PhD Course Requirements
A minimum of 30 credit hours are required beyond those required for the MA, distributed as follows:
I. 18 hours of graduate CMLT courses
II. 9 hours of graduate courses appropriate to the student's program of study in other literature and related departments (e.g., Anthropology, Art History, Drama, History, Philosophy, Women's Studies)
III. 3 hours of CMLT 9300 (Dissertation).
No more than 3 hours of CMLT 8980 (Independent Study) may be counted in category I. All students must enroll for 3 hours of CMLT 9300 the semester in which they are to receive their degree.
At least 6 hours of credit in category II must come from courses in which substantial use of a foreign language is required, as opposed to courses in English or those involving literature primarily in translation. Students whose native language is not English may not satisfy this foreign language course requirement by courses in their native language, but may do so by courses in the English department or courses in other departments using English translations.
For PhD students, the Graduate School requires that 16 or more hours be in 8000- and 9000-level courses in addition to research (9000) and dissertation writing (9300).
All new TA's are required to take the department's teaching practicum, GRSC 7770, which cannot be counted toward the required 30 credit hours.
The Graduate School requires that students maintain at least a 3.0 average in all courses taken for the degree. Credit will not be awarded for any grade lower than a “C”.
Selection of Advisory Committee and Major Professor
Before the end of the first year of residence PhD students, in consultation with the graduate coordinator, must choose a major professor and an advisory committee consisting of a major professor and two other members. The advisory committee may remain unchanged during a student’s entire doctoral program, though changes in the original committee will sometimes be necessary. It is most important that those who serve on the advisory committee when the dissertation research is undertaken be faculty members knowledgeable in the areas of the student’s research. The major professor must be a full member of the graduate faculty, and will normally be a member of the Comp. Lit. faculty. In exceptional circumstances a student may petition to have a major professor from another department, to be approved by a majority of the Comp. Lit. Graduate Faculty. A student may also choose to have co-chairs of the advisory committee who serve jointly as major professor, and who must then both be full graduate faculty members. The other members of the advisory committee may be full or provisional members of the graduate faculty. A total of two members of the advisory committee must be part of the Comp. Lit. faculty. There may be one external member, not affiliated with the University, on the advisory committee.
A dissertation must be accepted by two of the three committee members.
The advisory committee, in consultation with the student, is charged with planning the student’s program of study. It is also charged with approving the program of study, arranging the comprehensive written and oral examinations, approving the prospectus for the dissertation, approving the completed dissertation, and approving the defense of the student’s research. The committee should advise the student of required research skills and other requirements.
PhD Comprehensive Examinations
The PhD exams call upon students to demonstrate the knowledge, both general and specific, within the boundaries of their chosen fields, which they have acquired through course work and independent study during their residency in the program. The exams consist of both written and oral components to be taken altogether within a 3-week period, usually at the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth year of residency. For the written exam a student shall have 2 weeks to write three typed papers of 10-20 pages (i.e., 2500-5000 words), one in each of the following three fields:
I. History of literary criticism, literary theory, and methodology of comparative literature
II. A major literature
III. A period or genre, considered from the perspective of the literature in at least three different languages or geographical areas.
The papers will discuss and illustrate topics, or a choice of topics, which are set at the beginning of the 3-week period by the student’s major professor and the other members of the advisory committee, on the basis of reading lists in each of the three fields. Students are responsible for drawing up their reading lists in consultation with, and subject to the approval of, their major professor and committee, about one year before taking the exams (see sample reading lists on file in the departmental office). In addition to having read the works on these lists, students will also be expected to be familiar with the historical and intellectual background relevant to their areas of concentration, and to have consulted histories of literature and the major interpretations of items on their lists.
Students must have passed the written component before taking the two hour-long oral exam, to be held one week after the three papers are turned in. The oral will cover the same topics as the written exam. Both the written and oral exams are graded by the advisory committee on a pass/fail basis. Each of the three papers on the written exam, as well as the oral exam, must be passed by two of the committee members in order to pass the comprehensive examinations as a whole. If any part of the written exam is failed, the advisory committee will decide whether a student should be required to retake the entire PhD exams, or only the part or parts which were failed. At least one semester must elapse before taking the exams again; no more than one re-examination shall be given.