The PhD program seeks to train students to be productive scholars and teachers in the fields of both literary studies and rhetoric and composition. In course work, students read and analyze the important texts, current issues, and critical methodologies of the discipline. Drawing on the breadth of this preparation, students demonstrate their ability to recognize and produce scholarly arguments in designing the three comprehensive field papers in areas of scholarly interest and competence corresponding to recognized and emerging fields of study. Finally, the dissertation offers students an opportunity to design a focused research project in consultation with a dissertation advisor. Throughout the program, faculty works closely with doctoral students to develop their scholarly and professional identities in preparation for careers in academia.