Students in the Ph.D. program must pass a comprehensive written examination. This examination may be taken in the semester during which the student will complete the course work or after all other degree requirements are fulfilled. Students need to consult the Director of Graduate Studies to check eligibility and preparation for the exam.
Candidates for the Ph.D. degree are expected to have fluency and satisfactory critical writing skills in Spanish and demonstrate a solid knowledge of the literatures and cultures of Spanish America and the Iberian Peninsula. Thorough knowledge of the main scholarly and critical works relating to the chosen field of specialization will be assessed in these exams.
Comprehensive examinations are comprised of three written exams and one oral exam.
- Two written exams on general areas outside the area of specialization
Students will prepare a list of 30 to 40 primary and secondary sources with the faculty members responsible for those areas. These areas can be on a period, genre, or a theme covering several periods and genres; they can also be transatlantic. The second of these areas must be from the other side of the Atlantic of the area of specialization. Students will answer two out of three questions for these exams.
- One written exam covering the overall student’s area of specialization
Students will prepare a list of 50 to 60 primary and secondary sources with the faculty member responsible for this area. Students will answer two out of three questions for this exam.
- One written exam covering an elective area within the student’s area of specialization
Students will prepare a list of 25 primary and secondary sources with the faculty member responsible for this area. The purpose of this list is to start exploring works and topics for the doctoral dissertation. Students will answer one out of two questions for this exam.
- Oral exam
This exam is an opportunity for students to elaborate on their written exam questions and answers.
9:00 – 11:00 General Area 1
2:00 – 4:00 General Area 2
9:00 – 12:00 Specialization (overall area)
2:00- 5:00 Specialization (elective area)
2:00- 4:00 Oral exam
*All exams, written and oral, must be taken within a maximum period of 15 days. The oral exam (Day 3) will be scheduled at least 7 days after the specialization exams (Day 2).
Admission to Candidancy
When all courses and requirements are fulfilled and after passing the comprehensive exam, students apply to candidacy. Once admitted to candidacy, students have five years to complete the doctoral dissertation.
Within the first semester of being accepted into candidacy, students will be required to submit an annotated bibliography of a minimum of 25 sources. This bibliography will be evaluated by the dissertation committee and must be approved before submitting the dissertation proposal.
Once the dissertation director and the dissertation committee have approved the proposal, the director of graduate studies will schedule an oral defense. During this defense the student will present the proposal to the department and tenured and tenure-track faculty members will indicate whether it may be approved and forwarded to the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in the School of Arts and Sciences. The department, the school and the Dean of Graduate Studies must approve the student’s dissertation topic and dissertation committee. This committee consists of a director and two readers from the Department of Modern Languages. External committee members may be added upon approval by the faculty.