Doctoral Program

Program Requirements for the Center

PhD students in participating departments (English; Communication; Curriculum and Instruction; Education, Policy, Organization, and Leadership; and Information Science) may elect to pursue a concentration in Writing Studies. In order to plan their graduate concentration, students should identify a faculty advisor in their own department and set up a meeting to discuss their program of concentration with the CWS Director. There is no formal admission into the concentration, though students must formally petition to add the concentration through the graduate college. In addition to fulfilling the degree requirements of their home department, students need to complete a minimum of 24 credits of graduate work in Writing Studies that include the following requirements:

Concentration Requirements

Course Requirements:

  • One foundational course (4 credits) in Writing Studies, ENGL 505/CI 563: Writing Studies (4 credits) currently fulfills this requirement.
  • One theme-focused course (4 credits) in Writing Studies, ENGL 583/CI 566: Topics in Writing Pedagogy and Design or ENGL 584/CI569: Topics in Discourse and Writing.
  • Two methodology courses (8 credits) in Writing Studies, one of which must be ENGL 582/CI 565 Seminar in Research and Inquiry in Writing Studies. The other must be approved by contacting the CWS Director.
  • Two additional elective courses in Writing Studies (for a total of 8 credits) chosen from a list approved by the CWS Graduate Programs Committee or approved individually by the CWS Director.

Additional Requirements:

  • Prepare and deliver a lecture based on their research to faculty and students for the CWS Colloquium Series Graduate Research Forum, and
  • Complete a dissertation that demonstrably focuses on Writing Studies (with a topic approved by the CWS Director) and that is guided by CWS-affiliated faculty serving on the dissertation committee.

For the most up-to-date requirements for the Ph.D. concentration, please see the Academic Catalog.

In addition to the current core courses (English 505/CI 563; English 582/CI 565), the following courses illustrate current offerings that the CWS Graduate Programs Committee would consider for approval:

English Department

ENGL 482 Writing and Technology
ENGL 583/C&I566 Topics in Writing Pedagogy and Program Design
ENGL 584/C&I569 Topics in Discourse and Writing Studies


CMN 529 Seminar in Speech Communication
CMN 538 Seminar in Rhetorical Theory

English as an International Language

EIL 587 Topics in Second Language Studies


CI 507 Prob Trends in Spec Fields: Feminist & Critical Pedagogies
CI 560 Research and Trends of the Language Arts Curriculum
CI 561 Theory & Practice in Children’s Composition
CI 562 Linguistics and the School Curriculum
CI 590 Sem for Adv Stu of Education: Evaluation of Informal Technologies

Gender and Women’s Studies

GWS 501 Feminist Scholarship in the Humanities: Theory & Method

Doctoral Degrees in Participating Programs

Students must also fulfill requirements from their home departments.