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World Languages & Cultures
The Spanish PhD program offers advanced study in the fields of Latin American and Peninsular literary and cultural studies. PhD students have the opportunity to work closely with the Spanish faculty, which is especially rich in the fields of U.S. Latino and Border Studies, Subaltern Studies (gender, indigenous, postcolonial) and Transatlantic Studies, as well as the genres of theatre, performance and poetry. Throughout the PhD program, students are mentored in establishing career goals and in networking with the wider research community in order to improve employability. Through rigorous coursework, students are taught to work both independently and co-operatively towards expressing original and critical ideas. PhD students also have the opportunity to work with the department’s many linguists for coursework in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). During the summer, doctoral candidates have an opportunity to teach not only basic language, but also upper-division courses. Students at all levels of Spanish graduate study are strongly encouraged to spend time abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. For more information please visit the Spanish Ph.D. website.
Minimum Degree Hours: 30 graduate credit hours
Successful completion of the department’s Spanish M.A., or an equivalent degree from another university is required. Significant deficiencies in this preparatory coursework must be made up before admission into PhD status; for minor deficiencies, admission is possible, but make-up courses may be added as additional requirements to those outlined below.
Students must take a minimum of 10 courses beyond the M.A. degree, including:
I. One additional core course under CLCS chosen from CLCS 6750, 6760, 6761, or 6762, Literary Theory and Criticism or Trends in Comparative Literature
II. A minimum of eight additional courses listed under Spanish
III. One additional course listed under Spanish or Comparative literary and cultural Studies (chosen from CLCS 6620 through 7900 but excluding 6880, 6970, and 6980). Some of these courses may be replaced by allied field courses, depending on the student’s special interests and the Supervisory Committee’s approval
IV. PhD students who are also TFs (Teaching Fellows) must attend a week-long teacher-training session immediately before each Fall Semester. TFs must also take Lang 6410 (Fall) if they were not enrolled in this or a similar course while studying for the MA
V. A minimum of 14 semester hours of thesis research (7970)
Completing Your Degree
At or near the end of all coursework, the student will take both a written and oral exam together called the Qualifying Exam. The 10 to 12 hour written exam will be based on the student’s coursework, as well as on a reading list. This list, submitted by the student to her/his Committee 6 months in advance, shall be amended, amplified, etc. by the Committee. The 2-hour oral exam will be scheduled after several weeks of preparation; it will focus on a topic chosen by the student (and approved by the Committee) in her/his major area of interest, revolving around a proposed dissertation subject. At the oral exam, the student may give a brief presentation outlining the problem, to be followed by a discussion involving sharply focused questions and answers; or s/he may submit a series of questions relating to her/his topic, which will serve as the basis for the discussion. The purpose of the oral exam is to see whether the student has thoroughly researched the proposed topic, can cogently set forth the essential points of an argument, and articulate organic and meaningful connections within the chosen field of scholarship and literary criticism, thereby helping the student to further elaborate and define the parameters of a suitable dissertation subject.
Dissertation & Final Exam
After the Qualifying Exam, the candidate will submit a written dissertation proposal to her/his Committee for approval. Upon completion of the dissertation and preliminary approval by the Committee, the candidate will make a public oral defense of the dissertation, which constitutes the “Final Exam.” The purpose of the Final Exam is to demonstrate the student’s ability to expound upon and defend the “thesis” of her/his dissertation.
The dissertation and the Qualifying/Final Exams’ questions and answers will be in the language(s) agreed upon by the student and the Committee (normally English and/or Spanish)
Students must prove “Standard Proficiency” (second-semester language course 1020) in two languages other than English and Spanish, or “Advanced Proficiency” (forth-semester language course 2020) in one language other than English and Spanish. Completion of the MA Language Proficiency requirement will satisfy part of this language requirement.
A minimum of 10 departmental courses beyond the M.A., including one theory course and eight courses in the area of specialization; one of these courses, possibly more in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, may be replaced by approved courses; a minimum of fourteen semester hours of thesis research dissertation-research credit hours.
During the first semester of graduate work, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), in conjunction with the Spanish Section Coordinator, will be the student’s academic advisor. At the beginning of this semester, the student should consult with, and get the written approval of the DGS and the Section Coordinator, which will be placed in the student’s department file, for all course work to be taken during that semester. By March 1 of the student’s first year (if matriculated in the Fall), the student will form a 5-member Supervisory Committee, in consultation with the DGS. At least one member of this Committee must be from outside the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Henceforth, the Chair of the Supervisory Committee will be the student’s advisor in planning her/his academic program, in preparation for the examination, and in the direction of the student’s work on the Ph.D. dissertation.