 30 hours taken at the doctoral level will consist of creative writing workshops with our outstanding faculty. Also, students interested in other fields of study may take up to 15 hours of coursework to constitute a degree minor--for instance, in a field like art history, philosophy, or women's studies.