Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

Requirements

First-year students are required to attend the non-credit First-Year Discussion Group. The FYDG meets three to four times a semester.  The goals of the FYDG are fourfold: to provide a basic introduction to issues of professionalization, to offer guidance and information about the Rutgers graduate program, to enable first-year students to share their perspectives on making the transition to graduate study, and to introduce students to the extracurricular intellectual life of the department.
 
The format of these meetings varies: sometimes attendance at an afternoon lecture or job talk is required; sometimes brief readings are assigned.
Students receive written evaluations at all stages of their work in the program, even when they have passed their Qualifying Examinations and are thereby categorized as ABD (All But Dissertation). Their progress is reviewed by the Student Review Committee, which is composed of five faculty members: the Graduate Director, the Associate Director, and three additional members of the graduate faculty. Renewal in the Program depends on making satisfactory progress in the judgment of the Student Review Committee.  In the event that the committee recommends against renewal, the student will have three weeks to file an appeal, if s/he chooses, with the Graduate Executive Committee. The appeal shall include a statement from the student introducing new information and/or contextualizing past course evaluations; the former, however, will be particularly important to any reconsideration. The appeal may be accompanied by supporting letters from faculty. It will be decided at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Graduate Executive Committee by a majority vote of the faculty members of the committee.
 
For students who are in course work, progress is measured once per semester by the Student Review Committee, by means of written evaluations from each of the faculty with whom the student has taken courses. Satisfactory progress is defined as a combination of A and A- grades. B grades are not considered satisfactory.
 
For students who are ABD, progress is measured once a year during the Spring Semester by the Student Review Committee, by means of the Dissertation Writer's Report and the Dissertation Director's Evaluation. The Dissertation Writer's Report is a mandatory form all ABD students are required to submit to their Director and to the Graduate Office each January. The Dissertation Director's Evaluation is also submitted to the Graduate Office and is shared with the student. Satisfactory progress is based on these reports and ultimately determined by the Student Review Committee.
Upon obtaining the permission of the instructor of the course and subject to the availability of space, full-time students may audit courses. Students should register with the Graduate Program as auditors and expect to attend all classes, though this requirement may be altered in consultation with the instructor. No academic credit is earned, nor is official record kept of audited courses.
Independent Study is an unusual arrangement that provides students the opportunity to pursue a plan of study unavailable through course work. It entails the fulfillment of the same requirements as a seminar - that is, an extensive writing assignment, along with regular meetings with a faculty member to discuss a predetermined reading list. To receive course credit for an Independent Study, the student must come to an agreement with a faculty member by the end of the registration period preceding the semester of proposed study on the nature and requirements of the course. In addition, the student must present the faculty member and the adviser a proposal outlining the terms of this agreement. The proposal should explain why the proposed study cannot be fulfilled by course work.
 
Normally, Independent Study may be undertaken only in the later stages of course work and no student may count more than one Independent Study (other than that taken in preparation for the Qualifying Exams) toward their 42 coursework credits. Students should be mindful that directing an Independent Study is not regarded as a normal faculty responsibility; agreement to direct one is entirely at the discretion of the faculty member.
 
Independent Studies are subject to the same course work deadlines as ordinary courses. This includes submitting the final paper to the Graduate Office by the appropriate deadline date.

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