Ph.D. Program

General Requirements

The Ph.D. in Spanish requires a minimum of 80 graduate credit hours, at least 50 of which must be completed beyond the Master's degree. Of the 50 graduate credit hours required beyond the M.A., a minimum of 24 must be completed at The Ohio State University. For a specialization in Iberian Studies and/or Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies (described below), 30 graduate hours of doctoral coursework, plus 20 graduate hours of Spanish 8999 (Thesis research) will fulfill program requirements. For a specialization in Hispanic Linguistics (described below), 36 graduate hours of doctoral coursework in Hispanic Linguistics, plus 14 hours of Spanish 8999 (Thesis research) will fulfill program requirements. 

Specializations Offered

Two possible specializations are offered in Spanish, one in Iberian Studies and/or Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies, the other in Hispanic Linguistics. Each of these areas of specialization requires of the student two fields of concentration. A specialization in Iberian Studies and/or Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies also requires a minor. Each specialization has specific curricular requirements that are described below. In addition to the fulfillment of course requirements, all students are required to pass the Candidacy Examination, to write a dissertation, and to pass a Final Oral Examination that includes a defense of the dissertation.

Entrance Requirements

A minimal requirement for entrance to the Ph.D. program is a Master's degree or equivalent graduate work in the discipline and area(s) of desired doctoral specialization. The Graduate School requires a GPA of at least 3.3 (on a scale of 4.0) in previous graduate-level work for admission to all doctoral programs at the University. Normally, however, the expectation of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is that successful applicants to its doctoral program will have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in previous graduate-level work.

Evaluation of Foreign Degrees

The Graduate Studies Committee will evaluate foreign degrees according to the following criteria: a) a five-year Licenciatura in the field of desired doctoral specialization will normally be considered the equivalent of the M.A. degree; b) in the case of a four-year Licenciatura or similar degree in the field of desired specialization, the Committee will take into account the writing sample(s) submitted, the presence or absence of a tesina in the applicant's previous degree program, as well as other significant academic experience in order to determine admission to the departmental Ph.D. program; c) students with a five-year Licenciatura or equivalent degree which is not in the field of desired specialization but in some field related to it (e.g., Anthropology, History, English, French) will be required to enter the Master's program, unless their previous studies included a significant number of courses in the field of desired doctoral specialization.

Specialization in Iberian and/or Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies

Fields of Concentration and the Minor
Students are required to have a primary concentration, a secondary concentration, and a minor. There are four possible fields of primary concentration, which are as follows:

  1. Iberian Studies: Middle Ages to the Baroque
  2. Iberian Studies: Enlightenment to Postmodernity
  3. Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies: Indigenous, Colonial, and National
  4. Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies: Modernity and Postmodernity (Approximately 1880 to the Present)

The fields of secondary concentration include all of the above, and in addition:

  1. Literary and Cultural Theory
  2. Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Cultures
  3. Latino Studies

The minor, which should complement the work of the primary and secondary concentration, may be taken in Literary and Cultural Theory, Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Cultures, Latino Studies, Hispanic Linguistics, or in a discipline offered by another department, such as English, History, Comparative Studies. Note: Theory and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Cultures are only available if not chosen as the Secondary Concentration.

Course Requirements
Students are subject to the following course requirements:

  1. Spanish 8870 (Research Methods and Design), and one course in Literary and Cultural Theory (unless previously taken);
  2. Four courses in the field of primary concentration, chosen from the options above; two of these must be at the 8000 level;
  3. Three courses in the field of secondary concentration, chosen from the options above; no overlap with the required course in Literary and Cultural Theory is permitted, if Theory is chosen;
  4. Three courses in the minor.

Language Requirement
A dictionary reading knowledge of two languages other than English and Spanish is required. The requirement may be fulfilled either through appropriate course work, or by special examination.
 

Specialization in Hispanic Linguistics

Fields of Concentration
Students are required to have a primary concentration and a secondary concentration, in addition to diversification courses and courses in general and theoretical linguistics. There are two possible fields of primary concentration, which are as follows

  1. Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology (Synchronic and Diachronic)
  2. Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics (Synchronic and Diachronic)

The fields of secondary concentration include the following:

  1. Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology (Synchronic and Diachronic)
  2. Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics (Synchronic and Diachronic)
  3. Sociolinguistics, Dialectology
  4. Romance Linguistics
  5. Portuguese Linguistics

Course Requirements
Students are subject to the following course requirements:

  1. Three courses in the field of primary concentration, chosen from the options above; two of these courses must be at the 800 level;
  2. Three courses in the field of secondary concentration, chosen from the options above;
  3. Three additional courses in linguistics for diversification, including one on the linguistic analysis of one of the required additional languages (see below);
  4. Three courses in general and theoretical linguistics to complement the areas of concentration; these courses must be taken outside the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, e.g., in Department of Linguistics, the Department of Philosophy, etc.

 

Entry Requirements for the Specialization in Hispanic Linguistics
Students entering the Ph.D. program with specialization in Hispanic Linguistics who have a degree from another university are expected to have a competency equivalent to that acquired by those who have been awarded a Master's degree with specialization in Hispanic Linguistics from The Ohio State University. A core group of subjects that should have been covered for successful doctoral studies includes the narrow equivalents of:

Spanish 7320: Syntax/Semantics/Pragmatics
Spanish 7340: Phonetics/Phonology/Morphology
Spanish 7360: Historical Lingusitics
Spanish 7380: Sociolinguistics

Additionally, students should have taken at least one second-level or advanced course in two out of the four areas mentioned above, i.e., the equivalents of Spanish 8330/8340 (Phonology II), Spanish 8330/8320 (Syntax & Semantics II), Spanish 8330/8360 (Historical Linguistics II), Spanish 8330/8380 (Sociolinguistics II), and/or equivalent courses in Psycholinguistics II. Such a set of courses cover two out of the four applicable M.A. reading lists on which our departmental Master's Examination in Hispanic Linguistics is based.

Before embarking on doctoral studies, candidates with an external M.A. degree must attain this competency level by taking appropriate courses where needed. Not more than one course in Spanish linguistics at the 7000 level may be counted towards fulfillment of the minimal course requirements at the doctoral level. Any preparatory course work at the 8000 level needs to be completed within the first year after entry into the program. Course work at the 5000 level in the Department of Linguistics, and at the 6000 level in any department other than Spanish and Portuguese is applicable to the doctoral program.

After acceptance into the Ph.D. program, external M.A. graduates, together with the departmental faculty in linguistics, will establish the appropriate amount and sequence of coursework to be undertaken, if any, in pursuit of this minimum competency level as specified above.

Time Frame for the Ph.D. Program

Graduate Teaching Associates in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese are allowed a maximum of eight semesters of departmental support while they are enrolled in the doctoral program. The usual period of study up to the Candidacy Examination is five to six semesters. During this time, the minimum course load for those receiving departmental support is three graduate level courses per semester. Note: those students on GTA appointment who have not taken Spanish 6801 (Teaching College Spanish and Portuguese), or the equivalent, prior to entering the program, must take that course in addition to two other courses during their first semester.

The writing of the doctoral dissertation, and its subsequent defense, normally take place during the final year and a half of residence.

The Candidacy Examination

In addition to fulfilling the course requirements described above, all students in the doctoral program are required to pass a Candidacy Examination before proceeding to the writing of the dissertation. The Candidacy Examination, which covers both the primary and the secondary fields of concentration, consists of two take-home written exams and a two-hour oral exam. The exam is intended to be not only a test of candidates' overall comprehension of their fields of concentration, but also of their capacity to undertake independent research, to analyze critically, to synthesize cogently, to articulate ideas clearly, and to generate original thinking. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate a convincing command of their reading lists, which, as a whole, should reflect the scope of their fields of concentration. In all instances examining committees will expect candidates to demonstrate the ability to conceptualize and contextualize beyond the contents of the course work they have taken.

The Doctoral Dissertation

The dissertation, required of all degree candidates, is the capstone of the student's doctoral work. In order that the candidate may establish a good foundation for the dissertation, and receive appropriate guidance as work is begun, the scope, methodology, and structure of the dissertation are proposed to his or her dissertation committee in the form of a prospectus, written and defended in the semester of or following the Candidacy Examination. Once the prospectus has been approved, the candidate proceeds to the writing of the dissertation, the language of which may be either English or Spanish. At all stages, the candidate works in close conjunction with his or her advisor, who functions as chair of the dissertation committee.

It is expected that a good dissertation will constitute a substantial scholarly contribution to the candidate's area of specialization. As such, it will not only demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the field on which the study is focused, but the ability to work independently, as well as the capacity to analyze and synthesize in an original fashion. The argument throughout will be clearly and convincingly presented, and it will be supported with appropriate critical discourse.

Final Oral Examination

Once the dissertation has been completed, the candidate undergoes a Final Oral Examination. This exam, which is conducted by the dissertation committee, includes but is not limited to discussion of the dissertation and the specific field of investigation on which it is based. The examination lasts approximately two hours, and is open to the public.

Further Information

Further information on the Ph.D. program will be found in the departmental Graduate Handbook.

Top of page

0