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Course Requirements

The PhD requires a total of 36 credit hours beyond the MA, of which 9 will be dissertation credit.  The remaining 27 hours (9 courses) will be graduate-level courses chosen by the student in consultation with his or her advisor as preparation for writing the second qualifying paper and dissertation.   It is expected that the student will enroll in at least one upper-level graduate research seminar.  At least 7 of the 9 courses must be in Linguistics or Romance Studies.


Language Requirement

Familiarity with two other Relevant Languages other than English and Spanish, one of which must be Latin or another Romance language, and the other of which must be a non-Indo-European language in contact with Spanish.  This requirement can be met by passing the Graduate Student Foreign Language Test, by certification by a qualified faculty member, by taking a one-semester class in the structure of the language, or by taking a two-semester graduate-level introduction to the language.


Qualifying Papers (written comprehensive examination)

The PhD written comprehensive examination will consist of two substantial essays from distinct areas of linguistics, demonstrating the student’s ability to conduct original, publishable research. The essays will be evaluated by a committee of two faculty members designated by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students are expected to consult closely with this committee as they prepare their essay for submission.


Dissertation Prospectus (oral comprehensive examination)

Toward the end of course work, students should seek out an appropriate faculty member as a dissertation director, with whom a dissertation proposal should be worked out (on the form and submission of the proposal see remarks on the MA thesis prospectus). Sometimes two co-directors are appropriate. The dissertation proposal is presented at an oral examination to a committee of five faculty members, at least three members of which should be from either the Department of Romance Studies or the Department of  Linguistics. During the actual writing of the dissertation, students are expected to consult regularly with the director and at least two other members of the committee.  The oral examination is expected to focus on the dissertation prospectus, but the committee may examine the student on other topics as well.


Dissertation Defense (final oral examination)

This exam centers on defense of the dissertation, but the committee reserves the right to question the student on other relevant topics.

Page updated 19 Apr 2019.