Graduate Courses & Research

Graduate Courses by Series and Research Sections

Below you can find generic descriptions of graduate course offerings as well as information on research sections.

Courses described below are listed with more complete detail in the Graduate Student Catalog. Each semester’s course offerings, and specific descriptions, can be found on the “Courses” page. Course descriptions for other departments, as well as English, can be found in the UIC Graduate Catalogue.

Graduate courses in English are generally four credit hours.

Visit the Master’s Program degree requirements and the PhD Program degree requirements for a breakdown of each program.

  • First year Master’s Students must enroll in one course:
    • English 500 (Fall): Master’s Proseminar:
      Surveys disciplinary foundations of research in literary criticism, broadly defined.
  • First year PhD Students must enroll in two courses:
    • English 555: Teaching College Writing:
      Because teaching is regarded as an integral component of training at the doctoral level, all incoming graduate students with Teaching Assistantships are required to take English 555 (Teaching College Writing) during the first year. Unless exempted by the Director of Graduate Studies, all students serve as Teaching Assistants for a minimum of four semesters. All Teaching Assistants teach sections of English 160 and 161. Teaching Assistants are frequently assigned to other lower-level courses in English appropriate to their background.
    • English 503 (Fall): Proseminar I:
      The first semester of coursework will introduce students to critical/contextual methodologies in the field of critical studies, broadly conceived.

The following 500 level courses are organized in series. MA students MAY NOT take courses from the Discourse, Text, and Context Series or the Theoretical Engagements Series without permission from the instructor.

Bridge Series:

Bridge courses provide students (both MA and PhD) with comprehensive exposure to a range of periods and disciplines; they survey historical periods, genres, theories, and methodologies. They also provide PhD students with excellent preparation for their preliminary examinations.
English 507: Theory, Rhetoric and Aesthetics
Emphasizing breadth of knowledge in a field of inquiry involving genres, authors, topics, or periods in theory, rhetoric, or aesthetics.
English 517: British Literature and Culture
Emphasizing breadth of knowledge in a field of inquiry involving genres, authors, topics, or periods in British literature and culture.
English 527: American Literature and Culture
Emphasizing breadth of knowledge in a field of inquiry involving genres, authors, topics, or periods in American literature and culture.
English 537: Global and Multi-Ethnic Literatures and Cultures
Emphasizing breadth of knowledge in a field of inquiry involving genres, authors, topics, or periods in global and/or multiethnic literatures and cultures.
English 547: Media, Film and Performance Studies
Emphasizing breadth of knowledge in a field of inquiry involving genres, authors, topics, or periods in media, film, and/or performance studies.
English 557: Language and Literacy
Emphasizing breadth of knowledge in a field of inquiry involving genres, authors, topics, periods, or issues in language and literacy, broadly conceived.
English 567: Discourse Analysis
Discourse analysis addresses issues of intentional communication, inference, the structure of texts or talk-in-interaction, and the interactive construction of social actions or identities in discourse. Course Information: Same as LCSL 567. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor or LING 405 or the equivalent.

Discourse, Text and Context Series:

This series focuses primarily on innovative, theoretically informed approaches to literatures, rhetorics and other cultural productions in their historical context.
English 505: Seminar in Old English
A topic in Old English: emphasis on literature or philology. Content varies.
English 510: Seminar in Language and Rhetoric
Study of a topic or movement in linguistic or rhetorical theory. Content varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 401or ENGL 402 or consent of the instructor.
English 515: Seminar in Middle English Studies
The works of Chaucer and other Middle English writers. Content varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): A minimum of 3 hours in Middle English literature.
English 520: Seminar in Renaissance Studies
English literature and culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Topic varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): One course in Renaissance literature.
English 525: Seminar in Restoration and 18th Century Studies
Content varies. Restoration and 18th Century Studies by topic. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): One course in Restoration or 18th-century literature.
English 530: Seminar in British Romantic Studies
Advanced study of author(s), topic, movement, or genre. Content varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): A course in Romantic literature.
English 535: Seminar in Victorian Studies
Focus on author, topic, movement or genre. Content varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): 3 hours Victorian literature or consent of the instructor.
English 540: Seminar in Modern and/or Contemporary Studies
and/or Media in English
Study of an author, topic, movement or genre. Content varies. As part of the “Discourse, Text, and Context” series, provides seminar-level instruction in a key field of Modern or contemporary English studies. Topic varies by instructor. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): A minimum of three hours in modern literature.
English 545: Seminar in American Studies to 1865
As part of the “Discourse, Text, and Context” series, provides seminar-level instruction in a key field in American studies to 1865. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): One advanced course in American literature.
English 550: Seminar in American Studies and/or Other Media after 1865
Seminar topic in American Studies, possibly including mixed media, after 1865. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours.

Theoretical Engagements Series:

This series focuses primarily on recent theoretical debates, prominent crossdisciplinary influences, new trajectories in media technology, and important shifts in the paradigms that shape different aspects of English Studies. The series is also designed to take advantage of inter-departmental offerings and visiting professorships throughout the college of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UIC.
English 579: The Past Decade
Discussion of the past decade of critical work in any given field within literary, rhetorical, linguistic, or cultural studies.
English 580: Genres of Literature, Film, Media and Performance
A single genre, such as the Gothic novel, or mode, such as poetry, fiction, or drama. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours.
English 581: Interdisciplinary English Studies
Relation between literature and such fields as fine arts, philosophy, psychology, religion, science,sociology, and politics. Content varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): 4 hours in area of literature to be studied.
English 582: Multiethnic and Transatlantic Cultures
Study of a genre, movement, topic, or author in American multiethnic and/or Transatlantic culture. Content varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours.
English 583: Theories of the Popular
Study of a theme, form, era, or methodological approach. Content varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours.
English 584: Visual Technologies
One topic or movement. Content varies. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): Minimum of 3 hours in film.
English 585: Theoretical Sites
One author, topic or movement in advanced theory. Topic varies by instructor. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): Theory course at the undergraduate or graduate level.
English 586: Discourse, Culture, Mind
Interdisciplinary readings relating language and cognition from writing, rhetoric, cognitive psychology, and linguistics on a particular topic. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 484.
English 588: Great Cities/Global Cultures
One author, topic, or movement in text, culture and public space. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours.

Independent Study:

During his or her academic career, a student may enroll in a variety of independent studies. A student must obtain written approval from the professor with whom he or she expects to work (email is fine). It is the student’s responsibility to find a professor willing to direct their independent study. Students then complete the appropriate form for the research course in which they plan to enroll. Professors have the right to decline to take independent study students in a given semester. It is also the student’s responsibility to meet regularly with the professor and to fulfill the special demands of the independent study. The work should be completed in the semester in which it is undertaken.

  • English 591: Prospectus Research:
    1-12 credits (variable). For doctoral students only. Supervised research and development of dissertation prospectus and colloquium committee. All doctoral students are expected to enroll for Prospectus Research when they have passed their Preliminary Examination.
  • English 592: Preliminary Exam Research:
    1-12 credits (variable). For doctoral students only. Supervised research and reading that facilitates the student’s preparation for the preliminary examinations. Course is graded S/U only. Credit 1 to 12 hours, may be repeated for maximum of 12 hours of credit.
  • English 596: Independent Study:
    1-4 credits (variable). Individualized research and study, with the supervision of a faculty member, in topics not covered by regular course offerings.
  • English 597: Master’s Project Research:
    0-4 credits (variable). For Master’s degree students only. Supervised research and reading that facilitates the student’s preparation of project research. Course is graded S/U only. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 hours. No more than 4 hours of ENGL 597 may be applied toward the degree.
  • English 599: Thesis Research:
    1-16 credits (variable). All doctoral students are expected to enroll for Thesis Research when they have passed their Preliminary Examination (they must also enroll in ENGL 591). They must earn up to 32 hours for the dissertation.

Courses open to students in the Program for Writers:
English 570: Poetry Workshop
English 571: Fiction Workshop
English 572: Novel Workshop
English 573: Translation Practicum
English 574: Nonfiction Workshop
English 575: Experimental Writing Workshop
English 576: Publication Workshop

Other Courses in English open to PhD Students:
English 518: Newberry Library Seminar in Renaissance Literature
English 551: Seminar in Ethnography/Sociolinguistics
English 560: Practicum in the Teaching of English
Linguistics 540: Language and Gender
 (same as GWS 540)
Linguistics 551: Research Practicum in Sociolinguistics
Linguistics 553: Research Practicum in Discourse Analysis
 (same as English 553)
Linguistics 556: Second Language Learning (same as SPAN 556)
Linguistics 559: Seminar in Linguistics

During his or her academic career, a student may enroll in a variety of independent studies. A student must obtain approval from the professor with whom he or she expects to work. It is the student’s responsibility to find a professor willing to direct the student’s independent study. A brief description of the project or research should be attached as well. Professors have the right to decline to take independent study students in a given semester. It is also the student’s responsibility to meet regularly with the professor and to fulfill the special demands of the independent study. The work should be completed in the semester in which it is undertaken.

Students then must complete an Independent Study/Research form which needs to be signed by the professor who will supervise the work and presented to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval.

  • ENGL 591
    Prospectus Research

    1-12 credits (variable). For doctoral students only. Supervised research and development of dissertation prospectus and colloquium committee. All doctoral students are expected to enroll for Prospectus Research when they have passed their Preliminary Examination.
  • ENGL 592
    Preliminary Exam Research

    1-12 credits (variable). For doctoral students only. Supervised research and reading that facilitates the student’s preparation for the preliminary examinations. Course is graded S/U only. Credit 1 to 12 hours, may be repeated for maximum of 12 hours of credit.
  • ENGL 596
    Independent Study

    1-4 credits (variable). Individualized research and study, with the supervision of a faculty member, in topics not covered by regular course offerings.
  • ENGL 597
    Master’s Project Research

    0-4 credits (variable). For Master’s degree students only. Supervised research and reading that facilitates the student’s preparation of project research. Course is graded S/U only. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 hours. No more than 4 hours of ENGL 597 may be applied toward the degree.
  • ENGL 599
    Thesis Research

    1-16 credits (variable). For doctoral students only. All doctoral students are expected to enroll for Thesis Research when they have passed their Preliminary Examination (they must also enroll in ENGL 591).Can only be taken concurrently or after successfully passing the Prospectus. Students must earn a minimum of 32 research hours for the dissertation.

Current UIC graduate students may take courses at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago at the UIC rate.

You can find more information about this program, including application procedures and contacts, on the Graduate College’s Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program page.

English PhD students are eligible to take advantage of UIC’s cotutelle arrangement with Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. A cotutelle (from the French for co-tutoring) grants students two PhDs (one from UIC, and one from Macquarie) while writing a single thesis, as well as providing them with an advisor at Macquarie. The cotutelle program provides round-trip airfare to and from Sydney and a living stipend of about $20,000 USD.  Cotutelle students are also eligible to teach for additional income, if they desire. We have been told that UIC as a whole can send about 5 students per year.

The cotutelle is intended for advanced PhD students (post-prelim) who will graduate within three years and are eligible to do research. Cotutelle participants should plan to spend between 1-2 years at Macquarie. Macquarie will also cover the expense to fly in the Macquarie advisor as an outside reader for a thesis defense. Browse Macquarie’s English department to look for people who could be co-advisors.

Macquarie is ideally located  30 minutes by train from downtown Sydney on well connected transit. Because it helps their international rankings to host more international grad student researchers, Macquarie is keen to host graduate students from UIC.