For Current Students

The English Graduate Student Resources Canvas Site

The English Graduate Student Resources Canvas Page is a comprehensive resource page with links to program information, the Graduate Student Handbook, sample documents, and other resource webpages. Use it to find PhD program requirements, as well as information about registration and time schedules, teaching, and dissertation fellowships. This is also where to look for sample orals lists, dissertation proposals, and descriptions of various departmental procedures.

The Canvas site can only be accessed by departmental faculty and graduate students. Current students and English PhD jobseekers are automatically given access to the site. If you have trouble accessing the Canvas page, please contact department staff (

Graduate Student Social Committee

The Graduate Student Social Committee (GSSC) consists of one or more social chairs who are responsible for formal and informal, social and informational gatherings for students and faculty. Over the course of the school year, the GSSC organizes the various departmental social functions and informational meetings. All GSSC-sponsored meetings are open to all students, and the GSSC encourages participation in all of its projects and activities, which are publicized through flyers posted in the Department and e-mail messages. If you would like to bring a specific issue to the attention of the GSSC, contact the coordinators of the GSSC; if you are interested in volunteering for GSSC activities, you can contact the committee at

Graduate Student Assembly

The Graduate Student Assembly serves as a liaison between faculty and students to encourage communication and transparency in matters of departmental policy, funding, scheduling, degree completion, and other matters of student life. Recent and ongoing concerns include dissertation-year fellowships, job placement, tuition remission for advanced residency students, and student participation in programming and hiring committees.
All students are encouraged to participate in Assembly meetings, which are planned and organized by a group of cohort spokespersons: two (2) spokespersons per cohort between years 1 and 5, and three (3) for advanced residency students (6th year and above). In addition to organizing these meetings, cohort spokespersons are responsible for collecting feedback from their cohort and representing those views at subsequent meetings. In all instances of communication, cohort spokespersons are encouraged to present a variety of viewpoints, not only the majority opinion.
Once a month, cohort spokespersons and other interested students meet in a General Student Assembly (GSA). These meetings are open to all students and, when possible, precede social events. Prior to GSAs, spokespersons solicit input from students in their cohorts: cohort-specific needs and concerns; points of interest to the department at large; suggestions for future projects; etc. Following GSAs: (i) minutes are sent to the entire student body, ensuring that all students in the department, including those living far from campus or out of town, enjoy proxy access to these meetings; and (ii) spokespersons collect additional feedback from their cohorts through an online document open to all (like an in-cohort email thread). These documents and previous minutes serve as a guide for structuring future meetings.
In addition to GSAs, three other, less-frequent meetings facilitate communication within our department: in-person cohort meetings, planned by cohort spokespersons; meetings between cohort spokespersons and the Director of Graduate Studies; and “town hall” meetings, where all students can meet collectively with the Department Chair, the Director of Graduate Studies, the Department Coordinator, and (in the winter quarter) the Chair of the Admissions Committee. Town hall meetings in particular are an occasion for students to communicate questions and concerns outside of formal structures like GSAs and cohort meetings, and for the Department to communicate news regarding, and changes to, the program. (A tentative agenda for each town hall meeting is set at the GSA that precedes it, synthesising concerns and ideas that students are likely to raise.) All these meetings should occur at least once per quarter, and complement the flow of communication facilitated by GSAs.
Each cohort will hold an election on week 8 of the autumn quarter. Interested candidates are encouraged to self-nominate. Each spokesperson’s term will start at the beginning of the winter quarter, and conclude on week 10 of the following autumn quarter. At the beginning of their terms, the general student assembly, in consultation with the graduate student body at large, will be responsible for listing topics and issues to be addressed, and projects to be started or carried over from the previous year.