V. Ph.D. in Spanish

The Department is currently not accepting new admits to the Ph.D. in Spanish. Starting Autumn 2016, this program has been replaced with the Integrated M.A./Ph.D. in Spanish.
 

V.1.   General Requirements


    The Ph.D. in Spanish requires a minimum of 80 graduate credit hours, at least 50 of which must be completed beyond the Master’s degree. Of the 50 graduate credit hours required beyond the M.A., a minimum of 24 must be completed at The Ohio State University.

    For those who specialize in Hispanic Linguistics, 36 graduate hours of doctoral coursework in Hispanic Linguistics, plus 14 hours of a combination of Spanish 8193.02 (PhD Exam Preparation) and 8999 (Research for Dissertation) will fulfill program requirements. For those who specialize in Iberian Studies and/or Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies, 30 graduate hours of doctoral coursework, plus 20 graduate hours of Spanish 8193.02 (PhD Exam Preparation) and Spanish 8999 (Research for Dissertation) will fulfill program requirements.

    In order that they may have a period of concentrated study beyond the M.A., all students are required by the Graduate School 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 (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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V.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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V.3.   Admission to the Ph.D. Program

    A minimal requirement for entrance to the Ph.D. program is a Master’s degree or equivalent graduate work in the discipline and area(s) of desired doctoral specialization. The Graduate School requires a CPHR of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) in previous graduate-level work for admission to all doctoral programs. Normally, however, the expectation of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is that successful applicants to its doctoral program will have a CPHR of 3.5 or higher in previous graduate-level work.

    The Graduate Studies Committee will evaluate foreign degrees according to the following criteria: a) a five-year Licenciatura in the field of desired doctoral specialization will normally be the equivalent of the M.A. degree; b) in the case of four-year Licenciaturas, or other degrees, the Graduate Studies Committee will take into account the writing sample(s) and the presence or absence of a tesina, and evaluate related academic experience in order to determine admission to the Ph.D. programs; c) students with a five-year Licenciatura or equivalent degree in another field (e.g., Anthropology, History, Education, English, French) will be required to enter the Master’s program, unless their studies included a significant concentration in the field of desired doctoral specialization.

    M.A. students who petition to be advanced to the Ph.D. program during their first year must submit to the Graduate Studies Committee a one-page research statement outlining their interests and goals. If the student does advance to the Ph.D. program, time already used as a GTA counts against available support in the Ph.D. program.   

V.3.1.  Procedures for Departmental M.A. Candidates:

    Students wishing to continue on in the Department and pursue the doctoral degree must submit by January 1 of the academic year in which they will receive the M.A., the following materials:

  1. A statement of purpose. This should consist of: a) a statement of the student’s research interests and objectives in pursuing doctoral work in Iberian Studies, Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies, or Hispanic Linguistics; b) the tentative areas of primary and secondary concentration; and c) educational and professional goals and plans.  It should include, additionally, a brief discussion of the student’s prior experiences of Hispanic culture(s) and/or experiences that he or she wishes to gain in the future. Applicants may also take this opportunity to comment on their progress as graduate students. A neat, accurate and professional presentation is always appreciated.
  2. A sample of the student’s best scholarship, preferably in the proposed area of concentration. This writing sample may consist of one or more of his or her finest course papers, and the submission of papers written in Spanish is encouraged. If the writing sample presented is in English, it is expected that the statement of purpose (see above) will be in Spanish.
  3. Three letters of recommendation from faculty members whom the applicant considers to be most familiar with his or her work in our program, of which at least one must be from a professor in the proposed area of concentration.
  4. A copy of the applicant’s most recent Advising Report.
  5. As noted earlier, students in Hispanic Linguistics who wish to be considered for the Ph.D. program must write and present a paper in a colloquium (Spanish 8893).

    The recommendation for admission to the doctoral program is made by the Graduate Studies Committee during the Spring Semester in connection with the admission of external candidates for the coming academic year. The recommendation is contingent upon satisfactory performance in the student’s M.A. examination or research paper and presentation, and a positive recommendation from the student’s Examination Committee. 

    As with the evaluation of external candidates, the evaluation of internal candidates will consider such factors as academic distinction and promise for successful and timely completion of the requirements for the Ph.D. In all cases, official acceptance into the doctoral program is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements for the M.A. degree, as stipulated by the Graduate School. Entrance into the doctoral program may not be undertaken until those requirements have been completed.

V.3.2.  Procedures for External Candidates

    Like those applicants from within the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University, all applicants who have received, or will be receiving, their Master’s degree or equivalent from another institution must submit with their application the following documents: 1) a statement of purpose (see the specifications given in Section V.3.1); 2) a sample of their best scholarship, possibly a paper, or papers, prepared during the candidate’s M.A. program (see the specifications given in Section V.3.1); and 3) three letters of recommendation, utilizing the official OSU recommendation form. (Consult Section IV for more specific information on admissions requirements).

    To the extent feasible, the same criteria for assessing the applicant’s doctoral potential applied to internal candidates will be applied to external candidates as well.

    See Section V.4.3 for additional entry requirements for external applicants to the Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics.

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V.4.   Ph.D. Curricula

V.4.1.  Specialization in Iberian Studies and/or Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies

Fields of Primary Concentration:
Iberian Studies

  1. Middle Ages to Baroque [IB CLASS]
  2. Enlightenment to Postmodernity [IB MOD]

Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies

  1. Indigenous, Colonial and National: Colonial Period to 1880 [LA COL]
  2. Modernity, Postmodernity: Approximately 1880 to Present [LA MOD]

Fields of Secondary Concentration:
Another area from the four fields above, a to d
Literary and Cultural Theories
Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Cultures
Latin@ Literatures and Cultures

Schematic Course Requirements:
A minimum of 33 graduate credit hours in courses leading to Candidacy Examination:

  • Requ (0-3G): Spanish 7801, College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, is required of all new GTAs (unless taken in MA program)
  • Requ (0-8G) Regular enrollment in 8894, Literatures and Cultures Colloquium, is required of all full-time students (unless enrollment exceeds maximum limit)
  • Requ (3G): Spanish 8780, Research Methods and Design
  • Requ (6G): two courses in Literary and Cultural Theory (one of which must be Spanish 6700, Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis, unless taken in MA program)
  • Conc 1 (12G) Field of primary concentration chosen from options above; must include a minimum of 6 hours of 8000-level courses
  • Conc 2 (9G) Field of secondary concentration chosen from options above; no overlap with requirement courses is possible if Theory is chosen
  • Elective (3G)
  • TOTAL 33-44 Graduate credit hours in fulfillment of Ph.D. requirements

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 the 5101/5102 series or 1103 (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.

V.4.2.  Specialization in Hispanic Linguistics

Fields of Concentration:

  1. Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology [PHON]
  2. Syntax and Semantics [SYN/SEM]
  3. Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics [SOCIO/PRAG]
  4. Historical Linguistics (Spanish and Romance) [HIST]
  5. Psycholinguistics [PSYCH]

Schematic Course Requirements:
A minimum of 33 graduate credit hours in courses leading to Candidacy Examination:

  • Requ (0-3G): SPAN 7801, College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, is required of all new GTAs (unless taken in MA program)
  • Requ (0-8G): Regular enrollment in 8893, Hispanic Linguistics Colloquium, is required of all full-time students (unless enrollment exceeds maximum limit)
  • Conc 1 (9G): Field of primary concentration chosen from options above; must include a minimum of 6 hours in 8000-level courses
  • Conc 2 (9G): Field of secondary concentration chosen from options above
  • Divers (9G): 3 additional courses in linguistics, including one on the linguistic analysis of one of the required additional languages
  • Ling (6G): 2 courses in general and theoretical linguistics to complement the areas of Concentration; these courses must be taken outside the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, e.g., Department of Linguistics, Department of Philosophy, etc.
  • TOTAL 33-44 Graduate credit hours in fulfillment of Ph.D. requirements

N.B. A minimum of 21 graduate credit hours of required coursework must be taken in Spanish, Portuguese, or Romance Linguistics courses, unless the advisor grants permission to do otherwise.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 the 5101/5102 series or 1103 (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.

V.4.3.  Entry Requirements for Hispanic Linguistics

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

  • Syntax/Semantics (Spanish 7320)
  • Phonetics/Phonology/Morphology (Spanish 7340)
  • Historical Linguistics (Spanish 7360)
  • Sociolinguistics/Pragmatics (Spanish 7380)
  • Psycholinguistics (Spanish 8320/8390)

Additionally, students should have taken at least one second-level or advanced course in two out of the five areas mentioned above, i.e., the equivalents of Spanish 8330/8340 (Phonology II) and/or Spanish 8330/8320 (Syntax & Semantics II), and/or Spanish 8330/8360 (Historical Linguistics II) and/or Spanish 8330/8380 (Sociolinguistics & Pragmatics II) and/or equivalent courses in Psycholinguistics II.

Before embarking on doctoral studies, candidates with an external M.A. degree lacking coursework equivalent to our internal MA requirements may be required to take appropriate courses where needed. This will be decided upon admission. With approval of the advisor, a student may count up to three 7000-level courses with the SPANISH designation towards fulfillment of the coursework at the doctoral level. Coursework at the 5000-level in the Department of Linguistics or with any other designation besides SPANISH is applicable to the doctoral program. Coursework at the 5000 level with the designation SPANISH may count towards the doctoral program with permission from the instructor and the student's advisor. Students may petition to have 4000-level coursework outside of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese count towards the doctoral requirements.

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

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V.5.   Cadidacy Examination Guidelines and Rules

    The Candidacy Examination is a single examination consisting of a written portion followed by an oral defense.  The examination is administered under the auspices of the Graduate Studies Committee in conjunction with the candidate’s Advisory Committee and the Graduate School. The examination is a test not only of students’ overall comprehension of the primary and secondary fields of concentration, but also of their capacity to undertake independent research), to analyze critically, to synthesize cogently, to articulate ideas clearly, and to generate original thinking.  Candidates will be expected to demonstrate a convincing command of their reading lists, which should reflect the scope of their fields of concentration.  In all instances examination committees will expect students to demonstrate the ability to conceptualize and contextualize beyond the contents of coursework and/or class notes.

    The written portion of the Candidacy Examination consists of two separate four-day take-home examinations, covering both the primary and secondary fields of concentration, and submission of a research proposal (maximum of 1500 words/10 pages) or research paper of publishable quality. The oral portion of the examination is approximately two hours in length, with discussion covering the proposal or paper.

V.5.1.  Timing of the Candidacy Examination

    The Candidacy Examination may be taken at any time thought to be appropriate by the candidate’s Advisory Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee, but not later than two terms (semesters or a semester and summer term) before graduation. All course and language requirements must be satisfied before taking the exam, unless the candidate petitions the Graduate Studies Committee for an exception to this rule.

    Both the written and oral parts of the Candidacy Examination must be taken and completed within the same academic term. A candidate who is a Graduate Teaching Associate with an appointment must be enrolled for at least eight graduate credit hours during the term in which the examination is taken; if not on appointment, then a minimum enrollment of three graduate credit hours is required.

    During the Summer term a Candidacy Examination may take place only if all members of the Advisory Committee agree to be available for the occasion.

V.5.2.  Candidacy Examination Committee

    Doctoral students should work with his/her advisor to design the Candidacy Examination Committee soon after entrance into the Ph.D. program. The Committee guides the candidate through the exam process and is responsible for the written portion, conducting the oral portion, and for evaluating the entire Examination

    Each candidate’s Candidacy Examination Committee is chaired by the candidate’s Advisor, who must be of Category P status. The Advisor has the responsibility for coordinating the preparation and conduct of both the written and oral portions of the Candidacy Examination. The Candidacy Examination Committee includes a minimum of three other Graduate Faculty members who are area specialists. At least two Faculty members must be of Category P status and at least two must be faculty members of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. A Graduate Faculty Representative may be assigned to an initial candidacy exam at the request of the student and Advisor.

V.5.3.  Preparation for the Candidacy Examination

Permission to proceed to the Candidacy Examination is contingent upon the candidate submitting an updated and signed Ph.D. Curriculum Plan via email to the Director of Graduate Studies. This document details all coursework taken in fulfillment of the minimum requirements, and must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies before the Candidacy Examination is scheduled (gradforms.osu.edu).  The Candidacy Examination Committee must also be submitted for approval to the Director of Graduate Studies at this time.

A.  Reading Lists

    Once the Candidacy Examination Committee has been established, the candidate must consult with each member in order to establish with those area specialists a list of texts and/or topics and issues that are considered essential. Although there are no standardized reading lists for doctoral preparation, the texts, topics and issues indicated by members of the Candidacy Examination Committee are to be considered appropriate and essential guidelines. The reading lists should NOT merely replicate and amplify the M.A. reading lists.  It is advisable that these lists be drawn up well in advance of the Candidacy Examination, and they should be submitted in preliminary form to the various members of the Candidacy Examination Committee no later than the end of the fourth week of the semester preceding the semester in which the Candidacy Examination is to be taken. Candidates should then arrange to consult with each member of the Committee about possible additions, deletions, and modifications. After this consultation, it is incumbent upon the candidate to put together in a standardized format the definitive version of each of the reading lists and to provide each Committee member with a copy of all lists. This should be done in a timely manner, and must be done no later than one month prior to the first written examination.

B.  PhD Exam Preparation Course

    Students should enroll in Spanish 8193.02 (PhD Exam Preparation) upon completion of all other course requirements in order to make significant progress on the reading list/exam preparation for the degree sought. The scope and requirements of this course will be drawn up in conjunction with the candidate's Advisor. The contract agreed upon must include the specific goals of the course and the bibliography to be covered. Work will include attendance at discussion sessions and the submission of reports on the readings completed.
 
C.  Independent Study 8193.01

    Preparation for the Candidacy Examination should begin when the student enters the program; it proceeds with each graduate course taken, since these courses, as a group, constitute the optimum opportunity for in-depth study of specific texts and issues.

V.5.4.  Structure of the Written Portion of the Candidacy Examination

    The written portion of the Candidacy Examination consists of two take-home examinations of four days’ duration each, in addition to the writing and submission of either a research paper of publishable quality or a research proposal (see Section VIII.1.8). Each of the written take-home examinations will require that the candidate compose two essays in response to two questions chosen from the list of possible questions set by the Candidacy Examination Committee. The list of questions will normally consist of no more than three or four options. 

    Questions on the written portion of the Candidacy Examination provide full coverage of the primary and secondary fields of concentration. The candidate’s Advisor, in consultation with the Candidacy Examination Committee, has responsibility for the coordination of the examination. Not later than one week prior to the date requested for submission, the Advisor solicits questions for the written portion from the other members of the Candidacy Examination Committee. To allow for any adjustment or corrections requested by the committee members, the Advisor is subsequently responsible for providing each of them with a draft text of the proposed complete examination at least three full working days before the deadline for submission of the examination to the Academic Program Assistant. If any committee member wishes further discussion, the Advisor should convoke a meeting to finalize the definitive examination text. The exam questions must always be submitted to the Academic Program Assistant in final, fully edited, form to be included in the Candidate’s academic e-file.

V.5.5.  Administration of the Take-Home Examinations

    Each of the two take-home examinations is taken during a four-day period, usually comprising an extended weekend. The second of these examinations must be taken within that period of thirty days that directly precedes the Oral Examination. The candidate will receive an email with the examination questions from the Advisor or from the Academic Program Assistant 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 Academic Program Assistant and the Candidacy Examination Committee members 96 hours (i.e., four days) later.

V.5.6.  Research Component of the Written Portion of the Candidacy Examination

The research component of the written portion of the Candidacy Examination fulfills the Graduate School mandate that the Examination evaluate the capacity to formulate original research questions and argue the evidence.  When the research component takes the form of a research proposal, it also serves the important function of generating preliminary research both for the dissertation and for the dissertation prospectus which should be presented no more than six weeks following the Candidacy Examination (see Section VIII.2.3). Whether the research component takes the form of a research proposal or a publishable research paper, it must be submitted to all members of the Candidacy Examination Committee, including the Graduate Faculty Representative (if the inclusion of such a representative has been requested by the candidate and Advisor; see Section VIII.2.3) no later than one full week before the scheduled oral portion of the examination. The quality of the proposal or publishable paper is given full consideration in the evaluation of the written examination. 

V.5.7.  Guidelines for the Research Proposal

The research proposal focuses on a topic in the candidate’s major field of concentration and should be directly related to the tentative dissertation topic. It identifies the problem under consideration, analyzes its relevance to the field and the discipline at large, and proposes a methodology for its investigation. The topic may deal with any aspect of research activity in the area, from data collection to theoretical application. The proposal should serve as an opportunity to advance definition and development of the prospectus that should be submitted no more than six weeks following the Candidacy Examination. It should be understood, however, that the research proposal is not the dissertation prospectus, which is a fully developed and much more extensive document.
 

In writing the research proposal, it is recommended that students follow the outline listed below:

1)  Abstract
The abstract is a short paragraph describing the proposal so that the general academic reader who is unfamiliar with the area can understand it.

2)  Statement of Research Objectives and Significance
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 does not require full review of the existing literature; rather, it attempts 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)  Theoretical Framework and Methodology
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)  Expectations and Summary
This section specifies the results expected from the study, unless the project is purely exploratory. It serves as a recapitulation of the significance and need for the study.

5)  Selective Bibliography
This section lists the publications with greatest relevance to the proposed study and/or referred to in the proposal (one page maximum).

6)  Short CV of the candidate
This section is optional but highly recommended (one page maximum).

Parts 2-4 should total approximately 1000-1500 words and should not exceed seven pages, double-spaced. Parts 1, 5, and 6 should be appended. The total number of pages should not exceed ten.

The evaluation of the research proposal will be expressed on a scale of 1 to 5 according to the following approximate values:
    1 – excellent, strongly recommended
    2 – very good, should be approved
    3 – good, may need some revision
    4 – some merit, but not recommended in present form
    5 – not recommended

Criteria for the Evaluation will generally include the significance of the project to scholarship in the field; the effectiveness with which the candidate places the research problem within the framework of the discipline and argues for the significance of the project; the appropriateness and organization of the theoretical application or methodology proposed; command of critical issues; and feasibility.

VI.5.8.  Guidelines for the Publishable Research Paper

The research paper of publishable quality has the following characteristics:

  • is a self-contained piece of research in finished form
  • deals with a well-defined topic of interest in the current research scene
  • reviews the pertinent literature (old to current) for effective embedding of the problem in its field
  • delimits the essential questions to be asked in dealing with this problem
  • makes an original contribution to the understanding/solution of the problem
  • typically postulates a hypothesis, presents arguments for and/or against this hypothesis, and assesses the effectiveness of the new hypothesis with regard to the prior state of the question
  • draws relevant conclusions from the discussion in the body of the article
  • strictly follows an appropriate style sheet, ready for professional editing
  • contains a fully developed reference section representing a relevant, if not exhaustive, bibliography of the topic, used in a critical apparatus
  • has a topical abstract (less than 200 words) as first paragraph

    The research article will be independently evaluated by two readers with a written report assessing its merits and its publish-ability. The evaluation or the research article will be expressed on a scale of 1-5 according to the following approximate values:

    1 – publishable as is
    2 – needs minor revision
    3 – needs extensive detail revisions
    4 – not yet publishable, needs major revisions
    5 – not publishable

V.5.9.  Scheduling of the Oral Portion of the Candidacy Examination

    The oral portion of the Candidacy Examination, which lasts approximately two hours, is held after the completion of the written portion. The oral portion normally must be completed within one month of the written portion. The Advisor, with the cooperation of the candidate, will consult with the committee to make arrangements for the day and time of the oral examination, which must take place during announced university business hours, Monday through Friday. It must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, and the Graduate School must be notified of its time and place by the submission of an Application for Candidacy at GRADFORMS. It is expected that every candidate will have sufficient knowledge of both English and Spanish or Portuguese to be able to conduct the examination in either language.

    The chair of the Candidacy Examination Committee is responsible for providing the other committee members and the Academic Program Assistant with written confirmation of the date and time of the examination. Upon receiving this confirmation the Academic Program Assistant will schedule an appropriate location. Consult Section 7.6 of the Graduate School Handbook for all policies and procedures relating to the oral portion of the candidacy exam.

V.5.10.  Nature of the Oral Portion of the Candidacy Examination

    At the time appointed, the members of the Candidacy Examination Committee convene under the direction of its chair, the candidate’s Advisor. The committee first deliberates for a short while to review the results of the written portions and to establish the procedure to be followed in the oral portion.

    Questions on the oral portion are, in principle, open to any aspect of the areas constituting the written portion. Normally, the examination proceeds through the areas one-by-one, with the examiner representing a particular area leading the questioning in that area; the other committee members may also intervene at any point.  It is a frequent, although not invariable, procedure to start out with some questions following up answers to the written portion of the examination (clarifications, corrections, expansion, further aspects, etc.), then passing on to additional points of interest in the course of the discussion.  The research proposal or publishable paper will be discussed as well.  Inquiries may also be unrelated to the written questions and answers in order to cover other topics in the areas of concentration or on the reading lists.  

    The aim of the questioning is to explore what is known by the candidate and to determine whether the candidate can articulate his/her knowledge in a coherent and critical fashion. It is essential for candidates to respond to all questions as directly as possible, while displaying mature understanding of the topic under discussion. If responses do not come quickly to mind, or if all aspects of a question cannot be dealt with in a straightforward way, candidates should so inform the examiners. In general, it is best to regard the questions and answers as an exchange of information and ideas. It is not helpful to delay the discussion over some minute or forgotten detail, or by trying to second-guess the questions.

    Attendance at the oral portion of the Candidacy Examination is limited to the candidate and members of the Candidacy Examination Committee. All members of the Candidacy Examination Committee must be present during the entire oral examination. Videoconferencing is possible with prior approval from the Graduate School All candidacy oral examinations involving video conferencing must adhere to the Graduate School’s guidelines for video conferencing, available from the Graduate School (see Appendix B). All committee members are expected to participate fully in the questioning and the decision on the final result.

    At the end of the oral portion of the Candidacy Examination, the candidate will be asked to leave the room while the committee deliberates about the result of both parts of the examination. The candidate will then be called in and informed about the outcome. For specific feedback on any section of either the written or oral portion of the Candidacy Examination, the candidate may speak after the examination with the Advisor and any other member of the committee.

V.5.11.  Result of the Candidacy Examination

    The Candidacy Examination is evaluated as either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. Each examiner indicates his/her judgment by signing the Candidacy Examination Report form that is submitted to the Graduate School. The candidate is considered to have completed the Candidacy Examination successfully only when the decision of the Candidacy Examination Committee is unanimously affirmative.

    If the examination is judged unsatisfactory, the Candidacy Examination Committee must decide whether the candidate will be permitted to take a second Candidacy Examination and must record that decision on the Candidacy Examination Report form. The nature of the second Candidacy Examination is determined by the examination committee, but it must include a written and an oral portion. If a second examination is held, the Candidacy Examination Committee must be the same as the original one, unless a substitution is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. The second Candidacy Examination must be completed no later than two semesters or one semester and a summer session before graduation. No student is permitted to take the Candidacy Examination more than twice.

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

V.5.12.  Candidacy

    Provided that the candidate is in good standing at the end of the semester in which the Candidacy Examination is completed, satisfactorily completing that examination admits the student to candidacy for the doctoral degree at the end of that semester. Admission to candidacy signifies that the candidate is judged to be properly prepared to undertake work on the dissertation.  If a candidate fails to submit the final copy of the dissertation to the Graduate School within five years of being admitted to candidacy, the candidacy is cancelled. In such a case, with the approval of the Advisor and the Graduate Studies Committee, the student may take a Supplemental Candidacy Examination. If this Supplemental Candidacy Examination is passed, the candidate is readmitted to candidacy and must then complete the dissertation within two years.

    Please note that post-candidacy doctoral students should 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.  

    All students admitted Autumn 2008 and after who successfully complete the doctoral candidacy examination, will be required to be enrolled in every semester of their candidacy (summer excluded) until graduation. For further information, see Section 7.8 of the Graduate School Handbook.

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V.6.   Dissertation

V.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.

V.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 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.

V.6.3.  Prospectus

    After the Dissertation Committee has been formed, a student who has been advanced to candidacy will develop in conjunction with her/his Advisor and the other Dissertation Committee members, a formal prospectus for the dissertation. 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 specific form that the prospectus takes is a matter that is worked out between the candidate and the Advisor. At the very least, however, it should contain: 1) a discussion of the objectives and potential significance of the project; 2) a brief review of the existing literature on the topic; 3) a substantial description of the theoretical framework and methodology of the study; 4) an outline of the organization and structure of the work, with some explanation of what the various sections might contain; 5) a summary presentation, if feasible, of what the most important conclusions of the project are likely to be; and 6) a substantial bibliography of works both consulted and to be consulted. It should be emphasized that even if the dissertation prospectus grows out of a research proposal that was presented in conjunction with the Candidacy Examination, it represents a deepening and a widening of that proposal as a result of further investigation.

    The prospectus must be submitted to the Dissertation Committee for approval no later than six weeks following the Candidacy Examination; failure to meet this deadline may jeopardize the candidate’s continued financial support. After provisional approval by the Advisor, indicated by his or her signature on the cover page of the document, a draft of the prospectus is made available to the committee members no less than one full week before the formal meeting of the committee that is called for the purpose of discussing the prospectus with the candidate. This meeting will be organized and chaired by the candidate’s Advisor. The committee may request submission of a substantially revised prospectus, or it may approve the prospectus with no, or only minor revisions. After it has been approved, a copy of the prospectus is kept on file, along with the corresponding Approval of Dissertation Prospectus Form.

V.6.4.  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.

V.6.5.  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 electonically 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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V.7.   Final Oral Examination

V.7.1.  Nature of the 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 videoconferenced 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 VIII.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.

V.7.2.  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.

V.7.3.  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 VIII. 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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