Graduate Programs

 

Overview of Graduate Programs*

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers the MA and PhD degrees with concentrations in Franco-Arab Studies (MA only), French and Francophone Studies, Hispanic Studies, and Italian Studies. Students interested in the Franco-Arab Studies concentration apply to the MA; all other students apply directly to the PhD program. All students in the PhD program may receive the MA degree en route after satisfactory completion of all of the second year requirements. For further information on the MA concentration in Franco-Arab Studies, please see the Web page for that program.

For students applying to the doctoral program with the MA in hand, appropriate placement and course transfer will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in consultation with the Graduate Advisors. The Department may transfer up to 4 courses (12 credits) into the PhD program and in very exceptional cases up to 9 (27 credits). For these students transferring a total of 9 courses (27 credits), the Research Paper (Thesis Substitute) and the 2nd-year qualifying exams are waived.

After completing all of the second-year requirements students will have the option of requesting an MA if they choose not to continue to the PhD or if they just want to have the diploma. Students are deemed academically ineligible to continue with the PhD program if they fail the 2nd-year qualifying exams twice, or have a failing grade, or have accumulated 9 credits of L grades.

The sequence of courses and assessments is as follows:

1st year

Fall

ROML700 + 2 courses

Spring

3 courses

2nd year

Fall

3 courses

Spring

Research Paper (Thesis Substitute) credits (992) + qualifying exams

3rd year

Fall

3 courses

Spring

3 courses

4th year

Fall

  Dissertation credits (994) + 2 courses + written examination (offered either in Fall or Spring)

Spring

Dissertation credits (994) + written examination (if not taken in the Fall)

5th year

Fall

Dissertation research and writing (994)

Spring

Dissertation research and writing + defense of dissertation (994)

Second-year qualifying exams are offered in spring semester only; fourth-year exams are offered in both fall and spring semester. Students on fellowships that entail a non-service year will take four courses per semester their first year. A Graduate School recruitment award, though it requires a minimal service assignment, is considered to be such a fellowship.

Grading for graduate students in courses is as follows: H (High Pass), P (Pass), L (Low Pass), and F (Failure). For written comprehensive exams the grades are S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory), but in exceptional cases, graders may award an H (High Pass). Students who receive one U on a written exam question may repeat the period or area question after an interval of at least three months. Students who fail more than one area must wait until the next semester’s exam period.

The following policies apply to the Ph.D. program:

  1. Should any questions arise regarding the acceptability of any courses taken prior to admission to the PhD program, the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the Graduate Advisory Committee, will review the student’s dossier and determine which courses will be acceptable.
  2. Upon consultation with the Graduate Advisor in their section, doctoral students may decide to take additional courses beyond the required number of courses, the purpose of which should be to strengthen preparation for the written comprehensive examination, to lay the groundwork for the dissertation, or to develop a wider range of teaching fields. Since interdisciplinary studies may be appropriate to some research projects and career plans, additional courses or even a minor may be recommended.
  3. All doctoral students are required to have proficiency in one additional foreign language. For students specializing in the Middle Ages or the Early Modern period, this language must be Latin.
  4. Teaching experience is an essential part of professional training. Therefore, teaching at least three contact hours a week for two semesters, or until teaching competence is acquired, is required of all doctoral candidates.
  5. No students will be admitted to either the MA or the PhD program in Romance Languages for part-time study.

The Graduate Student Services Manager’s office houses a selection of current imprints on how to do research and how to write a thesis or dissertation for you to consult (David Sternberg’s How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation, Miller and Taylor’s The Thesis Writer’s Handbook; Writing and Defending a Thesis or Dissertation in Psychology and Education, and Harman and Montague’s The Thesis and the Book). Some of these offer good advice, though not all of it is pertinent to a literary thesis. In all matters of format, the Graduate School’s Thesis and Dissertation Guide takes precedence.

 






*Description of the new graduate program, which will go into effect in the academic year 2015/2016, with students admitted in the Fall 2015. The current requirements for the graduate programs are listed in the webpages of the individual language sections.