IV. Integrated M.A./Ph.D. in Portuguese


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.

Residency Requirements: In order to have a period of concentrated time to study for the Candidacy Examination, the Graduate School required students to have completed a minimum of two consecutive pre-candidacy semesters or one semester and a summer session with fulltime enrollment while in residence at this university. After successful completion of the Candidacy Examination, a minimum of six graduate credit hours over a period of at least two semesters or one semester and a summer session are required. The Graduate School Handbook section VII.2 contains more details on the Residency Requirements.

The Graduate School Handbook Section 7 (Doctoral Degree Programs) contains important additional information on Ph.D. requirements.  See, in particular, these paragraphs:
        7.2    Credit Hours and Residence Requirements
        7.4    Candidacy Examination
        7.8    Candidacy
        7.9    Dissertation
        7.10    Final Oral Examination
        7.12    Dissertation—Final Copy
        7.13    Graduation Requirements
        7.14    Summary of Ph.D. Graduation Requirements         

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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

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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 if 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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