VIII. Graduate Programs
Literary Studies/Theatre Studies in English
Admission to the Joint PhD Program normally requires an MA in English, an MA in Drama/Theatre, or an equivalent degree with at least an A- average in graduate work. Applications are considered by the Joint PhD Program Committee and a recommendation to admit or decline is forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies at the proposed home university.
Although students might choose either Literary Studies or Theatre Studies, innovative opportunities exist in the program to pursue work across these traditional disciplinary boundaries. The degree requirements consist of three one-semester (0.5 credit) graduate courses normally taken in the first year of the program; one general area seminar (0.5 credit) culminating in a written candidacy exam and a colloquium presentation; one intensive area seminar (1.0 credit) culminating in an oral and written candidacy exam; and a dissertation (2.0 credits). For purposes of the Joint PhD Program, the qualifying examination related to the student's knowledge of the subject area and field shall consist of the oral and written candidacy exam for the intensive area seminar.
The area seminars are structured directed-reading courses in two different fields, intended to provide concentrated training in the student's expected areas of research concentration and preparation for the written examination at the conclusion of each area seminar. The seminars involve regular consultations between the student and the seminar director. The general area seminar will normally be taken during the second and third semesters of the program (year one). The intensive area seminar will normally be taken in the fourth and fifth semesters of the program and will culminate in the oral candidacy examination (year two).
General Area Seminar (Year One)
The general area seminar explores an area in a field other than that in which the student has chosen to specialize and write a dissertation. The seminar emphasizes thorough general knowledge of the area's scope, relevant theoretical frameworks, and research methodologies, with due regard to the student's own teaching, research interests, and critical perspectives. The reading and other activities proceed in close consultation with an advisory committee consisting of an assigned area seminar director (who will normally be a faculty member other than the anticipated dissertation advisor) and two other faculty members. The area seminar director is selected from the core faculty in the student's resident institution, while the two faculty members may be from one or both institutions. This advisory committee, together with the PhD Director from the student's home university, comprises the student's candidacy examination committee.
Intensive Area Seminar (Year Two)
The intensive area seminar involves individualized, directed study of the immediate literary, cultural, and theoretical contexts of the student's approved dissertation subject. Ordinarily, the assigned seminar director is the confirmed dissertation advisor. Two additional faculty members serve in an advisory capacity, and together with two additional members of the graduate faculty (at least one of whom must be a member of the unit), plus the appropriate PhD Director or the chair of the academic unit, form the candidacy examination committee. The intensive area seminar ensures that the student's dissertation work is supported by a broad and contextualized understanding of the primary materials associated with the area of specialization and dissertation.
Both the written and oral examinations for the intensive area seminar shall constitute the qualifying candidacy examination. Upon satisfactory completion of these examinations the student is deemed to have met the Joint PhD Program standards and becomes a candidate for the PhD degree.
At the end of the first year of registration (usually in May) and once a year thereafter, a student is required to complete an annual research progress report detailing the achievements of the previous year and the objectives for the next year. The report must demonstrate satisfactory progress, and must be signed with comments by the advisor and PhD Director from the student's home university, and filed with both the program director and the Graduate Studies Office of the home university. Failure to submit a satisfactory report may result in the student being required to withdraw from the program.
Following successful completion of the two Area Seminars, the student must complete an original research project on an advanced topic. The advisory committee for the dissertation will consist of three members of the graduate faculty, one of whom will assume the primary advisory role. The dissertation should normally be between 50,000 and 75,000 words in length. The regulations and procedures at the university in which the student is registered will govern both the dissertation and the examination formats.
Students will be required to demonstrate reading knowledge of one language other than English, as approved by the Joint PhD Program Committee. Assessment of the student's reading knowledge will be based on the student's translation (with the help of a dictionary) of a critical passage, and a written analysis (in English) of the passage's critical implications. Evidence that a student has already demonstrated similar language ability at another university prior to admission may be submitted to the Joint PhD Program Committee with a request to have the language requirement waived. Credit will be given to any student who has fulfilled the language requirement through an MA-level examination. Credit will not normally be given for the completion of a university-level language course.
Typically the language requirement will be completed by the end of the fifth semester of study, and no later than the sixth semester (year two). A student who fails the language examination twice will normally be required to withdraw from the program.
At least five semesters of full-time study must be devoted to the doctoral program following the completion of a recognized Master's degree.