PhD in Hispanic Language & Literatures

The doctoral program in Hispanic Language & Literatures provides each student with a comprehensive knowledge of Hispanic literatures, their histories, and their major works. The program additionally enables students to develop thorough knowledge of a specific area of Spanish and/or Spanish American literature and culture. It also develops the conceptual and communicative skills needed to conduct and disseminate original research as well as the ability to be a successful teacher in the classroom. Candidates for admission should demonstrate a solid knowledge of the appropriate literature and written and oral competence in the language of study. The PhD program is open to those with a BA or MA in an appropriate field. A broad training in the humanities is advantageous.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a PhD in Hispanic Language & Literatures are expected to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of literature in Spanish from all historical periods.
  • Demonstrate a near-native mastery of the Spanish language.
  • Demonstrate the skilled application of research methodologies and techniques, and produce and defend an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the field.
  • Be prepared to communicate and teach specific works and literary concepts at the college and university level.
  • Adhere to ethical standards in the discipline.

Course Requirements

Sixteen courses (64 credits) on Hispanic literature and cultural studies at the 500 level or above are required for this degree, including at least two seminars (GRS LS 850) per semester, as well as completion of appropriate coursework and training in pedagogy, as per departmental and GRS policies (e.g., GRS LL 690 Proficiency-Based Language Teaching 1, CPT, GRS LP 631 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers 1 and GRS LP 632 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers 2). For details regarding the distribution of required courses, see the graduate program handbook.

Language Requirement

Degree candidates are expected to possess native or near-native command of written and spoken Spanish. Students must demonstrate reading knowledge of at least one language in addition to Spanish that will be useful in their research work. In some areas of specialization, two or more additional languages may be required.

Qualifying Examinations

Qualification for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy is achieved by successful completion of the following: (1) a series of written examinations covering Hispanic literatures from distinct literary periods, including at least one examination on Peninsular literature and at least one on Latin American literature, and (2) the preparation of a research paper and bibliography which must then be defended in an oral examination. Please see the graduate program handbook for detailed instructions regarding the content, format, schedule, and preparation of these examinations.

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

Candidates shall demonstrate their abilities for independent study in a dissertation representing original research or creative scholarship. A prospectus for the dissertation must be completed and approved by the readers, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department Chair/Program Director. Candidates must undergo a final oral examination in which they defend their dissertation as a valuable contribution to knowledge in their fields and demonstrate a mastery of their fields of specialization in relation to their dissertation. All portions of the dissertation and final oral examination must be completed as outlined in the GRS General Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree.

Any PhD student who has fulfilled the requirements of the master’s degree program, as stated here, can be awarded a master’s degree.