Registration | Writing | Committee & Defense | Submission | Summer Defense

Candidates preparing for their dissertation defense must register for ENGL 599 with their committee chair, and are required to earn at least total 32 credits in order to graduate. Candidates must submit an Independent Study/Research form ("the Purple Form") each semester they register. Students should attach a 100-150 word summary on the proposed work to the completed form.

  • Zero-Hour Registration
    After the required amount of credit hours (32) has been met, candidates may register for ENGL 599 for zero hours, under Schedule Option A or Schedule Option B. Students must submit a Graduate Student Petition along with the required Independent Study/Research form. Both forms are available outside the English Department Graduate Studies office (UH2002).

Writing the Dissertation
Candidates for the doctorate English Studies write dissertations presenting research in such areas as rhetorical theory and history, literature and literary theory, pedagogy, and language and literacy. Candidates for the doctorate in Creative Writing are expected to produce as a dissertation one of the following: a novel, a volume of short stories or poems, a full-length book of creative nonfiction, or a collection of essays.

Some recent dissertation titles are available here.

The format of the completed dissertation must meet the minimal requirements set by University Microfilms and the UIC library for archival purposes.

These include:


1. Maintenance of a 1" margins on the left side, and margins of no less than 1/2" on the other three sides. Proper margins are necessary for binding and microfilming purposes.

2. Consecutive numbering, within the prescribed text space, of pages, notes, and tables, with no missing numbers.

Students must also consult and follow the UIC Thesis Manual, available for download at the Graduate College website. Other formatting features are at the discretion of the dissertation director, in accordance with standards and practices of the discipline. If no other formatting changes are specified by the dissertation director, students are expected to follow the UIC Thesis Manual.

The faculty of the English department has agreed on the following formats:


• Dissertations in English Studies should follow the Graduate College format, the MLA Style Manual, the APA Style Manual, or the Chicago Manual of Style. The dissertation director will decide which style is followed.
• Dissertations in Creative Writing shall follow a format appropriate to the material, as determined by the director of the dissertation.

The necessary forms that accompany the completed thesis can be found on the Graduate College website's Thesis Page.

Committee & Defense
Candidates must complete a Committee Recommendation Form approximately three weeks to a month prior to the oral defense date. The Graduate College processes it and returns an Examination Report to the English Department. This form must be signed by the entire committee after the successful defense of the dissertation. Deadlines for submission are available on the Graduate College's Academic Calendar.

The program code for doctoral students in the English Department is: 20FS0311PHD.

Candidates defend the completed dissertation before a committee of professors with graduate standing. Normally, these would be the four members of the Prospectus Defense Committee, plus a fifth reader. One member of the Dissertation Defense Committee must be from outside the department.

According to the Graduate College, Emeritus faculty cannot chair a committee without the approval of the Graduate College. However, Emeritus faculty can sit on committees, put together reading lists, submit questions for the Field exams, direct the Research Exam paper, and can be fifth readers. Emeritus faculty do not count as full or tenured members of committees in determining if the committee makeup satisfies Graduate College requirements.

Dissertation Submission
Effective immediately, submission of doctoral dissertations to the Graduate College must be done electronically, as a PDF. Visit the EDT Homepage for a complete breakdown of the submission process.

There are also changes regarding the publication fee:

  1. Doctoral students who choose traditional publishing through ProQuest will pay $37.50, which includes the $25 ProQuest fee and a $12.50 library publishing fee.  This represents a net decrease, from $65.  NOTE:  The decision to choose traditional or open access through ProQuest is separate from open access for the UIC Library.

  2. Doctoral students who choose open publishing through ProQuest will pay $132.50, which includes the $120 ProQuest fee and a $12.50 library publishing fee.  This represents a net decrease, from $160.  NOTE:  The decision to choose traditional or open access through ProQuest is separate from open access for the UIC Library.

  3. It is recommended that traditional publication through ProQuest and open access through the UIC Library be chosen.  The charge for traditional ProQuest publication is much lower and the document will be available as open access through UIC.

  4. Until further notice, students should not pay any publishing fee at the cashier in the Marshfield building.  There will be a link added by September 1, 2011 to allow for credit card payment.  Students who submit an ETD now will be able to pay the proper fee online after that date.  Students always have difficulty getting to the Marshfield Building since they are usually already out of town, so this will represent a significant improvement, in addition to allowing credit card payment for the publishing fee.

  5. Candidates are asked who in the department should be emailed in regards to format approval. Those should go to Neil O'Callaghan, Graduate Coordinator (neilo@uic.edu).

Summer Defense
If a doctoral student is registered in spring (as he or she should be), and defends by June 20 or earlier, he or she does not need to register in summer (or fall). If on a visa, student should consult with OIS.

For a complete review of the defense process, please consult the Graduate College web page on Dissertation Defense.