Graduate Handbook

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Welcome to the Graduate Programs of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University

Whether you are a prospective, new, or returning student, it is the aim of this Graduate Handbook of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese to provide you, the reader, with essential information regarding the graduate programs of the Department and the various policies and procedures that govern those programs. It serves as a supplement to the Graduate School Handbook, which contains more extensive information concerning the Graduate School of The Ohio State University, and which is available both in printed form and via the link above. The two handbooks should always be used together. Whenever there is a perceived conflict between departmental practice and regulations established by the Graduate School or the College of Arts and Sciences, it is always these latter regulations that prevail. Departmental requirements may be more specific with regard to a given point, but they are never meant to undermine or replace the rules of the Graduate School and the College of Arts and Sciences.    

We trust that the information contained both in this Handbook and in the Graduate School Handbook will make it possible for you to know what is expected of you as a student in one of our graduate programs, as well as to learn how you may best negotiate your way through the complex institutional system. It may be useful to remind yourself that the regulations and restrictions included here, in the Graduate School Handbook, and in other similar publications, have the intent of guiding you with as few problems as possible along the challenging path of postgraduate education and professional training. The rules are firm where the substance of the programs is concerned; they are flexible where it is a matter of recognizing needs created by individual academic circumstances.  It is very important that graduate students and faculty cooperate closely in the sometimes daunting, but always rewarding, enterprise of learning. As advisors, instructors and staff we look forward to a stimulating and fulfilling relationship with you.  We wish you every success in your graduate studies here.

For all questions relating to graduate studies, you are encouraged to get in touch with the people who can answer them: the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Rebeka Campos-Astorkiza; the Academic Program Manager, Rachel Sanabria; and your faculty advisor.

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SPPO Graduate Handbook

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Organizational Outline of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese


Graduate School

Alicia Bertone, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate School

Colleges of the Arts and Sciences

Gretchen Ritter, Executive Dean

Division of Arts and Humanities

Peter Hahn, Dean

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Laura Podalsky, Department Chair
Rachel Sanabria, Academic Program Manager
Adam Keller, Fiscal / HR Manager
Christiana Whitesel, Fiscal / HR Associate
Nicole Allender, Office Associate

Graduate Studies

Rebeka Campos-Astorkiza, Director
Rachel Sanabria, Graduate Program Coordinator 

Undergraduate Studies

Jonathan Burgoyne, Director
Rachel Sanabria, Undergraduate Program Manager
Michelle Coria, Academic Advisor  

Language Program

Holly Nibert, Director
Megan Lobert, Assistant Language Program Director 
Richard Henricksen, Assistant Language Program Director

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These lists intend to give a general perspective on the distribution of teaching and research interests of the faculty.  The area classifications refer to the primary teaching activities of the various professors; they are not meant to exhaust or limit individual research or teaching interests.

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III.1. General Requirements

The Ph.D. in Spanish requires a minimum of 80 graduate credit hours. For those who specialize in Hispanic Linguistics, 64 hours of graduate coursework in Hispanic Linguistics, plus 16 hours of a combination of Spanish 8193.02 (Ph.D. Exam Preparation) and 8999 (Research for Dissertation) will fulfill program requirements.  For those who specialize in Iberian Studies, Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies, or Inter-specialization Programs, 61 hours of graduate coursework plus 19 graduate hours of Spanish 8193.02 (Ph.D. Exam Preparation) and Spanish 8999 (Research for Dissertation) will fulfill program requirements.

A prior M.A. in the field may allow students to waive up to one year of coursework (6 courses), with a corresponding year less of funding.  These waivers will be determined by the Admissions Committee in consultation with the faculty at the time of admission, in order to determine the number of years of support in the offer letter.

Students may petition to waive up to two required graduate courses by substituting similar courses taken in a previous program. However, the total number of content courses taken at OSU will remain the same (17 for Literature & Cultures and 18 for HL). This means that using previous courses to fulfill requirements will allow students to take more elective courses. 

This petition to waive required courses based on previous coursework will consist of a brief explanation, the course syllabus, the student's curriculum plan and the advisor's endorsement. Petitions will be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies and discussed by the Graduate Studies Committee. Note that the previous course needs to be equivalent to an OSU course in terms of number of credit hours, content, readings and requirements. 

When students are accepted with funding, they will be guaranteed a tuition award, stipend, and health insurance subsidy for 5 years (if the student is entering with a B.A.) or 4 years (if the student is entering with an M.A. that allows them to waive one year of coursework).  Students may receive an additional year of funding if the student is making reasonable progress.  “Reasonable progress” means that students who are awarded an additional year of funding must have progressed to a point so that there is a reasonable expectation that they can finish their Ph.D. by the end of that additional year. Students that have received a fellowship that has added another year to their initial 5-year funding package (e.g. Presidential, FLAS or Fulbright-Hayes fellowships) can apply for an extra year of funding from the department. However, these students need to explain and justify how they have been delayed in their progress to degree.

Minimum Hours. A minimum of 80 graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree is required to earn a doctoral degree. If a master’s degree has been earned by the student, then a minimum of 50 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree is required. If the master’s degree was earned at another university, it must be transferred to this university. Of the 50 post-master’s hours, at least 24 graduate hours must be taken at this university. A student must be registered for at least three graduate credit hours during the semester(s) or summer term(s) of the candidacy examination, the semester or summer term of the final oral examination, and the semester or summer term of expected graduation.

The Graduate School Handbook Section 7 (Doctoral Degree Programs) contains important additional information on Ph.D. requirements.

III.2. Course Requirements

III.2.1. Program in Iberian Cultural and Literary Studies

Common Courses (3 courses, plus Graduate Workshops, 19cr). Required:

  • Spanish 7801 (3cr): College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, is required of all new GTAs
  • 2 Theory courses (6cr): Spanish 6700, Spanish 8800, or another course with a primary theory component in SPPO
  • At least 10 semesters of Graduate Workshops (10cr), including Spanish 8894: Colloquium (1c) and Spanish 8890: Publication Workshop (1cr)

Program Courses (14 courses, 42cr):
Must include at least nine courses organized around a major field and one or two minor fields defined by the student in consultation with the advisor, and approved in the Preliminary Program of Study.
Must include 3 courses to satisfy breadth requirement:

  • Students concentrating on literature and culture after 1700: 3 courses in pre-1700 literature and culture
  • Students concentrating on literature and culture before 1700: 3 courses in post-1700 literature and culture

May include courses outside of Iberian Studies, with the approval of the advisor. 
Up to 2 courses may be taken outside of SPPO to fulfill program requirements, with the approval of advisor. 
TOTAL: 17 courses / 61 graduate credit hours toward degree requirements

III.2.2. Program in Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies

Common Courses (3 courses, plus Graduate Workshops, 19cr). Required:

  • Spanish 7801 (3cr): College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, is required of all new GTAs
  • 2 Theory courses (6cr): Spanish 6700, Spanish 8800, or another course with a primary theory component in SPPO
  • At least 10 semesters of Graduate Workshops (10cr), including Spanish 8894: Colloquium (1cr) and Spanish 8890: Publication Workshop (1cr)

Program Courses (14 courses, 42cr):
Must include at least nine courses organized around a major field and one or two minor fields defined by the student in consultation with the advisor, and approved in the Preliminary Program of Study.
Must include 3 courses to satisfy breadth requirement:

  • Students concentrating on literature and culture after 1900: 3 courses in pre-1900 literature and culture
  • Students concentrating on literature and culture before 1900: 3 courses in post-1900 literature and culture

Up to 2 courses may be taken outside of SPPO to fulfill program requirements, with the approval of advisor. 
TOTAL: 17 courses / 61 graduate credit hours toward degree requirements 

III.2.3. Program in Hispanic Linguistics

Common Courses (9 courses, plus Graduate Workshops, 37cr). Required:

  • Spanish 7801 (3cr), College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, is required of all new GTAs
  • Core courses in SPPO at the 7000/8000 level (8 courses, 24cr): a) Phonetics and Phonology (2 courses); b) Syntax and Semantics (2 courses); c) Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics (2 courses); d) Historical Linguistics (1 course) e) Psycholinguistics and Applied Linguistics (1 course)
  • At least 10 semesters (10cr) of Spanish 8893: Colloquium (1cr) or Spanish 8891: Publication and Dissertation Workshop in Hispanic Linguistics (1cr)

Field Courses (7 courses, 21cr):

  • Major field (12cr):  Area of primary concentration (4 courses)
  • Minor field (9cr):  Area of secondary concentration (3 courses)

Major and Minor Fields are defined by the student in consultation with the advisor, and approved in the Preliminary Program of Study.  

Electives (2 courses, 6cr): Graduate-level course(s) in Portuguese with linguistic content may count for Electives and fulfill the language requirement. 
No more than 4 courses may be taken outside of SPPO to fulfill program requirements, unless approved by the advisor. 
TOTAL: 18 courses / 64 graduate credit hours toward degree requirements

III.2.4. Inter-Specialization Programs in Spanish and Portuguese

For students with clearly defined interests that cross programs, such as Latino Language, Literature, and Culture; Andean Studies; Luso-Brazilian Studies; Early Modern Iberian and Colonial Latin American Studies.

Common Courses (3 courses, plus Graduate Workshops, 19cr): Required:

  • Spanish 7801 (3cr): College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, is required of all new GTAs;
  • 2 Theory courses (6cr): Spanish 6700, Spanish 8800, or another course with a primary theory component in SPPO
  • At least 10 semesters (10cr) of Graduate Workshops, including Spanish 8893 or 8894: Colloquium (1cr) and Spanish 8890: Publication Workshop (cr)

Must include at least eleven courses organized around two major fields, or a major field and two minor fields, defined by the student in consultation with the advisor, and approved in the Preliminary Program of Study.

Must include 2 courses to satisfy breadth requirement:

  • Students concentrating on literature and culture after 1900: 2 courses in pre-1900 literature and culture
  • Students concentrating on literature and culture before 1900: 2 courses in post-1900 literature and culture

Up to 2 courses may be taken outside of SPPO to fulfill program requirements, with the approval of advisor. 

TOTAL: 17 courses / 61 graduate credit hours toward degree requirements

S/U option: Up to 4 courses (3cr each, outside of major field; no more than 1 course per semester) may be taken for an S/U grade.  To receive an S, students will generally be expected to complete all course requirements except for the final paper or research project.

III.3. Language Requirement

All programs require reading knowledge or basic competence in TWO languages other than English and Spanish:

  • One of these languages will be Portuguese, unless a student chooses another language that is directly relevant to their area of research, in which case the advisor will inform the Director of Graduate Studies with a short note explaining the choice.
  • The second language should also be pertinent to the student’s chosen area of research.

This requirement may be fulfilled in a number of ways:

  • by passing Portuguese 1103 or 5502 (or their equivalents) with a grade of B or better;
  • by passing Quechua 5503 (or its equivalent) with a grade of B or better;
  • by passing Catalan 5502 (or its equivalent) with a grade of B or better;
  • by passing 1103 or 5102 (or their equivalents) in another language with a grade of B or better;
  • by a translation exam administered by another department at OSU, unless a student chooses to translate into Spanish, in which case the exam will be administered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. This option is only available if a qualified faculty member is willing to administer the exam, and it must be arranged by the student well in advance of the examination date with the Director of Graduate Studies;
  • by previous language instruction, for which students must petition the Graduate Studies Committee with a detailed explanation, documentation (e.g., transcript, syllabus), and a statement from the advisor;
  • by native competence, for which students must have a qualified OSU faculty member submit written confirmation to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students are encouraged to use the summer to complete the language requirement.

III.4. Research Portfolio and application for graduation with an M.A.

III.4.1. Research Portfolio

Students who enter the program with a B.A. will typically complete their Research Portfolio in the Spring Semester of their second year. With the approval of their advisor, students who enter the program with an approved M.A. may complete this requirement in the Spring Semester of their first year. The Research Portfolio is a requirement for all the students in the integrated MA/PhD program. Students need to work with their committee during the entire process of putting together the Research Portfolio. 

The Research Portfolio is submitted by week 7 of the Spring Semester to an Advisory Committee consisting of the student’s advisor and two additional faculty members, and it is discussed during an Advising Meeting (1 hour in length), which will be held before the deadline posted by the Graduate School for the relevant spring semester (usually mid April).

The Research Portfolio should contain the following elements:

  • A Preliminary Program of Study (PPOS), signed by the student’s advisor, which includes:
    • A current Curriculum Plan.
    • A preliminary description and short rationale for the student’s intended Major Field and Minor Field or Fields for the Candidacy Exam.
    • A summer reading list of about 20 works related to the Major and/or Minor Field(s).  (Not required for students in Hispanic Linguistics.) The purpose of the summer reading list is to guide the student’s preparation towards the candidacy examination, and it should include readings that will help the students further their research in the fields.
  • A Research Paper of approximately 20-25 pages in length. Typically, the Research Paper will have begun in a course and been subsequently revised with a broader academic audience in mind and with a clear articulation of how its argument and methodologies fit within ongoing conversations in the relevant field or fields. The research paper should provide some evidence that the student is making progress toward becoming an independent scholar capable of producing a significant scholarly contribution of knowledge in their field. The student should be working toward potential publication of the project, and/or toward its integration into her or his dissertation. The Research Paper must be presented at a colloquium (SPAN 8893/8894) before the Advising Meeting. The format of the colloquium will be a presentation of approximately 30 minutes followed by a Q&A of approximately 15 min. The colloquium needs to be scheduled with the committee and with the colloquium coordinators. 

The Research Portfolio is a milestone in our program that helps determine whether a student can continue in the PhD. In addition, it serves as an opportunity for students to obtain an MA from OSU. After the Advising Meeting, the Advisory Committee will determine, based on the paper, presentation, and demonstrated progress in coursework, whether the student will be allowed to continue in the doctoral program; if they are not allowed to continue, the Committee will determine whether the student should be granted a terminal M.A. degree. Students will be notified of the committee's decision immediately after the meeting.

 If the Research Portfolio is judged Unsatisfactory, the Advising Committee must decide whether the student will be permitted to take a second examination (see section 6.3 of Graduate School Handbook). If a second examination is allowed, the Advising Committee will also determine whether the decision to continue in the doctoral program might be reconsidered and what should be the timeframe for a final decision. A student who has failed the examination twice is not permitted to take it again (see section 6.3 of Graduate School Handbook)

III.4.2. Application for graduation with​ an M.A.

The Department strongly encourages all students in the Integrated M.A./Ph.D. program to apply to graduate with an M.A. degree, prior to submitting their Research Portfolio. This option might be useful for students that started with a B.A. Students with M.A. degrees from other institutions or departments within OSU are also encouraged to apply. Students wishing to obtain an M.A. degree need to submit an Application to Graduate via gradforms.osu.edu to the Graduate School no later than the third Friday of the semester in which graduation is expected, even if they plan to continue in the Ph.D. program.

M.A. graduation requirements are the following:

  • A minimum of 30 graduate credit hours.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Research Portfolio and Advising Meeting

More details on M.A. degree graduation requirements can be found in Section VI the Graduate School Handbook.

III.5. Candidacy Examination

The Candidacy Examination is administered by the Advisory Committee, which is chaired by the candidate’s Advisor, who must be of Category P status. The Advisor has the responsibility for coordinating both the written and oral portions of the Candidacy Examination. The Advisory Committee includes, in addition, a minimum of three other Graduate Faculty members; of these, at least two must be of Category P status and at least two must be faculty members of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

The Candidacy Examination should take place after the fulfillment of all course and language requirements. If any of these requirements have not been completed before the semester of the Candidacy Examination, the student should petition in writing to the Graduate Studies Committee for an exception. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information about this petition. Students should go over their curriculum plans with the Director of Graduate Studies before the beginning of the semester planned for the exam to make sure that all of the requirements have been fulfilled. Students need to submit Application for Candidacy via gradforms.osu.edu and have this approved by the program and their advisor at least two weeks before the oral's proposed date. The oral examination must take place during announced university business hours, Monday through Friday.

III.5.1. Final Program of Study

The Final Program of Study must be submitted to the Advisory Committee at least 6 weeks before the Candidacy Examination is scheduled. The Final Program of Study must include the following components:

  1. A completed Curriculum Plan.
  2. A brief description and rationale for the student’s Major Field of study and finalized reading list*. The description should be limited to about one single-spaced page. Typically, the Major Field will be an academic job category.  The reading list should both provide coverage of the broad field and locate the student’s specific interests within it
  3. A brief description and rationale for the student's Minor Field of study and finalized reading list*. A student may have two Minor Fields with the approval of the advisor. This description should also be limited to about one single-spaced page.
  4. A concise statement of the student’s teaching experience thus far, and plans for future teaching in the department.
  5. A concise timeline for the completion of all requirements and graduation.

*The reading list for both major and minor together would normally include between 80-120 items.The reading list is not required for students in Hispanic Linguistics.

III.5.2. Dissertation Prospectus

The Dissertation Prospectus (a minimum of 15-20 double-spaced pages, plus bibliography) must be submitted to the committee at least two weeks before the oral portion of the Candidacy Examination. The purpose of this document is to provide a detailed description of the scope and methodology of the proposed dissertation, as well as a bibliography of those works that will be utilized in the writing of the dissertation. The Dissertation Prospectus should:

  1. state the problem that the candidate proposes to solve;
  2. explain the significance of the project and its relation to current scholarship in the field;
  3. describe the candidate’s current knowledge of the subject;
  4. indicate the direction his or her investigation will take;
  5. reflect his or her familiarity with relevant bibliographical materials and critical methods
  6. include an outline of the organization and structure of the work, with some explanation of what the various sections might contain.

The specific form that the prospectus takes is a matter that is worked out between the candidate and the Advisor. At the very least, it should contain sections addressing the following:

  1. Abstract: The abstract is a paragraph (200-500) describing the proposal so that the general academic reader who is unfamiliar with the topic can understand it.
  2. Discussion of the research objectives and significance of the project: This section presents the research problem and/or working hypothesis, explains why the problem is important in the field, and discusses how this study relates to other work in the field in general and to the candidate’s own prior research.  It requires a brief review of the existing literature on the topic to place the formulation of the problem in the context of research on the topic or text to date. The approach should be synthetic and critical, and not just enumerative and descriptive.
  3. Substantial description of the theoretical framework and methodology of the study: This section describes the theoretical and/or analytical applications used to achieve the research objectives.  It first proposes the corpus, data or text base and the method of collection and/or selection, and then sets forth the approach or approaches to be used in studying the basic materials, dividing the research task into sequences and establishing a hypothetical calendar for completing them.  
  4. An outline of the organization and structure of the dissertation, with some explanation of what the various sections will contain
  5. Expectations and summary of preliminary conclusions: This section specifies the results expected from the study and what the most important conclusions of the project are likely to be. It serves as a recapitulation of the significance and need for the study.
  6. Selective Bibliography: This section lists the publications with greatest relevance to the proposed study and/or referred to in the proposal.
III.5.3. Written Portion of the Candidacy Examination

For students in Iberian Studies and Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies, the written portion of the Candidacy Exam consists of a take-home examination of 4 days (96 hours) duration, in which the student will compose two essays in response to two questions, one of which is dedicated to the student’s Major Field and one of which is dedicated to the student’s Minor Field or Fields. The student will typically select from among four to six questions (two in each field) prepared by the Advisory Committee. The total response must be no longer than 25 double-spaced pages in a 12-point font.

For students in Hispanic Linguistics, the written portion of the Candidacy Exam consists of two publishable research papers, one in the student’s Major Field and one in the student’s Minor Field.

For students in an Inter-Specialization Program, the written portion of the Candidacy Exam will follow one of the formats described above as determined by the examination committee.

III.5.4. Oral Portion of the Candidacy Examination

The oral portion of the Candidacy Exam must follow no sooner than one week but within two weeks (i.e., 7-14 days) after the written portion is turned in. The oral exam lasts two hours, and addresses: the reading lists of the Major Field and Minor Field or Fields (except for students in Hispanic Linguistics); the written portion of the exam; and the Dissertation Prospectus.  At least thirty minutes of the oral exam will be dedicated to the Dissertation Prospectus.

The student may pass the Candidacy Exam but may be required to make changes to the Dissertation Prospectus. A final version of the Dissertation Prospectus must be submitted to the Advisory Committee, the Director of Graduate Studies within two weeks of the oral portion of the Candidacy Examination.

Failure of the Candidacy Examination occurs if the Committee considers either of the following to be the case: A) the written and/or oral portions of the exam indicate that the candidate is not ready to proceed to a dissertation, owing to insufficient knowledge of the field; B) the candidate is insufficiently focused on the dissertation project, which makes it unlikely that he or she will be able to finish the dissertation in a timely manner. In case of failure, the Committee can specify the nature of a repeat examination. 

III.6. Dissertation

III.6.1. Purpose

The dissertation is a scholarly contribution to the candidate’s area of specialization.  It should demonstrate knowledge of the field of study, the ability to work independently, and the capacity to make an original contribution to scholarship. The argumentation should be clearly and convincingly presented and should be supported with appropriate critical discourse. The dissertation may be written in either English or in Spanish.

III.6.2. Dissertation Committee

The Dissertation Committee is composed of the student's Advisor, who must be a category P Graduate Faculty member, and a minimum of two other Graduate Faculty members, at least one of whome must be a faculty member of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The Advisor serves as the dissertation director and chair of the Dissertation Committee. The candidate, in consultation with the Advisor, decides on the composition of the Dissertation Committee. This must be done no later than four weeks following the Candidacy Examination. The committee should be formed so as to provide appropriate advice and support to the candidate in the development of the dissertation. The various members may or may not be the same as those who served on the Advisory Committee for the Candidacy Examination. 

III.6.3. Writing the Dissertation

 Once the prospectus has been approved the candidate may proceed with the completion of the dissertation. During the writing of the dissertation, the Dissertation Committee provides the candidate with advice and guidance, as appropriate and necessary. Naturally, the major guidance on the dissertation remains in the hands of the Advisor who keeps the other members of the Committee informed about the progress of the dissertation and submits the annual narrative report on the candidate. If there are major changes in scope, topic or methodology that substantially modify a dissertation, the initial prospectus procedure must be repeated, and the revised prospectus must be submitted to the Dissertation Committee. During all stages in the completion of the dissertation, effective communication between the Advisor and the other committee colleagues is essential.

III.6.4. Dissertation Draft Approval and Scheduling the Final Oral Examination

At the beginning of the semester that the student plans to defend their dissertation and graduate, an Application to Graduate must be submitted via gradforms.osu.edu by 12:00 noon on the Wednesday preceding the third Friday of that same semester. This application needs to be approved electronically by the Advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies and the SPPO Chair by the third Friday, the established Graduate School deadline. The student must be enrolled for at least three graduate credit hours during the semester in which the examination is taken. 

To schedule the final exam the student must submit an Application for Final Examination on gradforms.osu.edu and have this approved by each dissertation committee member at least two weeks before the proposed defense date. In order for the members to approve this application, they need to have seen and approved a draft of the dissertation. A dissertation committee member’s approval of the dissertation draft means that the committee member judges it to be of sufficient merit to warrant holding the final oral examination. If the dissertation draft merits the members’ approval, then they can approve the Application for Final Examination. Note that in order to ensure that the readers have sufficient time to read the dissertation and that the candidate has sufficient time to make requested changes in the manuscript, the provisional complete draft must be in the hands of the Dissertation Committee no later than four weeks before the oral defense. 

Format Review. At the time the Application for Final Examination is submitted, the student must submit the complete, word-processed dissertation draft to the Graduate School for format review at the time the Application for Final Examination form is submitted. The dissertation must conform to Graduate School format requirements as described in the Guidelines available on the Graduate School website.

Once the Final Oral Examination is scheduled, the Dean of the Graduate School appoints the Graduate Faculty Representative. The Graduate Faculty Representative is a Category P Graduate Faculty member who is neither a faculty member in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese nor a member of the Dissertation Committee. It is the responsibility of the candidate to deliver a copy of the complete, typed dissertation to the Graduate Faculty Representative no later than one week before the final oral examination.

After the final oral examination committee has been approved by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Faculty Representative has been assigned, the Report on Final Examination and Report on Final Document are made available to the examination committee. The final oral examination must take place during announced university business hours, Monday through Friday.

III.6.5. Final Oral Examination

The Final Oral Examination tests originality, independence of thought, the ability to synthesize and interpret, and the quality of research presented. It 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. The examination begins with a succinct presentation of the dissertation research by the student, followed by at least one hour of discussion of the research and questions of and answers by the student.

Video Conferencing. All examinations involving video conferencing must adhere to the Graduate School’s guidelines for video conferencing in Appendix B

III.6.6.  Final Oral Examination Committee

The Final Oral Examination Committee is composed of the student’s Dissertation Committee, plus the Graduate Faculty Representative.  In addition to being a full voting member of the Final Oral Examination Committee, the Graduate Faculty Representative reports to the Graduate School a judgment of the quality of the examination, the dissertation, and the student’s performance. It is expected that every candidate will have sufficient knowledge of both English and Spanish to be able to conduct the examination in either language.  The student is responsible for requesting that the Graduate Faculty Representative have adequate reading competency in Spanish if the dissertation is written in that language. The Advisor serves as chair of the Final Oral Examination Committee.

All members of the Final Oral Examination Committee must be present during the entire oral examination.  All committee members are expected to participate fully in the questioning and the decision on the result.

III.6.7.  Result of the Final Oral Examination

The candidate is considered to have completed the Final Oral Examination successfully only when the decision of the Final Oral Examination Committee is unanimously affirmative. Each examiner indicates judgment by signing the Final Oral Examination Report form that must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the posted deadline for the semester of graduation. 

Should the Graduate Faculty Representative cast the only negative vote, or find that the examination does not meet the required standards, the examination should be halted and referred to the Graduate School for review. The examination may then be rescheduled without prejudice to the candidate once the issues raised by the Graduate Faculty Representative have been satisfactorily resolved.

 If the examination is judged unsatisfactory, the Final Oral Examination Committee must decide whether the student will be permitted to take a second Final Oral Examination, and must record that decision on the Final Oral Examination Report form. If a second examination is held, the Final Oral Examination Committee must be the same as the original one unless a substitution is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. No student is permitted to take the Final Oral Examination more than twice.

On written appeal by the student or a member of the Final Oral Examination Committee, the Policy and Standards Committee of the Council on Research and Graduate Studies reviews the Final Oral Examination to ensure its conformity to Graduate School rules and to determine if it was conducted fairly and without prejudice to the candidate.

After successfully passing the examination, a definitive version of the revised dissertation must be approved by the members of the Dissertation Committee.  The committee members indicate their approval by signing the form Final Approval of Dissertation form, which must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than one week before commencement. At this time, the student must also submit to the Graduate School the definitive version of the dissertation, along with an abstract of 350 words. All dissertations are required to be submitted electronically in PDF format. Return to Top

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IV.1. General Requirements

The Ph.D. in Portuguese 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.

A student must be registered for at least 3 graduate credit hours during the semester(s) or summer term(s) of the candidacy examination, the semester or summer term of the final examination, and the semester or summer term of expected graduation.

The Graduate School Handbook Section 7 (Doctoral Degree Programs) contains important additional information on Ph.D. requirements.         

IV.2. Academic Standards

To be in good standing in the Graduate School, a student must maintain a graduate cumulative point-hour ratio of 3.0 or better in all graduate courses and must maintain reasonable progress toward fulfilling graduate program requirements.

IV.3. Admission to the Ph.D. Program

A minimal requirement for entrance to the program is a B.A. in Portuguese or in a related field, such as Latin American Studies or Romance Languages. A prior M.A. in the field may allow students to waive up to one year of coursework (6 courses), with a corresponding year less of funding. These waivers will be determined by the Admissions Committee in consultation with the faculty at the time of admission, in order to determine the number of years of support in the offer letter. 

Students may petition to waive up to two required graduate courses by substituting similar courses taken in a previous program. However, the total number of content courses taken at OSU (17) will remain the same. This means that using previous courses to fulfill requirements will allow students to take more elective courses. 

The petition to waive required courses based on previous coursework will consist of a brief explanation, the course syllabus, the student's curriculum plan and the advisor's endorsement. Petitions will be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies and discussed by the Graduate Studies Committee. Note that the previous course needs to be equivalent to an OSU course in terms of number of credit hours, content, readings and requirements. 

The Graduate School requires a CPHR of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) for work done as an undergraduate; for all previous relevant graduate work, if any, a CPHR of 3.0 or above is required. Normally, however, the expectation of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is that successful applicants will have a CPHR of 3.5 or higher in previous graduate-level work. See Graduate Admission, for application requirements and guidelines. Preference will be given to candidates with some level of Spanish. 

IV.4. Curricula

A minimum of 61 graduate credits hours of graduate coursework, plus 19 graduate hours of Portuguese 8193.02 (Ph.D. Exam Preparation) and Portuguese 8999 (Research for Dissertation) will fulfill program requirements.

Common Courses (8 courses, plus Graduate Workshops, 37cr). Required:

  • Spanish 7801 (3cr): College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, is required of all new GTAs
  • 2 Theory courses (6cr): Spanish 6700, Spanish 8800, or another course with a primary theory component in SPPO
  • Span 8890, Publication Workshop (3cr)
  • PORT 5510, Literatures/Cultures in Portuguese from the Middle Ages to Neoclassicism; PORT 5520, Literatures/Cultures in Portuguese from Romanticism to Modernism; PORT 5530, Literatures/Cultures in Portuguese from Modernism to the Present; PORT 5580, Cinema of the Portuguese-Speaking World
  • At least 10 semesters of Graduate Workshops (10cr), including Spanish 8894: Colloquium (1cr)

Elective Courses (9 courses, 24cr):

  • 6 additional courses on the Portuguese-Speaking World.  May include PORT 7300, Studies in Portuguese Linguistics; PORT 7500, Studies in the Literatures/Cultures of the Portuguese-Speaking World; PORT 8500, Seminar in the Literatures/Cultures of the Portuguese-Speaking World; SPAN 7595, Comparative Topics in Luso-Hispanic Literatures/Cultures; SPAN 8595, Seminar in Comparative Luso-Hispanic Literatures/Cultures; or courses in other departments
  • 3 electives, at least one of which must be from the Department’s Iberian and Latin American offerings in Spanish*

* Fulfills one of the two foreign language requirements (besides Portuguese and English)

Up to 2 courses may be taken outside of SPPO to fulfill program requirements, with the approval of advisor.
TOTAL: 17 courses / 61 graduate credit hours toward degree requirements

IV.5. Language Requirement

The Ph.D. program requires reading knowledge or basic competence in TWO languages other than English and Portuguese:

1. One of these languages is Spanish, and is fulfilled by graduate coursework in the Department (at least one elective).
2. The second language should be pertinent to the student’s chosen area of research, and can be fulfilled in a number of ways:

  • by passing the 5101/5102 series or 1103 (or their equivalents) in another language with a grade of B or better;
  • by passing Quechua 5503 (or its equivalent) with a grade of B or better;
  • by a translation exam administered by another department at OSU, unless a student chooses to translate into Portuguese, in which case the exam will be administered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. This option is only available if a qualified faculty member is willing to administer the exam, and it must be arranged by the student well in advance of the examination date with the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • by previous language instruction, for which students must petition the Graduate Studies Committee with a detailed explanation, documentation (e.g., transcript, syllabus), and a statement from the Advisor.
  • by native competence, for which students must have a qualified OSU faculty member submit written confirmation to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students are encouraged to use the summer to complete the language requirement

IV.6. Research Paper/Presentation and M.A. Terminal Degree Option

In order to assess students' progress toward the Ph.D., students will submit a research paper (approximately 25 pages) to their Advising Committee, consisting of the student's advisor and two additional faculty members, by the seventh week of the fourth semester. The advisor (or co-advisor) and at least one other member of the Advising Committee must be members of the Portuguese faculty.

Typically, the Research Paper will have begun in a course and been subsequently revised with a broader academic audience in mind and with a clear articulation of how its argument and methodologies fit within ongoing conversations in the relevant field or fields. The research paper should provide some evidence that the student is making progress toward becoming an independent scholar capable of producing a significant scholarly contribution to knowledge in their field. The student should be working toward potential publication of the project, and/or toward its integration into their dissertation. Students will present an abbreviated version of this paper in SPAN 8894, the Literatures and Cultures Colloquium, by the tenth week of the semester. The format of the colloquium will be a presentation of approximately 30 minutes followed by a Q&A of approximately 15 min. The colloquium needs to be scheduled with the Advising Committee and with the colloquium coordinators.  Students will work closely with their advisor and committee in the preparation of this paper.

The Research Paper is a landmark in our program that helps determine whether a student can continue in the PhD. In addition, it serves as an opportunity for students to obtain an MA from OSU. The committee, in consultation with the Portuguese faculty, will evaluate the student on the quality of the paper and presentation as well as their progress in coursework, in order to determine if the student will be allowed to continue in the doctoral program; if they are not allowed to continue, the committee will determine if the student should be granted a terminal M.A. degree. The Advising Committee will meet with the graduate student to communicate the decision and, when appropriate, to advise the student on how to best carry out the remaining course of study for the Ph.D. The graduate student will also be expected to bring to the meeting a self-assessment of their coursework, research experience, and career goals. This advising meeting will last up to an hour and will be held before the deadline posted by the Graduate School for the relevant spring semester (usually mid April). Students will be notified of the committee's decision immediately after the meeting. 

If the Research Portfolio is judged Unsatisfactory, the Advising Committee must decide whether the student will be permitted to take a second examination (see section 6.3 of Graduate School Handbook). If a second examination is allowed, the Advising Committee will also determine whether the decision to continue in the doctoral program might be reconsidered. A student who has failed the examination twice is not permitted to take it again (see section 6.3 of Graduate School Handbook).

The Department strongly encourages all students in the Integrated M.A./Ph.D. program to apply to graduate with an M.A. degree, prior to submitting their Research Paper. This option might be useful for students that started with a B.A. Students with M.A. degrees from other institutions or departments within OSU are also encouraged to apply. Students wishing to obtain an M.A. degree need to submit an Application to Graduate form to the Graduate School no later than the third Friday of the semester in which graduation is expected, even if they plan to continue in the Ph.D. program.

M.A. graduation requirements are the following:

  • A minimum of 30 graduate credit hours.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Research Portfolio and Advising Meeting

More details on M.A. degree graduation requirements can be found in Section VI the Graduate School Handbook.

IV.7. Candidacy Examination

The Candidacy Examination is administered by the Advisory Committee, which is chaired by the candidate’s Advisor, who must be of Category P status. The Advisor has the responsibility for coordinating both the written and oral portions of the Candidacy Examination. The Advisory Committee includes, in addition, a minimum of three other Graduate Faculty members; of these, at least two must be of Category P status and at least two must be faculty members of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

The Candidacy Examination should take place after the fulfillment of all course and language requirements. If any of these requirements have not been completed before the semester of the Candidacy Examination, the student should petition in writing to the Graduate Studies Committee for an exception. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information about this petition. Students should go over their curriculum plans with the Director of Graduate Studies before the beginning of the semester planned for the exam to make sure that all of the requirements have been fulfilled.

IV.7.1. Reading lists

The Candidacy Examination (written and oral) will be based on a reading list that students will craft in collaboration with their advisor and the three other members of their Advisory Committee.  Students will begin to prepare this reading list the previous semester by registering for at least one credit hour of PORT 8193.02, PhD Exam Preparation. A final draft of the reading lists must be submitted to the Advisory Committee at least 6 weeks before the Candidacy Examination is scheduled. The reading list is comprised of:

  1. a general (shorter) list of works in Portuguese from a wide range of time periods and geographical areas of the Portuguese-speaking world
  2. a field-specific (longer) list
IV.7.2. Written Portion of the Candidacy Examination

The written portion of the candidacy exam will consist of the following elements:
1. 1-2 course syllabi for undergraduate literature and culture courses in Portuguese based on the general reading list.
2. A written take-home exam based on the field-specific list.  

a. The student will compose two essays selected from a list of questions prepared by the Advisory Committee. The list of questions will normally consist of no more than three or four options.
b. The candidate will receive an email with the examination questions from the Advisory Committee Chair at a time specified by the Advisor (normally 9 a.m.) on the first day of the take-home period, and will submit the written examination via email to the Advisory Committee members 96 hours (i.e., four days) later.

IV.7.3. Dissertation Prospectus

The Dissertation Prospectus (a minimum of 15-20 double-spaced pages, plus bibliography) must be submitted to the committee along with the written portion of the Candidacy Examination (see IV.7.2). The purpose of this document is to provide a detailed description of the scope and methodology of the proposed dissertation, as well as a bibliography of those works that will be utilized in the writing of the dissertation. The Dissertation Prospectus should:

  1. state the problem that the candidate proposes to solve;
  2. explain the significance of the project and its relation to current scholarship in the field;
  3. describe the candidate’s current knowledge of the subject;
  4. indicate the direction his or her investigation will take;
  5. reflect his or her familiarity with relevant bibliographical materials and critical methods
  6. include an outline of the organization and structure of the work, with some explanation of what the various sections might contain.

The specific form that the prospectus takes is a matter that is worked out between the candidate and the Advisor. At the very least, it should contain sections addressing the following:

  1. Abstract: The abstract is a paragraph (200-500) describing the proposal so that the general academic reader who is unfamiliar with the topic can understand it.
  2. Discussion of the research objectives and significance of the project: This section presents the research problem and/or working hypothesis, explains why the problem is important in the field, and discusses how this study relates to other work in the field in general and to the candidate’s own prior research. It requires a brief review of the existing literature on the topic to place the formulation of the problem in the context of research on the topic or text to date. The approach should be synthetic and critical, and not just enumerative and descriptive.
  3. Substantial description of the theoretical framework and methodology of the study: This section describes the theoretical and/or analytical applications used to achieve the research objectives. It first proposes the corpus, data or text base and the method of collection and/or selection, and then sets forth the approach or approaches to be used in studying the basic materials, dividing the research task into sequences and establishing a hypothetical calendar for completing them. 
  4. An outline of the organization and structure of the dissertation, with some explanation of what the various sections will contain
  5. Expectations and summary of preliminary conclusions: This section specifies the results expected from the study and what the most important conclusions of the project are likely to be. It serves as a recapitulation of the significance and need for the study.
  6. Selective Bibliography: This section lists the publications with greatest relevance to the proposed study and/or referred to in the proposal.
IV.7.4. Oral Portion of the Candidacy Examination

The oral portion of the Candidacy Exam must follow no sooner than one week but within two weeks (i.e., 7-14 days) after the written portion is turned in. The oral exam lasts two hours, and addresses: the written portion of the exam (syllabi and take-home exam); any parts of the reading list not covered in the written portion; and the Dissertation Prospectus. At least thirty minutes of the oral exam will be dedicated to the Dissertation Prospectus.

The student may pass the Candidacy Exam but may be required to make changes to the Dissertation Prospectus. A final version of the Dissertation Prospectus must be submitted to the Advisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies within two weeks of the oral portion of the Candidacy Examination.

Failure of the Candidacy Examination occurs if the Committee considers either of the following to be the case: A) the written and/or oral portions of the exam indicate that the candidate is not ready to proceed to a dissertation, owing to insufficient knowledge of the field; B) the candidate is insufficiently focused on the dissertation project, which makes it unlikely that he or she will be able to finish the dissertation in a timely manner. In case of failure, the Committee can specify the nature of a repeat examination.

IV.8. Dissertation

IV.8.1. Purpose

The dissertation is a scholarly contribution to the candidate’s area of specialization.  It should demonstrate knowledge of the field of study, the ability to work independently, and the capacity to make an original contribution to scholarship. The argumentation should be clearly and convincingly presented and should be supported with appropriate critical discourse. The dissertation may be written in either English or in Spanish.

IV.8.2. Dissertation Committee

The Dissertation Committee is composed of the student’s Advisor, who must be a Category P Graduate Faculty member, and a minimum of two other Graduate Faculty members, at least one of whom must be a faculty member of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The Advisor serves as the dissertation director and chair of the Dissertation Committee. The candidate, in consultation with the Advisor, proposes the composition of the Dissertation Committee to the Graduate Studies Committee for approval. This must be done no later than four weeks following the Candidacy Examination. The committee should be formed so as to provide appropriate advice and support to the candidate in the development of the dissertation. The various members may or may not be the same as those who served on the Advisory Committee.

IV.8.3. Writing the Dissertation

Once the prospectus has been approved the candidate may proceed with the completion of the dissertation. During the writing of the dissertation, the Dissertation Committee provides the candidate with advice and guidance, as appropriate and necessary. Naturally, the major guidance on the dissertation remains in the hands of the Advisor who keeps the other members of the Committee informed about the progress of the dissertation and submits the annual narrative report on the candidate. If there are major changes in scope, topic or methodology that substantially modify a dissertation, the initial prospectus procedure must be repeated, and the revised prospectus must be submitted to the Dissertation Committee. During all stages in the completion of the dissertation, effective communication between the Advisor and the other committee colleagues is essential.

IV.8.4. Schedule for Approval of the Dissertation

In order to ensure that the readers have sufficient time to read the dissertation and that the candidate has sufficient time to make requested changes in the manuscript, the provisional complete draft must be in the hands of the Dissertation Committee no later than four weeks before the oral defense.  The Application to Graduate must be submitted via GradForms by 12:00 noon on the Wednesday preceding the third Friday of that same semester, so that it may be approved and submitted electronically to the Graduate School by the third Friday, the established Graduate School deadline.  

The Final Oral Examination, sometimes called the dissertation defense, is scheduled when the dissertation Advisor and the readers of the Dissertation Committee have approved the draft version by submitting the Draft Approval / Notification of Final Oral Examination form. This submission step must be completed at least two weeks before the date of the Final Oral Examination. At this time, the candidate must also submit a complete, typed dissertation to the Graduate School for format review. For a description of the required format, see the Graduate School Guidelines for Formatting Theses, Dissertations, and D.M.A. Documents.

Once the Final Oral Examination is scheduled, the Dean of the Graduate School appoints the Graduate Faculty Representative. The Graduate Faculty Representative is a Category P Graduate Faculty member who is neither a faculty member in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese nor a member of the Dissertation Committee. It is the responsibility of the candidate to deliver a copy of the complete, typed dissertation to the Graduate Faculty Representative no later than one week before the final oral examination.

IV.8.5. Final Oral Examination

The Final Oral Examination tests originality, independence of thought, the ability to synthesize and interpret, and the quality of research presented. It 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. Videoconferencing is possible with prior approval from the Graduate School and under the following conditions: a) only one site may be video-conferenced in and the candidate and Advisor must be in the same room (along with the Graduate Representative); b) all members of the committee must be in continuous audio and visual contact; and c) the costs of the videoconferencing should be covered by the student. (See Section VII.10) and Appendix B of the Graduate Student Handbook for more information.) The student must be enrolled for at least three graduate credit hours during the semester in which the examination is taken.

IV.8.6. Final Oral Examination Committee

The Final Oral Examination Committee is composed of the student’s Dissertation Committee, plus the Graduate Faculty Representative.  In addition to being a full voting member of the Final Oral Examination Committee, the Graduate Faculty Representative reports to the Graduate School a judgment of the quality of the examination, the dissertation, and the student’s performance. It is expected that every candidate will have sufficient knowledge of both English and Spanish to be able to conduct the examination in either language.  The Department will request that the Graduate Faculty Representative have adequate reading competency in Spanish if the dissertation is written in that language. The Advisor serves as chair of the Final Oral Examination Committee.

All members of the Final Oral Examination Committee must be present during the entire oral examination.  All committee members are expected to participate fully in the questioning and the decision on the result.

IV.8.7. Result of the Final Oral Examination

The candidate is considered to have completed the Final Oral Examination successfully only when the decision of the Final Oral Examination Committee is unanimously affirmative. Should the Graduate Faculty Representative cast the only negative vote, or find that the examination does not meet the required standards, the examination should be halted and referred to the Graduate School for review. The examination may then be rescheduled without prejudice to the candidate once the issues raised by the Graduate Faculty Representative have been satisfactorily resolved. Each examiner indicates judgment by signing the Final Oral Examination Report form that must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the posted deadline for the semester of graduation.

If the examination is judged unsatisfactory, the Final Oral Examination Committee must decide whether the student will be permitted to take a second Final Oral Examination, and must record that decision on the Final Oral Examination Report form. If a second examination is held, the Final Oral Examination Committee must be the same as the original one unless a substitution is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. This occurs only in exceptional circumstances (see Section VII.11) of the Graduate School Handbook for more information). No student is permitted to take the Final Oral Examination more than twice.

On written appeal by the student or a member of the Final Oral Examination Committee, the Policy and Standards Committee of the Council on Research and Graduate Studies reviews the Final Oral Examination to ensure its conformity to Graduate School rules and to determine if it was conducted fairly and without prejudice to the candidate.

After successfully passing the examination, a definitive version of the revised dissertation must be approved by the members of the Dissertation Committee. The committee members indicate their approval by signing the form Final Approval of Dissertation form, which must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than one week before commencement (see Appendix A for exact dates). At this time, the student must also submit to the Graduate School the definitive version of the dissertation, along with an abstract of 350 words. All dissertations are required to be submitted electronically in PDF format. We strongly urge students to check the box for delaying the electronic dissemination of their dissertations.

IV.9. Five-year plan (for student entering with a B.A.)

Year One:
Semester one: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)
Semester two: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)

Year Two:
Semester three: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)
Semester four: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)
***[Research Paper/Presentation and M.A. terminal degree option]***

Year Three:
Semester five: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)
Semester six: 2 courses + 3 credit hours of 8193.02 + 8894 (10 credit hours)
May term: 8890 (3 credit hours)

Year Four:
Semester seven: 7 credit hours of 8193.02 + 8894 (8 credit hours)
***[Reading lists in preparation for Candidacy Examination]***
Semester eight: 7 credit hours of 8193.02 + 8894 (8 credit hours)
***[Candidacy Examination and Post-Candidacy Status Achieved by the end of this semester]***

Year Five:
Semester nine: 2 credit hours of 8999 + 8894  (3 credit hours)
Semester ten:  2 credit hours of 8999 + 8894  (3 credit hours)
***[Dissertation Defense]***

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V.1. Time Frame for PhD & Registration Requirements

The PhD programs in Spanish and Portuguese are designed to be completed in 10 semesters. Graduate Associates in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese are accepted into the program with ten semesters of departmental support and must be enrolled with full time status in courses toward the doctoral program during that timeframe. The programs are structured as follows. 

  • Six semesters for completing course requirements:
    • Research Portfolio successfully defended by end of second year
  • Two semesters for the Candidacy Examination:
    • Candidacy obtained by the end of the 4th year
  • Two semesters for writing of the Dissertation.

The usual period of study up to the Candidacy Examination is seven semesters. The Examination should take place after the fulfillment of all course and language requirements. If any of these requirements have not been completed before the semester of the Candidacy Examination, the student should petition in writing to the Graduate Studies Committee for an exception. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information about this petition.

Registration Requirements: The minimum course load for those receiving departmental support is three graduate level courses per semester plus a colloquium (8893 or 8894), totaling no fewer than eight graduate credit hours, as required by the Graduate School, and normally amounting to nine graduate credit hours. Fellowship students have to register for at least 12 graduate credit hours, in fall and spring semesters before candidacy, which translate into four graduate level courses per semester plus colloquium (8893 or 8894). During the summer, fellows need to register for 6 graduate credit hours.

During the semester preceding the Candidacy Examination, and during the examination semester itself, many candidates register for Spanish 8193.02 “PhD Exam preparation” for part of the minimum course load. Registration in Spanish 8193.02 requires that the Advisor submit written approval via email of such registration to the Graduate Program Coordinator. After passing the Candidacy Examination, students who hold a GTAship must register for a minimum of three credit hours as required by the Graduate School. This is done by registering for two credit hours of Spanish 8999 “Research for Dissertation” and one credit hour of the colloquium (Spanish 8893 or 8894).

V.2. Five-Year Plan for Spanish Program

1st year:
Semester one: 3 courses + Colloquium
Semester two: 3 courses + Colloquium

2nd year:
Semester three: 3 courses + Colloquium
Semester four: 3 courses + Colloquium
***Research Paper/Presentation***

(M.A. degree)

3rd year:
Semester five: 3 courses + Colloquium
Semester six: 2/3 courses + Colloquium

4th year:
Semester seven: Research hours + Colloquium
***Preparation for Candidacy Examination***
Semester eight: Research hours + Colloquium 
***Candidacy Examination and Post-Candidacy Status Achieved***

5th year:
Semester nine: Research hours + Colloquium 
Semester ten:  Research hours + Colloquium 
***Dissertation Defense***

V.3. Five-year Plan for Portuguese Program

1st year:
Semester one: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)
Semester two: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)

2nd year:
Semester three: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)
Semester four: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)
***[Research Paper/Presentation and M.A. terminal degree option]***

3rd year:
Semester five: 3 courses + 8894 (10 credit hours)
Semester six: 2 courses + 3 credit hours of 8193.02 + 8894 (10 credit hours)
May term: 8890 (3 credit hours)

4th year:
Semester seven: 7 credit hours of 8193.02 + 8894 (8 credit hours)
***[Reading lists in preparation for Candidacy Examination]***
Semester eight: 7 credit hours of 8193.02 + 8894 (8 credit hours)
***[Candidacy Examination and Post-Candidacy Status Achieved by the end of this semester]***

5th year:
Semester nine: 2 credit hours of 8999 + 8894  (3 credit hours)
Semester ten:  2 credit hours of 8999 + 8894  (3 credit hours)
***[Dissertation Defense]***

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VI.1. Preamble

Overall responsibility for advising at the graduate (M.A./Ph.D.) level lies with the Director of Graduate Studies. The Director is also responsible for dealing with any difficulties and problems which students may encounter as they progress through their graduate programs. The Director organizes productive and effective interaction between graduate students, the Graduate Faculty of the Department, and the Graduate Studies Committee. The Director also acts as liaison with the Graduate School.

VI.2. M.A./Ph.D. Advising

All incoming graduate students will be assigned a faculty member as temporary advisor, based as closely as possible on the students’ expressed interests. Temporary advisors will contact the students assigned to them as part of the recruiting process and be available to respond to the students’ queries from that point forward.

Students should feel free to request a change of advisors at any time during their programs. To change advisors, the student will speak with the involved parties (the former and future advisor) and then notify the Director of Graduate Studies in writing of the desired change. This change must also be communicated to the Graduate Coordinator in order to update the student’s record. In the temporary or prolonged absence of the regular advisor, the Director will assume advising duties for the student, or assign a different advisor on a temporary or regular basis.  

Ph.D. students must have as regular advisor (and prospective dissertation director) a member of the Graduate Faculty of the Department who has Category P standing. The student and the regular advisor jointly decide the composition of the student’s Advisory Committee. This should be done as early as possible in the program. The advisor has primary responsibility for advising the student in all matters.

Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies to discuss any questions.  

VI.3. Change of Advisor

There are reasonable situations in which a student may choose to request a change of advisor (e.g. as a result of the alteration of disciplinary orientation, pursuit of a specific research interest, prolonged absence of an advisor, difficulties of communication, and so on). Whatever the reason for a desired change, the student should discuss the situation with the Director of Graduate Studies, whose responsibility it is to oversee the advising of all graduate students in the Department. The Director will help the student to decide on the correct course of action and to arrange the necessary paperwork. 

VI.4. Suggested Advising Best Practices

The relationship between a graduate student and advisor is one that can greatly impact the academic achievements and life of a graduate student. This relationship has the potential to greatly encourage the academic pursuits of the graduate student, proving to be one of the most influential interactions of the scholar’s life. However, a relationship in which mutual expectations are not understood has the ability to diminish a graduate student’s potential. Ultimately graduate advising must be viewed as a relationship with two vested parties both with the expectations that the other part will fulfill certain, often unwritten, best practices. Following are suggested best advising practices for both parties.

VI.4.1 Graduate Student

Conduct academic pursuits in an ethical manner while developing professionalism by upholding the Student Code of Conduct, including, but not limited to, sections explicitly related to academic pursuits; and by pursuing opportunities that would advance one’s career as a graduate student and beyond.

· Take ownership of academic progress by devoting significant and productive time toward degree, and by staying abreast of requirements toward degree completion;

· Take an active role in initiating communication with the advisor by actively and often discussing issues such as progress toward the degree, clearly communicating career goals and concerns related to academic progress;

· Such communication should occur as much as possible in person or over the phone in order to reduce ambiguity and possible misunderstandings. Written communication, e.g., via mail and e-mail, is appropriate to document potentially contentious issues. However, e-mail is prone to misunderstandings. Recognize that social media can blur the line between professional and personal lives and therefore should be only used if deemed appropriate by both parties;

· Clearly and immediately address any problems that arise, so that both parties can work to remedy issues in an expedient manner;

· Respect the vast responsibilities of the advisor by maintaining open communication through phone, e-mail, conference call, web chat, etc., when face-to-face communication is not possible. Allow significant time for the advisor to provide feedback in advance of pending deadlines, and keep up with graduate student responsibilities even when the advisor is not present.

VI.4.2. Graduate Advisor

· Conduct advising in a clear and direct manner, being upfront with new advisees about such matters as completion of degree, publication expectations, etc.;

· Interact with graduate students in a way that is not considered discriminatory, as defined by law or applicable University policy;

· Maintain communication with graduate students in a professional manner by clearly stating expectations and requirements. This may most effectively be done in written form, even if just a written summary of an in-person meeting;

· Provide regular evaluation of the student’s progress toward degree, using the Department’s annual review procedure;

· Providing written feedback on student professional writing in a timely manner, to promote student progress;

· Recognize that social media can blur the line between professional and personal lives and therefore should be used only if deemed appropriate by both parties;

· Clearly and immediately address any problems that arise so that both parties can work to remedy issues in an expedient manner;

· Aid in preparing students by actively initiating communication with an advisee not only about academic progress, but about career goals, both traditional and non-traditional;

· Help graduate students develop professional skills that will make them competitive for employment in their given field;

· Encourage students to take part in activities that will enrich their academic development, e.g., by participating in professional conferences and other networking activities;

· Respect that students may have non-academic responsibilities by allowing reasonable time for advisees to prepare requested materials, and by not requiring that a student continue to provide a service (e.g., teaching, mentoring of other students, etc.) beyond departmental norms, potentially hindering their progress to completion of the degree.

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VII.1. Advance Enrollment

Advance Enrollment for Autumn and Spring semesters takes place during each preceding semester. It is essential for all continuing students to consult with their Advisor during this period to formalize the choice of courses for the next semester and to register online during the individual window of enrollment.

Prior to each enrollment period, descriptions of the courses to be offered in the upcoming semester will be made available to students and faculty Advisors via email and/or on the departmental web page. Students and Advisors should also consult the list of all graduate courses being taught during the entire academic year (circulated via email the previous spring), in order for students to make curricular decisions that ensure their progress toward their degree. By the end of the first and second years of graduate studies, a plan for the remaining curriculum should be on file with the Advisor. This Curriculum Plan is subject to change whenever necessary, but a final revision must be in the hands of the Director of Graduate Studies no later than the filing of the Application to Graduate form, in the case of students that wish to apply for an M.A., and no later than the end of the first week of the semester of the Candidacy Examination. 

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VII.2. Course Selection

Students are responsible for enrolling for courses in a timely manner to avoid course cancellations and/or to incur late registration fees. Important deadlines for enrollment are listed in detail on this Enrollment Deadlines [PDF].

Except for the special circumstances to be noted, the Department requires all GTAs to register each semester for a minimum of three courses that carry graduate credit and that count toward the degree sought. As stipulated by the rules of the Graduate School, the three courses together must total at least 8 hours. Students who are on a fellowship must register for a minimum of 12 graduate credit hours in order to maintain a full-time program.

During the semester of initial appointment, GTAs must register for Spanish 7801, College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese. This course counts as one of their three courses.

All full-time graduate students are required to enroll each semester in a one credit-hour Colloquium course: Spanish 8894, for students in Iberian Studies, Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies, and Studies of the Portuguese-Speaking World, and Spanish 8893, for students in Hispanic Linguistics. The colloquium is a critical component of professional development through increased opportunities for exchange of ideas, exposure to new areas of interest and aspects of the profession, and public presentation of scholarly work. Attendance is generally required at no more than 6 colloquium meetings per semester, but instructors are encouraged to show flexibility for enrolled students taking their exams that semester.  If students have reached the maximum enrollment (16 credit hours) through other coursework, they are not required to enroll in 8893/8894, but they are expected to attend the colloquium meetings to the extent possible.

With the exception of courses taken to fulfill the language requirement, all courses taken within the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in fulfillment of curricular course requirements must be at the level of 5000 or above. Courses taken outside the Department must be at the level of 4000 or above.

Reading courses in a foreign language may be at the 4000 level; such courses count as graduate credit, but not in fulfillment of curricular course requirements. When students enroll in these courses, it is expected that they will take at least one other course that carries graduate credit and that counts in fulfillment of curricular course requirements.

In selecting the courses for a given semester it is very important that the formal prerequisites of the various courses be strictly observed. These prerequisites are stipulated in The Ohio State University Course Offerings Bulletin. It is essential that students take prerequisite courses early in their program.

Post-candidacy doctoral students should generally register for no more than three credit hours per semester, whether they are funded by the Department or self-funded. Post-candidacy doctoral students who take three credit hours per semester are considered full-time students. Such students are required to take SPAN 8893 or SPAN 8894 (1 credit hour) and thus should register for SPAN 8999 for 2 credit hours.

For those admitted for Autumn 2008 and after, continuous academic year registration is now required for post-candidacy doctoral students. For further information about the continuous enrollment policy, see Section 7.8 of the Graduate School Handbook.

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VII.3. Independent Study Courses (Autumn and Spring Semesters)

During the Autumn and Spring Semesters, Independent Study courses, labeled 8193.01 (Individual Studies), are not generally available for the purpose of fulfilling degree requirements and students should not anticipate their approval. Approval for these courses during the semesters specified is given only in those unusual circumstances where departmental offerings are clearly insufficient to serve the curricular needs of the student. Students and Advisors alike should realize that it is in the best interest of the student to enroll in a regular course which normally offers more effective preparation for the degree examination and which represents a more substantial element on the academic transcript (8193.01s are not identified by topic on the transcript, and the only grade given is S/U). If departmental offerings within a given period of time do not allow for the possibility of taking a certain course to meet an area requirement and the student and Advisor determine that an Independent Study Course is essential to make progress toward the degree sought, students may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for substitution of another course of related content. Complete the Independent Study Request Form (linked below) and submit all materials to the Director of Graduate Studies.

The petition must be submitted as early as possible on the departmental request form. Only when approval has been given by the Director of Graduate Studies may registration be completed.  If students plan their program well in advance and take courses as they are offered, rather than waiting for them to be given during future semesters, they should experience little, if any, need for requesting an Independent Study Course. In this way, the Department will also be better able to offer a variety of advanced courses that meet the stringent enrollment minimums mandated by the College of Arts and Sciences.

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to PDF files. If you need them in a more accessible file format, please contact spanport@osu.edu. PDF files require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open them. If you do not have Reader, you may use the following link to Adobe to download it for free at: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

VII.4. Summer Courses

Because of severely reduced course offerings throughout the University during the summer, certain courses are made available under circumstances in which they are not normally approved during the two semesters of the academic year. Those courses include 7193 (MA Exam Preparation), 8193.01 (Individual Studies), 8193.02 (PhD Exam Preparation), and 8999 (Research for Dissertation). Fulltime enrollment is four credit hours for pre-candidacy GTAs and six credit hours for fellows; maximum enrollment, unless Graduate School permission is sought, is eight credit hours. Post-candidacy students should register for three credit hours of 8999 (Research for Dissertation). Pre-candidacy students may choose from among three options:

1. Independent Study (8193.01) to fulfill graduate degree requirements. This option is available only when departmental offerings have been or are clearly insufficient to complete requirements for the degree sought, and the student must seek approval in advance from the Graduate Studies Committee using the departmental request form. The grade at the end of the Summer Semester will be assigned by the supervising Instructor.

2. Independent Study (8193.01) to prepare a publishable paper or a research proposal (limited to doctoral level students.) The purpose of this option is to enable the student to research and write a scholarly paper for submission for a conference or for publication, or to prepare a research proposal. This option must be contracted with the Advisor and the Instructor involved (if different from the Advisor). No departmental request form is needed. The grade at the end of the Summer Semester will be assigned by the supervising Instructor.

3. 7193 (MA Exam Preparation) and 8193.02 (PhD Exam Preparation) in order to prepare for an upcoming examination. The purpose of this option is to read and take notes upon a portion of the reading list that will constitute a significant part of the upcoming examination. Prior to the commencement of the Summer Semester, students will, in consultation with their Advisors, draw up a list of the titles that they propose to cover during the summer. No departmental request form is needed. The grade at the end of the Summer Semester will be based upon the successful completion of the work agreed upon by the student and the Advisor, as verified by submission of reading notes. The grade at the end of the Summer Session will be assigned by the individual Advisor.

VII.5. Grade Grievances

A graduate student who believes a grade received in a course is inappropriate should first discuss and try to resolve the matter directly with the instructor, if at all possible. If the graduate student is not satisfied with the results of this discussion, he or she can appeal the grade to the chair. The chair will investigate the situation and may appoint a special review committee if he or she believes it necessary.

[PDF] Some links on this page are to PDF files. If you need them in a more accessible file format, please contact spanport@osu.edu. PDF files require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open them. If you do not have Reader, you may use the following link to Adobe to download it for free at: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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VIII.1. Preamble

Each year the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University awards a number of Graduate Associateships to graduate students who are working toward the degree. The most numerous of these Associateships, by far, are Graduate Teaching Associateships. The position of Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA), essential to the functioning of the Department, carries with it important responsibilities. Chief among these is the maintaining of a proper balance between academic studies—the first priority for the Associate—and professional preparation, i.e., teaching. The great majority of Graduate Teaching Associateships in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese are within the area of Spanish language teaching. For this reason, among applicants to the Portuguese PhD program, priority will be given to those who have some proficiency in Spanish. 

The Graduate School Handbook, Section 9 (Graduate Associates) contains important additional information regarding the position of Graduate Associate. 

VIII.2. Eligibility

In order to hold an appointment as Graduate Teaching Associate, every student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese must satisfy the following eligibility requirements. The appointee:

1. must have been officially admitted to and be enrolled in the Graduate School, and be pursuing a degree program in the Department;

2. must, in the case of international non-English speaking students, certify proficiency in spoken English before assuming GTA duties involving direct student contact (see Section IV.2);

3. must, prior to the semester of initial appointment, attend and successfully complete a training workshop, attend and successfully complete Spanish 7801 (The College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese), and attend demonstration classes throughout the semester (as assigned by teaching supervisors);

4. must register for Spanish 7801 and at least two other graduate courses during the semester of initial appointment;

5. must (except in the case of doctoral students who have advanced to Candidacy) register during all subsequent semesters for a minimum of three graduate level courses that lead toward the degree, plus 8893 or 8894, and total at least 8 graduate credit hours;

6. must, in the case of doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy, register for 3 graduate credit hours each semester;

7. must be in good standing in the Graduate School (i.e., have a cumulative point-hour ratio [CPHR] of 3.0 or better) when the appointment or reappointment becomes effective;

8. must maintain reasonable progress toward the degree.

Note: While the appointment of a graduate degree candidate as GTA is the normal form of financial aid in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, students may on occasion be appointed to the position of Graduate Research Associate (GRA), which involves assisting a faculty member with research, or to the position of Graduate Administrative Assistant (GAA), which involves carrying out specified administrative tasks. Such appointments are not usual and are normally supplementary to an appointment as GTA. In general, GRAs and GAAs must meet the same standard of eligibility as GTAs. If they have no teaching duties, however, GRAs and GAAs are exempt from the requirements of attending the training workshop, enrolling in Spanish 7801, and certifying proficiency in spoken English.

VIII.3. Initial Appointment

All Graduate Associates, including Graduate Teaching Associates, must be enrolled in the Graduate School. Applicants for an Associateship who are not enrolled must make simultaneous application for admission. As explained earlier, application materials for admission are available from the Admissions Office of the University.

As part of the admissions process, the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department evaluates all applications for Associateships, taking into account academic achievement in previous course work, letters of recommendation, previous experience in the culture, use and command of the language (travel, study abroad, and so on), prior teaching experience, if any, and any other information which seems useful and pertinent. Applicants to whom an Associateship is awarded are subsequently sent a letter stating the terms of the appointment. This letter is signed by the Chair of the Department, and, if accepted, by the applicant.

Offers for new Associateships are normally made late by late February or March, although circumstances may on occasion oblige the Department to make additional appointments later in the academic year. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time prior to April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the Chair of the Department.

GTAs normally are appointed for two semesters. Summer appointments may also be available (see Section VIII.14).  The Department will rescind the contract of those who relinquish their appointment in the absence of extenuating circumstances. Associates who wish to interrupt their teaching duties must inform the Graduate Studies Director, the HR/Fiscal Manager, and the Chair; they must also petition the Graduate Studies Committee to be allowed to resume their GTAship by the beginning of advance enrollment for the semester in which they plan to return. It should be understood that such a petition does not, however, guarantee a Teaching Associateship for the desired semester. Associates who are absent from the program for more than two semesters may be asked to reapply for admission to the program and Teaching Associateship.

VIII.4. Reappointment

The contracts of Graduate Teaching Associates are renewed by the Chair of the Department upon the recommendation of the faculty. The faculty recommendation results from an annual review, usually carried out in the spring semester, of both the teaching and the academic record of all GTAs. Prior to the review, students must submit the Annual Evaluation of Student progress form to their Advisors. Subsequent to the review, academic Advisors meet with their advisees to discuss the outcome of the review and to inform them of any specific suggestions for improvement that may have emerged from the review.

Graduate Teaching Associates may expect to be reappointed provided that:

1. they are in good standing in the Graduate School (i.e., their Cumulative Point Hour Ratio (CPHR) is 3.0 or better;

2. they are making satisfactory progress toward their degree, which is defined, among other ways, as meeting the various deadlines outlined earlier in the descriptions of the integrated M.A./Ph.D. programs;

3. their teaching performance has been satisfactory;

4. course enrollments and the departmental budget permit such reappointment.

Note: A student whose graduate CPHR falls below 3.0 after 9 graduate credit hours have been completed is placed on probation by the Dean of the Graduate School.  Once this is raised to 3.0 or better, the student is removed from probation and placed in good standing in the Graduate School. Provided that the student is in good standing and teaching evaluations are satisfactory, the appointment as a GTA can be continued; if a student is not in good standing, the appointment becomes null and void.

Letters of reappointment are normally sent in May. Acceptance or rejection by the candidate must be received in written form by the Chair of the Department no later than two weeks after receipt of the offer. The letter of acceptance is considered binding upon the individual and cannot be rescinded without the approval of the Chair.

Associates who are not reappointed will be so informed in writing by the Chair of the Department, who will state the reasons for non-reappointment. Among other possible reasons is the Associate’s acceptance of outside employment without prior consultation with his/her Advisor (see Section VIII.7). If the Associate wishes to appeal the non-reappointment, the appeal must be put in writing, and it must be received by the Chair within two weeks of the date of the non-reappointment notice. If the appeal is denied by the Chair, grievance proceedings may then be initiated according to the guidelines given in Section VIII.6.

VIII.5. Termination

It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese to ensure that the quality of teaching in the Department is maintained at a high level. Upon receiving evidence that termination of a GTA’s appointment is called for, the Chair shall carefully investigate the situation and, if the evidence gathered from all interested parties is sound and substantial, shall terminate the Associateship. GTA appointments may be terminated prior to the end of the appointment period only with the written approval of the Graduate School. A GTA appointment is terminated prior to the end of the appointment period for any of the following reasons:

1. the GTA is no longer enrolled in the Graduate School

2. the GTA is registered for fewer than the number of credit hours required for a GTA appointment or fewer than three credit hours for a doctoral student who has passed the candidacy examination

3. performance as a GTA is determined to be unsatisfactory by the employing unit

4. the GTA graduates

5. the appointing unit has insufficient funds

6. unsatisfactory academic performance.

A GTA whose appointment is terminated will receive notification of the termination in the form a letter from the Chair, stating the reasons for the termination. If the Associate wishes to appeal the termination, the appeal must be put in writing, and it must be received by the Chair within two weeks of the date of the notice of termination. If the appeal is denied by the Chair, grievance proceedings may then be initiated according to the guidelines given in Section VIII.6.

VIII.6. Grievance Procedures

Graduate Associates should report grievances related to their appointment directly to the Chair of the Department. If the Chair cannot resolve them to the satisfaction of the Associate, they may be remanded to the Graduate Studies Committee or to an ad hoc committee appointed by the Chair. If a resolution cannot be obtained through departmental procedures, the established procedures of the Graduate School will apply (see Appendix D of the Graduate Student Handbook for more detailed information).

VIII.7. Outside Employment

A Graduate Associate who is considering additional employment outside the University should consult with his/her Advisor who will in turn consult with the Director of Graduate Studies. A careful evaluation of the impact of the additional commitments on the student’s academic progress will then be made. If this evaluation reveals that the outside employment will significantly slow the student’s academic progress, the employment will be strongly discouraged. If the student accepts the employment in spite of the negative recommendation of the Department, and if it is later determined that his/her academic progress has been affected, reappointment as a GTA may not be offered.

VIII.8. Length of Appointment

Financial support for Graduate Associates and fellowship recipients for whom fees are waived will be provided for ten semesters of funding while pursuing the integrated M.A./Ph.D. program degree. Students may receive an additional year of funding (two semesters) if the student is making reasonable progress. “Reasonable progress” means that students who are awarded an additional year of funding must have progressed to a point so that there is a reasonable expectation that they can finish their Ph.D. by the end of that additional year.

Students that have received a fellowship that has added another year to their initial 5-year funding package (e.g. Presidential, FLAS or Fulbright-Hayes fellowships can apply for an extra year of funding (two semesters) from the department. However, these students need to explain and justify how they have been delayed in their progress to degree.

Note: Appointments for Summer Session are not included in these counts.

VIII.9. Workload for Graduate Associates

A GTA in Spanish and Portuguese is normally assigned to teach one language course, normally SPAN 1101-1103, per semester this is considered a 50% appointment. More senior GTAs may be assigned to teach General Education (GE) or higher level courses. In order to provide teaching assignments to all graduate students in the Portuguese graduate program, GTAs pursuing an integrated M.A./Ph.D. in Portuguese will be required to teach Spanish during their funded period, most likely during their first two semesters in the program.

GTAs work under the supervision of the Chair and the Director of Language Programs. A GTA appointment to teach one section of an elementary or intermediate language course per semester, including approximately four hours of classroom instruction and two office hours per week (one regular office hour plus one hour by appointment), two hours per week to assist with the conversation tables or the tutoring room, proctoring exams, mentoring, and/or other duties as assigned. Approximately twelve additional hours are spent preparing class, attending staff meetings, grading, and performing those tasks expected of a university-level instructor. Total hours are twenty per week. Under-enrolled courses that are approved to run by the Chair (in consultation with the Dean) normally require one extra service hour from the GTA (pending availability, the GTA may choose another appointment for a class that meets minimum enrollment). When a GTA is the instructor of a large-enrollment GE course, enrollment cap will be at 40 students. When enrollment is between 35-40 students (on the first day of the semester), the GTA will receive a one-hour reduction in required service hours. 

VIII.10. Absences from teaching

In order to ensure coherence for the undergraduate students in our courses and to maintain consistent expectations for our instructors, we ask graduate students to follow the following procedure when they are absent from their teaching duties:

1. Notification of absence:

Graduate students should notify SPPO's Fiscal & HR Manager ahead of time when they are planning to be absent from teaching duties (e.g. to attend a conference, serve on jury duty, etc.). If not possible in advance (e.g. the onset of an illness), then the HR Manager should be informed of an absence as soon as possible after it occurs. In either case, please provide appropriate documentation when possible (e.g. confirmation of conference participation or notification). Please note that only doctor's appointments of an emergent nature will qualify to provide compensation for instructor coverage. It is an expectation that all other doctor's appointments are scheduled during non-teaching times. 

The email should contain the title of the course (e.g. PORT 1101; SPAN 3403); the date(s) & times of the absences; and the name of the person who will serve as the substitute.

Please also copy on the email the Language Program Director (for SPAN 1101-2202 and PORT 1101-1103) or the Vice Chair (for SPAN and PORT 3000+ level courses as well as GE courses). 

2. Substitution of instruction:

a. Instructors should make arrangements to find a substitute for the class/es for which they will be absent. At the 1100 through 2202 course levels, buddy lists are provided to instructors to facilitate this process. 

b. The Department will compensate substitutes who cover for cases of illness, conference attendance, and family emergencies. Because of existing visa regulations, the Department can only compensate domestic students or lecturers. If an international student does the subbing, the two instructors are welcome to make a mutually acceptable arrangement between them (such as replacing the sub in their service hours, baking cookies for the sub, reciprocating in the substitution if/when that occasion arises, etc.). 

The Department adheres to the Graduate School policy on short-term absences and leaves of absence. See Graduate School Policy for more detailed information. For maternity leave, if a GTA can teach at least 80% of a course before going on leave, s/he can teach that course and a substitute will be found for the remaining weeks on maternity leave. Otherwise, to fulfill the GTAship they will be assigned 20 hours of work related to the language program (with an expected minimum of 10 hours to be completed on campus) until or following their maternity leave.

VIII.10. Evaluation of Performance

All GTAs are periodically visited in their classrooms by an evaluator assigned by the appropriate departmental committee. The purpose of such visits is to evaluate the GTA’s performance as an instructor and to offer helpful advice. After each classroom visit, the evaluator meets with the GTA to discuss the visit and the substance of the evaluation. The evaluation is then put in written form and two copies are made: one of these is given to the GTA; the second forms part of the record that is considered at the time of annual review. GTAs are evaluated on such areas as preparation for class, appropriateness of techniques to class content, use of the target language in the classroom, adherence to the guidelines established by the Department, and general classroom acumen.

VIII.11. Stipends

Stipends are determined by the College of Arts and Sciences. Levels of compensation are set according to College policy and a departmental protocol that is based in part on degrees earned and in part on amount and type of teaching experience. In addition to the stipend, the University authorizes payment of the entire tuition of the Graduate Associate appointed for at least 50%. The amount differs based on Level I (M.A. level degree students), Level II (Ph.D level students), and Level III (Post-Candidacy Examination level students).

Graduate Associate/Fellowship appointment dates are determined by the Graduate School and can be found here.

Graduate Associates and Fellows appointed for Autumn Semester 2016 will receive their first pay at the end of August. GTAs on a nine-month appointment will receive one-half a month’s pay in August and one-half in May. Appointments for a percentage of time other than 50% carry proportional salaries.

VIII.12. Benefits

In addition to the monthly stipend, students holding GA appointments of at least 50% receive authorizations that include Instructional Fees (resident and non-resident) and General Fees. Other student fees, such as parking costs, late penalties, health insurance, recreation fee, activity fee, and the mandatory COTA fee, must be paid by the student. As a Graduate Associate or Graduate Fellow of The Ohio State University, payroll deduction will be used to pay for “Other Student Fees” not covered by the standard graduate fee payment authorization, appointing unit or graduate program.

OSU Health Insurance is a requirement of all students enrolled at OSU. Upon registration students are automatically enrolled in Comprehensive Student Health Insurance Coverage if they are enrolled at least half time each semester unless they complete the online waiver form by the deadline each year. Funded graduate students are subsidized 85% of the cost of the health insurance. The remaining balance is deducted monthly from their pay. Graduate students are also eligible for OSU Prime Care Insurance at a considerably higher premium. Funded graduate students receive an 85% subsidy of health insurance costs for dependents and the remaining balance is payroll deducted. Detailed benefits information and premium comparisons are available here.

Continuing students who have held regular 50% GA appointments for two consecutive semesters are eligible for a fee authorization during the Summer Session without being on appointment. Typically, this will permit GAs who held a position during the regular academic year to enroll for full-time studies (minimum of 4 graduate hours) during the Summer Session, without a teaching appointment and without paying tuition and fees; note that there is no stipend.

As noted earlier, the Department adheres to the Graduate School policy on short-term absences and leaves of absence. See Graduate School Policy for more detailed information.

VIII.13. Facilities

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese makes every effort to provide all Graduate Associates with appropriate facilities to carry out GA teaching, research, or administrative duties. GTAs will be provided with a copy code in order to use the departmental copiers to print or copy instructional materials for the courses they are teaching, up to 1000 copies per course. Additional copies may be requested as needed for teaching materials.  
 
The departmental copier may not be used for personal printing or printing related to the students’ own coursework except in exceptional circumstances. Most course assignments, final papers, exams, and dissertation chapters may be submitted via email or in the Carmen dropbox, with faculty members taking on the responsibility of printing these documents if they need hard copies. In the semester in which they are defending their dissertation, students may request an additional 300 copies in order to print out a copy of their dissertation to be delivered to the Graduate School for formatting review. Students should consult with their committee members about whether they would like a printed or an electronic copy of the full dissertation; in this case the printing is the responsibility of student.

VIII.14. Summer Appointments

Depending upon enrollments and available funds, Summer session positions may be available for GTAs. The Chair of the Department awards Summer session appointments in consultation with the Vice Chair and the Language Program Director. Fulltime registration (4 graduate credit hours) is required for Summer session appointments.

Assignment of Summer session GTA appointments is based on the following criteria:

1. Programmatic and Departmental need (defined in this context as the need to hire particular instructors with the expertise or qualifications necessary to build specific aspects or areas of the language program, or the best instructor to teach a specific course);

2. Seniority, according to the following ranked order:   
    a.  Departmental ABDs (those who have presented their prospectus and are writing their dissertation)   
    b.  Departmental post-candidacy students (those who have passed their candidacy exams but have not yet presented their prospectus)   
    c.  Departmental integrated M.A./Ph.D. students who have not yet achieved candidacy but who are making regular progress toward their degree  

Assignments are also dependent upon teaching success, as verified by teaching evaluations and supervisory reports. In addition, the Department needs to meet its contractual obligations, such as those that might be offered to international students as part of their initial appointment for summer session. For all other students, Summer session appointments are not guaranteed. However, reasonable effort will be made to grant an appointment to ABD students (category [a]) who request one prior to their last year in the program so that they may continue writing their dissertations without seeking outside employment.

VIII.15. Teaching Upper-Level Classes

Facilitating GTA professional development is a top priority of the Department, in part to help our programs' students be successful in seeking tenure-track positions. Teaching advanced-level courses (3000-level and above as well as GE courses taught in English) is an opportunity offered to the best-prepared students for their enhanced professional preparation. It does not constitute an entitlement, and having taught at the advanced level is not a guarantee that one will continue to teach at that level. GTAs who desire to teach courses at the GE and advanced-level may need to attend course-specific workshops or regularly visit the course during the semester for consideration. Decisions regarding assignment of GTAs to GE and advanced-level courses will be made on the basis of the following considerations:

1. Departmental need (defined in this context as the persons who are best qualified to teach a particular course on the basis both of academic success in the relevant area(s) and of teaching success as verified by teaching evaluations and supervisory reports, either in the course requested or in other courses).

2. Seniority, according to the following rank order:
a) Departmental ABDs (those who have presented their prospectus and are writing their dissertation);
b) Departmental post-candidacy students (those who have passed their candidacy exams but have not yet presented their prospectus);
c) Departmental integrated M.A./Ph.D. students who have not yet achieved candidacy but who are making regular progress toward their degree

3. Rotation, the goal of which is to afford as many students as possible the chance to teach advanced courses.

4. Assignments of GTAs and lecturers to advanced level courses will be made by the Department Chair, in consultation with the Vice-Chair and course coordinator(s).

All those who wish to request assignment to an advanced-level course should consult with the appropriate course coordinator at least one full semester before the course is to be given. At this time, appropriate arrangements are to be made for the interested GTA to make regular visits to a section of the course taught either by 1) the course coordinator or 2) another faculty member. In order to be considered for an advanced-teaching assignment, GTAs must request it on their Annual Evaluation of Student Progress form, indicating which advanced course(s) they would like to teach, which advanced course(s) they have already taught and when, and, if they are requesting a course for the first time, what measures they have taken (class visits, etc.) to prepare themselves to teach that course. Before making requests, applicants should consult the Master Schedule of Classes for availability of times/courses. Because of limited availability, advanced teaching assignments may not occur in the same semester in which they are requested.

VIII.16. Planning and Notice of Teaching Assignments to GTAs for the Autumn Semester

1) Concerning those current graduate students scheduled to teach the following academic year, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese will collect their schedules and teaching preferences no later than one week after the end of the Spring semester;

a. It is expected that the students will have registered for Autumn courses by then and will have their final Autumn course schedule ready to be submitted together with their teaching and service preferences.

2) A preliminary draft of teaching assignments will be shared with the prospective GTAs no less than two months, and a final draft no less than one month, before the start of the Autumn semester.

3) If extenuating circumstances arise and the Department needs to make changes to any teaching assignment during July or August;

a. As soon as a change has officially been made to a teaching assignment, the affected graduate student(s) will be notified by email;
b. While changes in July or August are the exception and not the norm, students need to remain flexible and understand that all teaching assignments are driven by Departmental and programmatic needs.

4) This timeline does not apply to new GTAs starting the program in the Autumn semester. These students will be notified of their teaching assignments during the orientation workshop in August.

VIII.17. Planning and Notice of Teaching Assignments to GTAs for the Spring Semester

1) Concerning current graduate students scheduled to teach the following Spring semester, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese will put out a call for teaching and service preferences two weeks after the enrollment window for Spring graduate courses opens, which typically falls during the 3rd or 4th week of October. Students will be given a one-week window after said call to then submit their preferences. In sum, students will be given three weeks from the opening of their enrollment window to submit preferences.

a. It is expected that students will have met with their advisors and registered for Spring courses by then, and thus will have their final Spring course schedule ready to be submitted together with their teaching and service preferences.

2) A preliminary draft of teaching assignments will be shared with the prospective GTAs no later than four weeks before the start of the Spring, and a final draft no later than three weeks, before the start of the Spring semester.

3) If extenuating circumstances arise and the Department needs to make changes to any teaching assignment during December or early January;

a. As soon as a change has officially been made to a teaching assignment, the affected graduate student(s) will be notified by email;
b. While changes in December or early January are the exception and not the norm, students need to remain flexible and understand that all teaching assignments are driven by Departmental and programmatic needs.

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IX.1. Preamble

Applicants to, and advanced students in, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese are eligible for various fellowships awarded by the Graduate School of the Ohio State University. These fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis, without respect to financial need, and they are of two types: Fellowships for incoming students and Dissertation Fellowships. Fellowships for incoming students include the Dean’s Distinguished University Fellowship (DDU), the Distinguished University Fellowship (DUF), the University Fellowship (UF), the Dean’s Graduate Enrichment Fellowship (DGE), and the Graduate Enrichment Fellowship (GE). They provide support for students applying to begin a graduate program at Ohio State for the first time. Dissertation (Presidential) Fellowships provide support to students completing the final year of the doctorate. The purpose of the Fellowships for incoming students is to attract and retain a diverse graduate student population of the highest quality. The Presidential Fellowship supports students so that they may complete the dissertation unencumbered by other duties. The award recognizes the student’s research potential and scholarly achievements.

IX.2. Eligibility

Eligibility criteria for a Graduate School fellowship vary by kind of fellowship. However, recipients of all fellowships must meet the following minimal eligibility criteria. The student:

  1. must be admitted to the Graduate School;
  2. must be pursuing a graduate degree at this university on a full-time basis (excluding audited courses) during any semester in which a fellowship appointment is held;
  3. must maintain good standing in the Graduate School during the period in which the fellowship is held;
  4. must maintain reasonable progress toward a graduate degree;
  5. must hold no other appointment or outside employment during the term of the appointment, with the exception of a possible supplemental 25% appointment as Graduate Associate.

The following additional eligibility criteria apply to the Fellowships for incoming students. The student:

  1. must have no prior graduate enrollment at this university (excluding graduate non-degree status);
  2. must meet minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) as specified for the type of fellowship

The following additional eligibility criteria apply to the Presidential Fellowship. The student must:

  1. have passed the candidacy examination prior to the Presidential Fellowship competition deadline date
  2. have completed all Ph.D. course work and enroll for 8999 hours only

IX.3. Nomination

Candidates for the Graduate School Fellowships do not apply for them directly, but rather are nominated by the Graduate Studies Committee. However, all applicants for admission to the Graduate School who are interested in being considered for a Fellowship should indicate that interest by checking the appropriate box on the Graduate School admission application. Current students interested in being considered for the Presidential Fellowship should state their interest to their advisor or Graduate Studies Committee chair. Procedures have been established for submitting fellowship nominations to the Graduate School. The dates of each fellowship competition and nomination procedures are communicated to each Graduate Studies Committee prior to each competition and are posted on the Graduate School’s website. Questions about nominating procedures, deadlines, and related matters should be directed to the Graduate School.

The majority of these Fellowships for incoming students require an undergraduate CPHR of 3.6. Slightly different criteria apply, however, to those fellowships that the Graduate School reserves each year for incoming students who show significant potential for contributing to the diversity of the University. In evaluating nominations for these fellowships, the Graduate School takes into account various features of the student’s file, including, although not necessarily limited to, ethnic background, social or economic disadvantage, and disability.

IX.4. Benefits

Students holding a Graduate School Fellowship receive a fee authorization for each semester on appointment. The authorization covers Instructional Fees (resident and non-resident) and General Fees. Other student fees, such as parking costs, late penalties, health insurance, recreation fee, activity fee, and the mandatory COTA fee, must be paid by the student. As a Graduate Fellow at The Ohio State University, payroll deduction will be used to pay for “Other Student Fees” not covered by the standard graduate fee payment authorization, appointing unit or graduate program.

The Graduate School Handbook: Section 10 (Graduate Fellowships) contains important additional information on fellowships.

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X.1. Eligibility for Departmental Travel Funds

All regularly enrolled graduate students who are in good standing in the Department and who are presenting a paper at a recognized academic conference are eligible to apply for travel support up to a maximum amount of $300 each academic year from the Travel Support Fund of the Department.

Note: Additional support for travel is also available from the Karpus Fund, the LoAnne Crane Award, the Mario Iglesias Award for Excellence in the Study and Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, and the Josephat Kubayanda Graduate Student Scholarship. These award competitions are announced during spring semester.

X.2. Application Procedure for Departmental Travel Funds

Applications for support from the Department's Travel Support Fund must be submitted on the appropriate Travel Request form to the Director of Graduate Studies at least three weeks before the time of travel. All requests for conference travel support must be endorsed by the student’s Advisor and accompanied by an official letter of acceptance from the conference organizers as well as by a budget of estimated travel expenses. Students should submit an electronic copy or a printout of the Travel Request form to the Director of Graduate Studies by downloading and completing the form available on the departmental website.
Applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee on an ongoing basis through the academic year.
If their application is approved, students must then fill out a Travel Expense form and submit it to the Travel Secretary before the time of travel in order to receive a T number. If students do not receive a T number before traveling, they cannot receive funding.   
View the necessary travel forms.

X.3. Basis of Evaluation of Applications for Departmental Travel Funds

The merit of each proposal will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Relevance of the paper to the student’s main field of concentration;
  2. Prestige of the conference for which the funds are requested (to be assessed by the Graduate Studies Committee);
  3. Estimated costs of travel (transportation; hotel; food);
  4. Applicant’s stage of advancement within the graduate program.

X.4. Other Sources of Travel and Research Support

In addition to travel funds provided by the Department, there are a considerable number of other sources of travel and research support at the university of which the student should be aware. You can find some of these on our Research and Study Abroad Funding page.

Announcements about the opening of competitions for these various awards are made periodically throughout the year. Further information may be obtained by consulting the SPPO Director of Graduate Studies.

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This is a summary of the main procedures and deadlines for integrated M.A/Ph.D. students and Faculty Advisors.  It does not substitute all details in each relevant section of the Graduate Handbook.  For more details on each element, please refer to the appropriate section of of the Graduate Handbook.

  • Advisory Committees for Examinations and Dissertation: Should be constituted as soon as possible after entrance into the program. Must be constituted no later than three months prior to the relevant examination date
  • Application to Graduate with the M.A: Must be submitted via gradforms.osu.edu by 12:00 noon on the Wednesday preceding the third Friday of the semester in which the student expects to graduate with an M.A. 
  • Research Portfolio: Should be presented to the Advisory Committee in the spring semester of the second year in the program and should be discussed in an Advisory meeting before the deadline posted by the Graduate School for the relevant spring semester. The Advisory Committee needs to submit the corresponding form via gradforms.osu.edu (this will be an M.A. approval form).
  • Final Program of Study: Shoud be submitted to the Advisory Committee by week seven of the semester before the Candidacy Examination is scheduled.
  • Dates for the Written and Oral Portions of the Candidacy Examination:  All course and language requirements must be completed before the Candidacy Examination is scheduled.  The Candidacy Examination must be scheduled no later than the sixth semester of the doctoral program, unless a petition for postponement has been approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. The Examination should be arranged by the student’s Advisor in consultation with the student and other members of the Advisory Committee. Said location and time must be submitted along with the application for the Candidacy Examination through Gradforms.osu.edu for final approval.  
  • Candidacy Examination Report Form: Must be submitted by the Advisory Committee to the Graduate School via Gradforms.osu.edu immediately upon completion of the examination.
  • Provisional Draft of Dissertation: Must be in the hands of the members of the Dissertation Committee no later than the end of the fifth week of the semester in which the candidate expects to graduate.
  • Application to Graduate: Must be submitted, via gradforms.osu.edu by 12:00 noon on the Wednesday preceding the third Friday of the semester in which the candidate expects to graduate.  
  • Draft Approval/Notification of Final Oral Examination: Must be submitted to the Graduate School immediately upon completion of the examination via gradforms.osu.edu
  • Final Oral Examination Report Form: Must be approved by all committee members via gradforms.osu.edu at least two weeks prior to the date of the final oral examination; at this time, the student must submit a typed dissertation draft to the Graduate School for format review.
  • Definitive Version of the Revised Dissertation: Must be submitted to the various members of the Dissertation Committee, as necessary, in time for the appropriate filing of the Final Approval of Dissertation Form.
  • Final Approval of Dissertation Form: Must be submitted to the Graduate School by the published deadline for the semester or summer session of graduation.  
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Below is a list of some of the most important forms and regulatory pamphlets applicable to Graduate Studies, together with an indication of where they may be obtained.

Patterns of Administration:

Relevant Forms and Guidelines for Graduate Students:

Useful information from the Student Advocacy Center:

Useful Information Regarding Different OSU Policies:

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