Jul 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Creative Writing and Literature, PhD

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College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences  > Department of English  > Creative Writing and Literature, PhD

Building on excellence in creative writing and a record of excellence in the student’s MA preparation in the broad range of English and American literature or MFA preparation in creative writing and literature, the PhD student in literature and creative writing should work toward increased sophistication as a writer/scholar. The PhD student should also continue to strengthen and deepen an understanding of three areas of expertise: his/her specific genre, including the history of the genre and contemporary theoretical approaches to the genre; a historical period, rhetoric or literary theory; and a specific individualized area of inquiry. The career of a PhD student should be marked by increasing independence in his/her creative writing and in thinking and writing about literature and/or literary theory. Working toward these objectives advances the student’s competence in writing the creative dissertation. The PhD in Literature and Creative Writing constitutes solid preparation for creative publication, scholarly publication, and expert undergraduate and graduate teaching.

For more information, please see the PhD in Literature and Creative Writing program page.

Admission Requirements

  • MA in English or MFA in creative writing
  • 3.5 GPA in graduate studies
  • Scores from the GRE General Test
  • One foreign language (which may be completed while in residence for the PhD)

Application Materials

In addition to completing the online application, the following documents are required:

  • Copies of official transcripts with degree(s) posted by each of the colleges and/or universities you have attended in the past - posted to online application.
  • Official transcripts (sealed in the issuing envelope) from every institution of higher education attended. Official transcripts should be sent directly to:
UH Graduate Admissions Office
University of Houston, Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 3947
Houston, TX 77253-3947
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation* from teachers or professionals familiar with your writing and academic skills. Letters will be solicited by the UH Admissions Office electronically.
  • Official GRE test scores. Official ETS copy of the report is required and should be sent to the University of Houston - Main Campus [institution code 6870]. No department code is needed and indicating one will slow down the application process. Note: Scores take 4 - 6 weeks to reach the university for official verification. Please plan your test date accordingly. Applicants without GRE scores will not be offered admission.
  • An original creative manuscript (maximum 10 pages of poetry or 20 - 25 pages of fiction). Fiction manuscripts should be double-spaced, on numbered, single-sided pages: poetry can be single-spaced and formatted as desired. Note: Submitting more than the recommended amount is strongly discouraged and could adversely affect the evaluation process.
  • A critical manuscript. Provide a scholarly paper written for a literature course.
  • A personal statement. In 1,000 words or less, state why you wish to pursue graduate study in creative writing: which writers in your genre you are reading and their import to you and your work: and whether you have taught before and intend to pursue teaching as a career.

(Please note: You may apply in more than one genre, but in order to do so you must send separate application packets and application fees for each genre. The applications will be reviewed by different faculty members for each genre.)

*If you are submitting letters of recommendation through a dossier service such as Interfolio, you may leave the recommendation section of the application blank. Letters of recommendation submitted through dossier service should be sent to cwp@uh.edu.

Degree Requirements

Credit hours required for this degree: 45.0

  1. Foreign language
    Students must demonstrate reading knowledge of two foreign languages or intensive knowledge of one foreign language.
  2. Two written comprehensive examinations (one a general exam, one a specialized sub field)
  3. One oral comprehensive examination
  4. Dissertation

Distribution of Coursework

  • 3 hours of Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English
  • 3 hours of bibliography, literary theory, or rhetoric. If students have taken a course in one of these areas for the MA, this requirement will be waived, allowing the student an additional 3 hours of elective course work (but not a reduction in the total hours required).
  • 24 hours of literature, including:
    • either History of Poetry and Poetics or History of Narrative and Narrative Theory
    • 9 hours in early literature (British literature before 1800 and American literature before 1865)
    • 6 hours in later literature
    • 6 hours of elective courses, each contributing to the student’s areas of expertise.
      Students should select each of these courses in consultation with the graduate advisor and his/her faculty mentors.
  • 3 hours of Writers on Literature
  • 12 hours of creative writing workshops, including 1 Master Workshop in student’s program

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