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Dual-title PhDs

Dual-title PhDs

PhD students in the English graduate program may pursue a dual-title doctoral degree with one of our three partnering programs: the Department of African American Studies; the Department of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Visual Studies program. Interested English graduate students should apply to the partnering program in time to complete required courses in both departments; dual-title degree students can expect to spend an extra semester completing their coursework. Before preparing for their comprehensive doctoral exams, dual-title students will assemble a doctoral committee that includes faculty members from both departments. Upon completion of the doctorate, students earn a single, dual-title PhD. 

Why Pursue a Dual-Title Degree? 

A dual-title degree provides a legible pathway for students seeking interdisciplinary training in areas relevant to their thesis project. Students enrich and deepen their research by taking approved courses in materials, methods and methodologies with faculty and students in other departments. The structure of a dual-title degree program can also create opportunities for interdisciplinary scholarly projects. 

How to Apply 

Students applying to or enrolled in the English graduate program must apply separately to the co-sponsoring program of a dual-title degree. Interested students should contact the current faculty member in charge of the partnered program for explicit explanations and instructions; up to date contact information is available from the English graduate office. Please note that students must apply for the dual-title degree before taking their English PhD comprehensive examinations.  

Additional Considerations 

Although dual-title degrees are awarded only at the PhD level, interested MA students are encouraged to experiment with and begin coursework in a desired partner program. Students must complete the course requirements for both English and the partner program before graduation; note that this combined course load will be greater than that of the English degree alone. Dual-title partner programs may have additional requirements for the faculty composition of the doctoral committee. 

Learn More About English’s Dual-Title Degree Partners 

The Penn State Department of English currently offers dual-degree programs jointly with: