1 Procedural Guide English 1 Procedural Guide For Graduate Study in English at Cornell University Table of Contents Page Introduction Student s Responsibility I. The Special Committee A. Formation B. Fields of Concentration C. Procedures II. Residence and Thesis Requirements III. Courses and Grades IV. The Programs A. General Considerations B. Candidates for Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing C. Candidates for Doctor of Philosophy V. The PhD Program Support Package: Fellowships, Teaching Assistantships, Eligibility VI. Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Assistantships, Readerships, and Lectureships A. Teaching Assistantships B. Graduate Assistantships C. Readerships D. Lectureships VII. The Graduate Admissions and Review Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies VIII. The Graduate Policy and Curriculum Committee IX. Reading Groups and other Extracurricular Activities
2 Procedural Guide English 2 Procedural Guide For Graduate Study in English at Cornell University Introduction This guide has been prepared for the use of students and faculty in the Graduate Field of English Language and Literature at Cornell University and should be read in conjunction with the Code of Legislation of the Graduate Faculty, which sets forth the policies governing advanced degree programs throughout the University. Graduate study at Cornell requires each student to work out a program of study in consultation with a Special Committee selected by the student from the membership of the Graduate Faculty. This procedure, commonly referred to as the committee system, takes the place of uniform course requirements and uniform departmental examinations. It is intended to create a close working relationship between faculty and students and to encourage freedom and flexibility in the design of individual students degree programs. Such a system places special demands on the energy and adaptability of both faculty and students, and it requires of each student a high degree of initiative and responsibility. Student s Responsibility It is the responsibility of the candidate to become familiar with the various regulations that apply to his or her program and to satisfy them in the proper way. [To assist the candidate, the staff in the Graduate School issues written directions for completing requirements and stands ready to advise]. (Code #65) I. The Special Committee A. Formation For PhD candidates, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will serve as the student s main academic adviser and Provisional Chair during the first semester of residence. For MFA candidates the Provisional Chair is the Director of Creative Writing. Candidates in the joint MFA/PhD program construct two committees, one for each degree. A faculty member may serve on both committees, although the Chair of the PhD committee must hold the PhD degree (by Graduate School regulations). An additional faculty adviser may also be assigned to first-year PhD students. During this period, the advisers will assist the student in beginning the process of forming a Special Committee. A list of English Department graduate faculty members available for service on Special Committees can be found on the department web site. At the beginning of each year the department issues a statement summarizing the various interests of its members to assist students in forming their committees. The Special Committee of a candidate for an MFA consists of two members (occasionally three); that of a candidate for Doctor of Philosophy consists of three (occasionally four). Since the Special Committee is charged with guiding and supervising all of a candidate s academic work, it is obviously important to establish this committee as soon as possible. Some students prefer to select only one member at the outset, and in such cases this person will be designated Provisional Chair. For PhD candidates the Provisional Chair will represent English Language and Literature as the student s major subject, without a specified concentration; for MFA candidates the major subject is English Language and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. For MFA candidates: a permanent Chair should be selected by the end of the first semester of residence; the minor member(s) should be selected by the end of the second semester. For PhD candidates: a permanent
3 Procedural Guide English 3 committee should be established by the end of the second semester of study, since the PhD Qualifying Procedure (see III. D. 2 below) must be completed before the start of the third semester. The DGS will serve as a temporary member of a PhD student s Special Committee until it has its full complement of functioning members. Minor members may be chosen from related fields outside the department, but the Chair must be in the graduate field of English. A student may change the membership of the Special Committee at any time, although once she or he has completed 4 units (2 years) of residence, a change of this sort must be approved by the General Committee of the Graduate School. The General Committee discourages such changes after the candidate has passed the Admission to Candidacy Examination (see IV. D. 4 below). A student whose Chair plans to take a leave should make arrangements for a proxy during the period of the leave. B. Fields of Concentration The major subject for all graduate students in English is English Language and Literature, with a concentration (chosen by PhD candidates after the Qualifying Procedure) from the following list. Minor subjects may be either English Language and Literature with concentrations from this list, or approved subjects in related fields. African American Literature American Literature to 1865 American Literature after 1865 American Studies (a joint program with the field of History) Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures Cultural Studies Dramatic Literature English Poetry The English Renaissance to 1660 Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Literary Studies Literary Criticism and Theory The Nineteenth Century Old and Middle English Prose Fiction The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century The Twentieth Century Women s Literature Creative Writing (this is the major concentration of all MFA candidates and a minor concentration for joint PhD/MFA candidates; it may not be a major subject for PhD candidates) English Linguistics (minor subject only) C. Procedures A student s Special Committee is charged with certain formal responsibilities: l. Approving the student s choice of courses for each semester. 2. Recommending at the end of each semester that the student be awarded appropriate residence credit. One unit of residence is awarded for a semester s satisfactory full-time study. Fractions of a unit may be awarded for part-time or not wholly satisfactory study. 3. Conducting the Qualifying Exam (Q Exam) in the case of a PhD candidate
4 Procedural Guide English 4 4. Conducting the Admission to Candidacy Examination (A-Exam) in the case of a PhD candidate. 5. Approving the dissertation after conducting a formally scheduled final examination (B-Exam). 6. Recommending the conferral of the degree. This recommendation must be unanimous. The Committee is expected to meet with the student at least once each semester. Section IV of this Guide describes many of the substantive advisory functions of the Special Committee. II. Residence and Thesis / Dissertation Requirements Degree candidates must satisfy certain requirements specified by the Code. Relief from these requirements must be sought by petitioning the General Committee of the Graduate School, which does not, as a rule, approve petitions lacking a Special Committee s endorsement. A. An MFA candidate must complete 4 units of residence and present an approved dissertation, which will be a piece of creative writing. No more than 4 years may intervene between a student s first registration in the Graduate School and the completion of all requirements for the MFA B. A PhD candidate must complete 6 units of residence, 2 of them after passing the A-Exam, and must present an approved dissertation. Before enrolling for the seventh semester, a student must attempt the A- Exam. No more than 7 years may intervene between a student s first registration in the Graduate School and the completion of all requirements for the PhD (As with all Graduate School requirements, students may petition for a waiver of this deadline.) C. Leave of Absence taken for personal reasons (as distinct from in absentia status for academic work) will be assumed to stop the clock for a maximum of one year (e.g., a student who takes leave during year four of the program will return as a fourth-year student, rather than a fifth). However, semesters taken on leave of absence during which the student is working toward the degree or has been instructed to make up work required for the degree are counted within the normal five -year support package. Semesters taken on medical Leave of Absence are not counted for the full time of the medically confirmed health leave. A student who takes Leave of Absence for longer than a year will be asked to file for readmission by the Graduate School; the clock will start in the second year of any Leave of Absence for determining future eligibility in the program. One year in absentia (a leave taken to study elsewhere while remaining as a registered student) will count as a year in a student s program. D. A candidate in the joint MFA / PhD program must fulfill the residence requirements for both degrees. The first four semesters of residence credit count towards both degrees. E. The department currently offers no terminal M.A. program. The M.A. is awarded as part of progress towards the PhD degree. Students who do not complete the PhD may in some cases earn the M.A. See section IV.C.4 III. Courses and Grades Graduate students may receive graduate credit for courses designated 3000 and upward, depending on their relevance to the students needs and special interests. As a rule, graduate credit is not awarded for courses devoted principally to the acquisition of a foreign language, unless that course is offered in the English Department at the 6000-level or above. In general, 3000-level courses are undergraduate surveys; 4000-
5 Procedural Guide English 5 level courses are more specialized discussion courses designed primarily for undergraduates. Graduate students taking these courses often arrange with the instructor to conduct research and writing more appropriate to the graduate level. Courses at the 6000-level, designed primarily for graduate students, aim to provide advanced coverage of significant periods, figures, genres, and theoretical issues; 7000-level courses are intensive seminars intended to serve as paradigms of scholarly research or specialized study. English 7940, Directed Study, and English 7950, Group Study, give students the opportunity to enroll for more informal work in areas and on problems of special interest to them. English 7960, Teaching and Research, permits a student to combine a program of reading, supervised by a professor, with participation (including some teaching) in an undergraduate course. Before the beginning of each semester, the department issues a revised semester-list of course offerings and descriptions. Most graduate courses may be taken either for a letter grade or S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). Courses taken for a letter grade normally require extensive written work e.g., a long term paper, or a series of shorter papers. Courses taken for S/U may require oral presentations and/or some written work. With the consent of the instructor or instructors and of the committee, the student may change her or his grading options at any time during the first seven weeks of the semester. After this date changes can only be made by special petition to the Graduate School, and are discouraged. An instructor may permit a student to audit a course, but audited courses are not entered on a student s official record. Grades given to graduate students in the department will be interpreted as follows: A+, A Distinguished A- Commendable B+ Satisfactory B, B- Borderline C+, C, and below Unsatisfactory If a student is unable to complete all the work for a course before the end of the semester in which it is offered, he or she may request a grade of Incomplete from the instructor. Graduate School policy mandates that all Incompletes be made up within one year of the end of the semester during which the course was taken. To remove an INC later than one year after the course has ended, the student must submit a Course Enrollment Petition. If the Petition is approved, the instructor then submits a Manual Grade Form. A student must complete coursework in a timely manner in order to remain in good academic standing, and thus to be eligible for continued funding. By March 1st of the first year in residence, all students are expected to have earned at least one letter grade and to have no more than one incomplete outstanding. By March 1st of the second year in residence, PhD students are expected to have completed their Q-exam, to have earned at least three letter grades, and to have no more than two incompletes outstanding. By March 1st of the third year in residence, PhD students are expected to have no more than two course credits of their required twelve outstanding. If a student fails to meet any of these requirements, the student will not be in good academic standing, and will be ineligible for Department and Graduate School funding in the following year. These deadlines may be relaxed in the event of student illness or family emergency. IV. The Programs A. General Considerations Since the areas of knowledge and competence that students emphasize will vary according to their programs of study, such areas can be described here only in broad outline. It is assumed that a student and her or his
6 Procedural Guide English 6 Special Committee will fashion a program broad enough to provide adequate and appropriate literary training while sufficiently focused to provide necessary specialization in particular fields of literary study. Knowledge of foreign languages is a central part of any program of literary study. The number and choice of these languages depends on each student s area(s) of specialization. MFA programs normally require a basic reading knowledge of one foreign language. A minimal expectation for a PhD program would be either a translating knowledge of two appropriate languages or a much fuller literary knowledge of one; some Special Committees, however, demand more than this minimum. The student should as early as possible reach agreement with the Special Committee on any course of formal or informal study that seems necessary, and the means of demonstrating competence in the appropriate languages. These requirements should be met by the time of the A-Exam. B. Candidates for Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing 1. Course Work In the two years of work for the degree, an MFA candidate in English is expected to complete 4 workshop courses and ordinarily takes 6 additional one-semester courses for credit, at least four of them in English and American literature, Comparative Literature, literature in the modern or classical languages, theory, or cultural studies. The normal full-time course load for MFA students in their first year (when they are not teaching) is three courses each semester, including one graduate workshop (English 7800 or 7801 in the Fall, English 7810 or 7811 in the Spring). The normal full-time course load for MFA students in their second year (when they are teaching) is two courses per semester, including one graduate workshop per semester (English 7800 or 7801 in the Fall, English 7810 and 7811 in the Spring). Students who wish to take more than 10 courses while enrolled in the program should discuss their course choices with their special committee chairs. MFA students must be enrolled in a minimum of two courses per term. 2. Thesis An MFA candidate in English is required to submit for permanent deposit in the University Library two bound copies of a piece of creative writing (such as a novel, a collection of short stories, a full-length play, or a collection of poems) approved by all members of the Special Committee. It is the student s responsibility to see that the thesis is submitted to the committee in time for reading and possible revision before the relevant Graduate School deadline. Full particulars concerning thesis form and deadlines may be found on the Graduate School web site in the Thesis and Dissertation section.. The degree requirements are not complete until the thesis has been filed with the Graduate School. 3. Final Examination Each MFA candidate is required to pass a final examination conducted by the committee members. In English, this examination is oral and approximately an hour in length; it is normally centered on the MFA thesis. This examination must be formally scheduled at the Graduate School seven days in advance and held during the candidate s last month of residence. Before it can be scheduled, a completed draft of the thesis in its proposed final form must be in the hands of the committee. C. Candidates for Doctor of Philosophy 1. Course Work A PhD student is expected to complete 12 courses for graduate credit. This may not include courses devoted to the study of foreign languages or the English language. At least half of these courses must be taken for a letter grade. All courses must be completed before taking the A-Exam (see below). In the first year of study, a PhD candidate is normally expected to complete 6 one-semester courses for credit, in addition to the special colloquium organized for entering students in the fall. In subsequent years when students are teaching, the standard load is two
7 Procedural Guide English 7 courses per term for graduate credit. Students are generally advised to take no more than two courses for a letter grade each semester. Students entering the program with an M.A. in English or a related field may petition the DGS to receive up to three course credits towards the PhD 2. Qualifying Procedure (Q Exam) During the first year students normally devote considerable time to filling out their knowledge of the field. This process may involve one or more of the following activities: reading important works of literature; gaining a broader knowledge of criticism and theory; exploring areas of study not included in the traditional canon. Before the beginning of the third semester, the student and the Special Committee will meet formally to consider the student s readiness to proceed toward the PhD Though traditionally known as the qualifying exam, in most cases this procedure is diagnostic in nature. In earlier, less formal meetings (at least one of which will include the Special Committee as a whole) the committee will review the student's general knowledge of the field, normally on the basis of a document prepared by the student outlining his or her previous training, and including a list of authors, periods, genres, and areas studied. With this list as a basis, the committee will suggest further readings. The preliminary meetings should take place before the end of the second semester, to allow the student time for the necessary reading. The committee will also review the Cornell courses the student has taken and plans to take, consider a substantial piece of writing the student has produced for a graduate course, and help the student generate a short list of readings which will provide a basis for discussion at the qualifying exam proper. Composing the short list is an important part of the Q exam procedure, and should be a collaborative effort of student and committee. The list should include ten or twelve titles (these may include parts of longer works or groups of shorter ones). Throughout the procedure the committee will keep in mind the breadth of the student s preparation, and the composition of the short list should be seen as an opportunity for students to engage types of literature they may not have studied previously. The Q exam itself normally consists of a mixture of questioning by the committee and presentation by the student; the exact format will be determined by each committee in consultation with the student. At the conclusion of the exam the committee offers the student its assessment of her or his progress in developing the knowledge and skills necessary for a PhD in English, and makes recommendations for further study. At this time the committee should also decide how the language requirement is to be satisfied, or whether it has been satisfied already. (For further information, see the document You and Your Q. ) Committee chairs must report the results of Q exams to the DGS, along with information about the language requirement. These should be submitted on the department Q-exam form, which is available on the department web page. A candidate who does not complete the qualification procedure or who decides for other reasons to leave the graduate program after one or two years may be able to obtain an M.A. degree by writing a Master s thesis and satisfactorily completing an appropriate program of study. Please consult the Director of Graduate Studies. 3. Definitive Selection of Major and Minor Subjects After qualifying, a candidate typically chooses a major concentration representing the area of primary interest and confirms or modifies
8 Procedural Guide English 8 the choice of one or two minors. The composition of the Special Committee which is to conduct the A-Exam will naturally reflect these choices. Candidates in English are permitted (and in some cases encouraged) to select one or both minors from related fields. For example, a student majoring in the English Renaissance may wish to select as a minor a concentration in Classics or Romance Studies, while a student majoring in the nineteenth century may choose a concentration in Philosophy or History. Special Committees are urged to interpret the approved major and minor subject-listings flexibly so as to accommodate their students individual interests. 4. Admission to Candidacy Examination (A-Exam) This examination has both oral and written components, and serves the two functions of consolidating the student s knowledge in major and minor fields and preparing her or him to write a dissertation. Graduate School regulations require that students complete the A-Exam before the beginning of their seventh semester. Students should consult with their committee members and meet with the committee as a whole to discuss topics, bibliographies, and the format of the examination by the end of the fifth semester. All required course work must be completed (and grades submitted by the instructor) before the examination is formally scheduled with the Graduate School (see below). The written portions consist of three separate responses to questions formulated by committee members in consultation with the student, at least two of which entail broad surveys of and engagements with issues in the major and minor fields. The written responses need be no more than 4,000 words each and need not be polished essays. The special committee members, in consultation with the student, agree beforehand on the form and length of each written response. The committee may specify a composition time of a few hours, a full day, or up to ten days of work on an individual response. The normal assumption is that shorter time limits are most appropriate for this examination. The oral portion, which must take place no more than two weeks after all three written answers have been given to the committee, is normally about two hours in length, and must be formally scheduled at the Graduate School seven days in advance. In addition to discussing the written responses, the committee and the student use the oral exam to look towards the dissertation, exploring ways to proceed with research and writing, and establishing a framework for the writing and submission of a prospectus. The student should meet with the committee chair within a week of the oral exam to review suggestions raised during the oral exam. For more information on the A-Exam, including sample exam formats, consult the document, Hey, It s Your A. Upon passing the A-Exam, a doctoral candidate will be awarded the M.A. without presenting a thesis. If a student fails the A-Exam, three months must elapse before a second attempt is made. A student who does not pass the A-Exam may be awarded the M.A. on completion of a thesis of 35 pages or more, and an oral examination by the student s Special Committee. For more information, consult the Director of Graduate Studies. 5. Dissertation A candidate who has passed the A-Exam is expected to concentrate on a major piece of independent research. If a student s interests have changed in such a way that they no longer coincide with those of the members of the Special Committee, she or he may add a member to the committee to direct the dissertation or else petition the General Committee of the Graduate School for permission to reconstitute the committee. The department also encourages dissertation students to participate in dissertation-writing groups and workshops.
9 Procedural Guide English 9 After completing the A-Exam, the student is required to prepare a dissertation prospectus of pages in length. Within six months of completing the A-Exam, and in no case later than the end of the seventh semester, candidates present a draft of their prospectus to their special committee. They should submit the draft at least two weeks before meeting with the committee to discuss it. A form signed by all committee members indicating their approval of the final prospectus, along with a copy of the prospectus itself, should be submitted to the office of the Director of Graduate Studies by the beginning of the eighth semester. The plans set forth in the prospectus may be modified as the candidate's research and writing proceed; however, significant changes of focus and structure should be approved by the committee. A dissertation prospectus workshop, English 7920, is occasionally offered each Fall to assist students in the preparation of a prospectus. Students in the workshop typically will be in their seventh semester in the program, but students ready to begin writing at an earlier stage in the program also are encouraged to enroll. It is ultimately the candidate s responsibility to complete a dissertation satisfactory to all members of the committee; and to this end she or he should consult regularly with them in particular the chair to discuss its progress. The candidate should plan to devote from one to two years to the dissertation, typically the fourth and fifth years. 6. Final Examination (B-Exam) The B-Exam is an oral examination on the general subject of the that usually includes detailed discussion of the dissertation itself, together with suggestions for revision. Two terms of residence credit are required after the A-Exam before the candidate may pass the Final Examination. A completed draft of the dissertation must be submitted to all members of the Special Committee sixty days in advance of the exam to allow adequate time for reading. The candidate also should allow adequate time for possible revision before the relevant Graduate School filing deadline. The exam must be formally scheduled at the Graduate School at least seven days in advance and is conducted by the candidate s Special Committee. The committee may request changes in the draft before approving a final version to be filed with the Graduate School. Students have sixty days after the B-Exam to file with the Graduate School the final approved draft of the dissertation. After that date, they are charged additional fees for late filing. 7. Filing of the Dissertation When approved by the Special Committee, the dissertation must be typed in accordance with Graduate School specifications. Full particulars concerning dissertation form and deadlines may be found on the Graduate School web site in the Thesis and Dissertation section.. The degree requirements are not complete until the dissertation has been filed with the Graduate School. 8. Teaching Experience The field requires a carefully supervised teaching experience of at least one year for every doctoral candidate as part of the training for the degree. Normally part of this teaching takes place under the aegis of the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, which administers the First-Year Writing Seminars that all Cornell undergraduates are required to take. The John S. Knight Institute sponsors summer and fall workshops in the teaching of writing for all new instructors of First-Year Writing Seminars. Whether serving as teaching assistants in courses taught by faculty members or teaching their own First-Year Writing Seminars, graduate students work closely with a faculty course leader who oversees and advises them in matters of grading and pedagogy.
10 Procedural Guide English 10 V. The PhD Program Support Package: Fellowships, Teaching Assistantships, Eligibility Upon admission, each PhD student is awarded a five-year financial support package, which is guaranteed provided the student remains in good academic standing and performs satisfactorily in any assistantship capacity. These five years of support typically consist of two years of Sage Fellowship and three years of Teaching Assistantships (see the timeline at One year of Sage Fellowship is normally taken during the student's first year in the program to support course work. In the second and third years, the student receives Teaching Assistantships. In year four, the second year of Sage Fellowship is then available after the student has completed the A-Exam and supports the writing of a dissertation prospectus and/or initial research and drafting of the dissertation itself. In the fifth year, the student receives a Teaching Assistantship. Some variations on this pattern are possible; however, it is a clear expectation of the program that the first year and the fourth years will be spent on fellowship. Students who hold other external or internal fellowships (e.g., Javits, Mellon, Provost's Diversity, etc.) may be required to defer the use of their Sage Fellowship to later semesters.. Summer support in the form of a Graduate School Fellowship is guaranteed for four summers. Students are encouraged to apply for special fellowships at Cornell and for outside fellowships. There are also awards and fellowships available to graduate students in English that recognize excellence in teaching. Current fellowship opportunities and awards are publicized by . All students are therefore eligible for a maximum of six semesters on Teaching Assistantships during their five years in the program, except for students who hold other external or internal fellowships. In such cases, the additional fellowship support replaces the Teaching Assistantship option for the semester in which the fellowship is awarded. For all PhD students, teaching support beyond the fifth year may be available, but cannot be guaranteed. An exception is made to allow holders of multi-year fellowships to gain the year of teaching experience required for the degree, as well as an additional year of teaching. Graduate students who receive threeyear fellowships will have their support packages revised on a case-by-case basis. External or internal fellowships of fewer than three years duration do not extend the guaranteed Sage Fellowship and TAship eligibility described here. For how leaves of absence govern guaranteed funding, see Section II above, Residence and Thesis / Dissertation Requirements, item C. External fellowship application requirement PhD students who anticipate seeking support in the 6 th year must also apply for external funding. Most of the full-year doctoral fellowships that are available have application deadlines one year prior to the fellowship period, so students should be prepared to submit their fellowship applications at the beginning of the 5 th year. To that end, each student should meet with his or her special committee chair in the spring of the 4 th year to discuss the application process and to identify appropriate fellowships. The Cornell Graduate School maintains a comprehensive database of doctoral fellowships: Moreover, the MLA maintains a listing of fellowships specifically oriented toward scholars of language and literature:
11 Procedural Guide English 11 Students will need to submit a copy of the fellowship application(s) along with all completed dissertation chapters by the time of the 5 th year review. Eligibility for 6 th -year funding/5 th year review By January 31, 5 th -year students should submit to Vicky Brevetti a dossier containing the following materials: a copy of at least one application for dissertation funding external to the English department. The fellowship must be for at least a full year and must be specifically designed as a scholarly award that enables students to work on their dissertations. Examples are the ACLS Mellon dissertation completion fellowship, the AAUW dissertation fellowship, the Charlotte W. Newcombe dissertation fellowship, the Henry Frank Guggenheim dissertation fellowship, Fulbright academic study and research grants, the Chateaubriand fellowship, The McNeil Center for Early American Studies dissertation fellowship, the Helen Ann Mins Robbins Fellowship, and the Cornell Society for the Humanities year-long fellowship for graduate students. (Please note, the Provost's Diversity Fellowship and the Buttrick-Crippen Award do not quality because they are not based on a description of the dissertation project.) all dissertation chapters that have been submitted thus far to the special committee. an advisory letter of at least one paragraph from the special committee chair commenting on the merits of the dissertation and its state of completion. (At the end of the fall term in the 5 th year, students should request that the advisory letter be sent directly to Vicky Brevetti by the January 31 st deadline.) (if the student applied for jobs in the fall of his or her 5 th year) a dissertation abstract, a sample job cover letter, and a CV. (optional) any additional teaching materials that the student might wish to submit (sample assignments, worksheets, etc.). In February the Department Chair, the DGS, and the DGST will meet to review these dossiers, together with each student's teaching file. Priority for 6 th year funding will go those students who have 1) written a strong grant application for external funding. 2) submitted at least two completed chapters (not in draft) of their dissertations. 3) demonstrated a solid commitment to their teaching. VI. Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Assistantships, Readerships, and Lectureships A. Teaching Assistantships for the following year are assigned to eligible students during the spring semester, on the basis of the teaching application form which is made available in February. Typically, in
12 Procedural Guide English 12 the summer before their first assignment as a Teaching Assistant, both PhD and MFA students participate in a teaching internship program, which provides the summer stipend for this first summer. This program takes place during the Cornell Six-Week Summer Session. The department maintains files of student evaluations and faculty accounts of each graduate student s teaching; these are a resource for the teaching review, and also for job letters and teaching dossiers. B. Graduate Assistantships. First year MFA students receive Graduate Assistantships to work in the editorial offices of Epoch, a periodical of contemporary literature published by Program in Creative Writing. As assistant editors at Epoch, the MFA students are involved in all the production aspects of magazine work, including the review of submissions, copyediting, proofreading, maintaining subscription files, promotion and advertising. In addition, they serve on the event staff for major readings in the Creative Writing Program s reading series. In accordance with the directives of the Graduate School, Graduate Assistants work 15 hours per week. The assistantship carries a full tuition fellowship. C. Readerships are part-time paid positions (no more than 100 hours a semester). These are supplementary positions, and are not available as a primary means of graduate student support. Readers assist faculty members with grading papers and/or leading discussion sections for undergraduate lecture courses. Applications for Readerships will be solicited by the Administrative Director in the week before the start of each semester. D. Lectureships are paid teaching positions that require the student to terminate their registered student status; lectureships provide access to the Cornell employee health plan and confer employee benefits. Lecturers may not hold any student fellowships simultaneously with the lectureship appointment. MFA program degree recipients who will have completed two years of residence and have defended their theses may apply to continue to teach as Lecturers. Such an appointment will be made only after a substantive review of the applicant s academic status and performance as a teacher; a lectureship is renewable for one year only. The number of these lectureships in any given year will vary, and are not guaranteed. Joint-degree candidates who have completed both B exams by the end of the 6th year are eligible to request employment as lecturers for a 7th and final year, provided department funding is available and provided they show evidence of having sought employment elsewhere. PhD students who will have completed their degree requirements by the end of the fifth year, and who have applied for fellowships, may also apply to continue teaching for another year as Lecturers. The number of lectureships varies from year to year and is not guaranteed. Such an appointment will be made only after a substantive review of the applicant s academic status and performance as a teacher; students applying for the lectureship should submit the same materials required for the fifth-year review. In all cases, theses and/or dissertations must be filed by the end of the first term of lectureship. VII. The Graduate Admissions and Review Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies The Graduate Admissions and Review Committee consists of five or more members of the Graduate Faculty of the Field of English, including the Director of Graduate Studies. Its chief responsibilities are the admission of applicants to the graduate programs in English, and the review and adjudication of cases in which students are failing to make satisfactory progress through the program. The Director of Graduate Studies, who chairs the Committee and represents the long-range interests of the graduate programs, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Office of Graduate Studies in English and acts as an adviser
13 Procedural Guide English 13 to students and the Provisional Chair for entering students. The Director of Creative Writing acts in an advisory capacity to MFA students. VIII. The Graduate Policy and Curriculum Committee This standing committee of the department, which is made up of 4 members of the Graduate Faculty and 4 graduate students in English, with the DGS as an ex officio member, provides a formal mechanism for the exchange of ideas between faculty and students. One of the graduate student members should be an MFA student. The Committee s principal responsibility is to transmit to the English Graduate Faculty its advice on matters of policy affecting the graduate programs within the Field. Student members of the Committee also arrange informal orientation sessions for new graduate students. IX. Reading Groups and other Extracurricular Activities The concept of residence comprehends more than attending seminars and writing papers. An important part of one s education comes from informal contacts and extracurricular discussions. Every year there are several social gatherings, formal and informal, sponsored by the department. The department also encourages attendance at public lectures, readings, and conferences, and participation in reading groups and independent study groups with or without a faculty adviser. Graduate students can organize lectures, conferences, readings, workshops and other events on their own. Funds for this purpose are available from a variety of sources. Faculty hiring committees traditionally include one or two graduate students members, typically drawn from relevant students in the field who have passed their A-Exams and are not themselves on the job market. For more information on the work of hiring committees, and the procedures for selection of student members, please consult the memo on Hiring Committees.
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