PhD Requirements

MA Level Pre-requisites

Since the courses Introduction to Graduate Studies and Literary Criticism are normally part of an M.A. program, students admitted to the Ph.D. program must take them for no credit in their first year of doctoral study if they cannot demonstrate (e.g., by their transcript) that they have mastered the material covered in such courses

Credits, Residency, and Grades

The Ph.D. requires a total of 60 graduate credits beyond an M.A. or M.S. degree; the Graduate School requires a minimum of 90 graduate credits, of which a maximum of 32 may be earned at the M.A. level. Credits earned for the Orientation and Teaching Practicum do not count toward the Ph.D.

Students must maintain residency at UC for 3 of 5 consecutive full-time terms taking12 graduate credits each term.

Of the 60 required credits, at least 36 must come from graduate courses passed with a grade of A or B; the C grade is not acceptable for the Ph.D.

Students may also take up to 12 credits of Research to prepare for their Candidacy Exams and the defense of the Dissertation Prospectus. In addition students can take eight credits of Teaching, Research or Service internships.

Introduction to Graduate Study and Professional Practices

RLL 7001 Introduction to Graduate Study (4 credits) will be offered every Fall semester to orient incoming students at both the M.A. and the Ph.D. level. This course introduces students to the expectations of the University, College, and Department, helping them adapt to graduate study. It reviews proper styles of bibliography, and introduces students to different methods of research. Finally, it prepares students for the job market by guiding them in the preparation of a professional portfolio that demonstrates teaching, writing, and research competencies.

Major Field and Dissertation Area

The Department offers two areas of study at the Ph. D. level: in Spanish literature and cultural studies and Latin American literature and cultural studies. Ph.D. students are encouraged to develop their own particular doctoral program according to their fields of interests, and their dissertation topic. For the Candidacy Exams students will choose three areas from the doctoral Reading list, plus the bibliography of their Dissertation prospectus. Students are encouraged to take a minimum of six graduate courses (24 credits) in the Major Field and Dissertation Area, but Ph.D. students are expected to read and research independently as much as possible in their Major Field and Dissertation Area.

Minor Field and Support Area

In the Minor Field students are encouraged to take a minimum of four graduate courses (16 credits). This field should have a connection with the Major Field and Dissertation Area, and serve to broaden and support the student's perspective on the Major Field. The student will choose one area from the doctoral Reading list to be included in the Ph. D. Candidacy Exams. The Minor field can be in French and Francophone studies, Literary theory, Pedagogy and Creative writing. It also could consist in courses taken outside the Department in such fields as English literature, German studies, Women's studies, European studies, History, International relations, Art history, or Instructional technology..

Comprehensive Reading Knowledge of a Third Language

While students will have mastered one language in the course of their MA programs (other than the language of the M.A. program), reading knowledge of an additional language is required for the Ph.D. This language should be other that the one chosen for the language requirement of the M.A. and should have a supporting role in the student's preparedness for research.

PhD Candidacy Exams

The Ph.D. Candidacy Exam is a four part exam with three questions related to the Major field and Dissertation area, and one related to the Minor field. The students will have four groups of two questions, eight questions in total, to choose four, one from each group. The exam will be administered along two weeks, allowing two days for each question, usually in the 3rd or 4th week of the Autumn term. Students must demonstrate their mastery of primary materials, thorough knowledge of secondary materials, and broad understanding of current directions in scholarship. The students are free to use the Library and all electronic resources, but strict use of citations, respect for intellectual property and originality in the analysis are expected.

PhD Dissertation

The Ph.D. dissertation requires substantial original research, giving evidence of high scholarly achievement. In principle, the PhD dissertation should be finished within one year after passing the Candidacy Exams. Candidacy expires four years after students pass the Candidacy Exam.