Degree Programs - French and Italian

 

Bachelor of Arts in French

The French section offers a major and a minor in French. Students are encouraged to pursue a course of study tailored to their individual needs and interests. A degree in French serves as a stepping stone to entering international business, law, translation, and teaching, or as preparation for graduate studies in French, history, or comparative literature.

The French major allows students to combine their work in French with work from another field such as African studies, linguistics, art history, music, economics, history, education, medicine, international relations, political science, or other foreign languages and literatures. The literature and philosophy specialization offers students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary studies at the intersection of literature and philosophy in a structured manner and alongside similarly interested students from a variety of humanistic disciplines.

REQUIREMENTS

FRENCH

To graduate with a major in French, students must complete a minimum of 56 units of course work in the major. These 56 units may not be used towards any other major or minor. Courses applied to the major must be taken for a letter grade, and a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better must be achieved in each course. Relevant courses from other departments or programs may also earn credit toward the major with the prior consent of the Chair of Undergraduate Studies. To enroll in all FRENLIT courses at or above 130, students must have successfully completed FRENLANG 124 or successfully tested above this level through the Language Center.

 

  1. Gateway Courses—Students are recommended to take two courses in the FRENLIT 120 sequence (8 units).

  2. FRENLIT 120. Coffee and Cigarettes: The Making of French Intellectual Culture
  3. FRENLIT 122. Nation in Motion: Film, Race and Immigration in Contemporary French Cinema
  4. FRENLIT 124. Constructing the French
  5. Introductory Culture and Literature Courses—Students must take a minimum of three of the following core courses (12 units). Any one of these courses fulfills the Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement.
  6. FRENLIT 130. Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance French Literature
  7. FRENLIT 131. Absolutism, Enlightenment, and Revolution (17th and 18th c.)
  8. FRENLIT 132. Literature, Revolutions, and Changes (19th and 20th c.)
  9. FRENLIT 133. Literature and Society in Africa and the Caribbean
  10. Medieval/Early Modern Courses—Students must take two courses that concern the period before 1800 (8 units). Courses from the department must be at or above the 140 level. Courses chosen from outside the department must be pre-approved by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies.
  11. Capstone Course—Students must take at least one course of FRENLIT/GEN at or above the 200 level (4 units).
  12. Electives—A maximum of 28 elective units may be applied to the major. Prior approval from the Chair of Undergraduate Studies is required. The following courses have been pre-approved as electives:
  13. FRENLANG 21C, 22C, 23C, 50, 120 and 124. French Language courses at the second year level and above (maximum of 15 units)
  14. IHUM 2 and IHUM 3. Epic Journeys, Modern Quests (8-10 units)
  15. OSPPARIS courses. Courses taken at the Bing Overseas Studies in Paris program (regardless of the language of instruction)
  16. SLE 91, 92, and 93. Structured Liberal Education (10 units)
FRENCH AND PHILOSOPHY

The French and Philosophy major specialization requires a minimum of 16 courses, for a minimum total of 65 units, distributed as follows:

  1. Advanced Language (4 units)—All students must take FRENLANG 124. Advanced French Grammar.
  2. Introductory Series on French and Francophone Literature and Culture (12 units)—Three courses must be taken from the FRENLIT 130 sequence.
  3. Philosophy Writing in the Major (5 units)—PHIL 80. Prerequisite: introductory philosophy class.
  4. Philosophy and Literature Gateway Course (4 units)—FRENGEN 181 (same as PHIL 81). This course should be taken as early as possible in the student's career, normally in the sophomore year.
  5. Aesthetics, Ethics, Political Philosophy (ca. 4 units)—One course from the PHIL 170 series.
  6. Language, Mind, Metaphysics, and Epistemology (ca. 4 units)—One course from the PHIL 180 series.
  7. History of Philosophy (ca. 8 units)—Two courses in the history of philosophy, numbered above PHIL 100.
  8. Upper Division French Courses (ca. 12 units)—At least three courses numbered FRENLIT/FRENGEN 140 or higher.
  9. Related Courses (ca. 8 units)—Two upper division courses relevant to the student's chosen area of specialization. One course (4 units) may be FRENLIT 199, Individual Work.
  10. Capstone Seminar (ca. 4 units)—This year's capstone seminars are:
  11. PHIL 194L. Montaigne
  12. COMPLIT 199. Narrative and Ethics

One of these courses must be taken in the student's senior year.

The capstone seminar and the two related courses must be approved by both the undergraduate adviser of French and the undergraduate adviser of the initiative in philosophical and literary thought administered through the DLCL. Substitutions, including transfer credit, are not normally permitted for items 5, 6, and 7, and are not permitted under any circumstances for items 3, 4, and 10. Up to 10 units of courses taken in the Philosophy department may be taken CR/NC or S/NC; the remainder must be taken for a letter grade.

EXTENDED MAJORS

Requirements for both extended majors are essentially identical to those of the French major with a concentration in French literature.

French and English Literatures—In addition to the requirements for the B.A. in French, candidates complete four English literature courses numbered 100 and above related to their French program.

French and Italian Literatures—In addition to the requirements for the B.A. in French, students complete four Italian courses numbered 200 and above related to their concentration in French.

FRENCH AND LINGUISTICS

Linguistics majors may elect to specialize in the French language. In addition to 50 units in Linguistics, of which two courses (LINGUIST 110 and 160) may be replaced by comparable courses in French, students opting for a French Language specialization must take three courses in the introductory series devoted to French and Francophone literature and culture (FRENLIT 130-133). For details, contact the Department of Linguistics.

MINOR IN FRENCH

To earn a minor in French, students must complete a minimum of 24 units of course work in the department. These 24 units may not be used towards any other major or minor. Courses applied to the minor must be taken for a letter grade, and a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better must be achieved in each course. Before enrolling in all FRENLIT courses at or above 130, students must have successfully completed FRENLANG 124 or successfully tested above this level through the Language Center.

  1. Core French Courses—Students must take a minimum of three FRENLIT or FRENGEN courses. Two must be from the FRENLIT 130 sequence (8 units):
  2. FRENLIT 130. Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance French Literature
  3. FRENLIT 131. Absolutism, Enlightenment, and Revolution (17th and 18th c.)
  4. FRENLIT 132. Literature, Revolutions, and Changes (19th and 20th c.)
  5. FRENLIT 133. Literature and Society in Africa and the Caribbean
  6. Electives—A maximum of 12 elective units may be applied to the minor. Prior approval from the Chair of Undergraduate Studies is required. The following courses have been pre-approved as electives:
  7. FRENLANG 21C, 22C, 23C, 50, 120 and 124. French Language courses at the second year level and above (maximum of 12 units)
  8. IHUM 2 and IHUM 3. Epic Journeys, Modern Quests (4 units)
  9. OSPPARIS courses taught in French at Bing Overseas Studies in Paris program
  10. SLE 91, 92, and 93.  Structured Liberal Education (5 units)

 

HONORS PROGRAM

Majors are eligible to apply to the honors program if they have maintained an average grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 in all French courses. The honors program candidate must fulfill all regular requirements for the major, as well as the writing of a research paper no shorter than 50 pages in length, written in French or English, on a specialized topic.

No later than the end of Spring Quarter of the junior year, the student must submit to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies an Application for Honors, the central portion of which must contain an outline of the proposed honors essay. If it is in need of revisions, the Chair of Undergraduate Studies helps the student through the revision process until the proposal is granted his or her approval. The Chair of Undergraduate Studies also helps the student identify an appropriate adviser for the essay.

Students may enroll for 2 units of credit in FRENLIT 189B for the drafting or revision of the thesis proposal in Spring Quarter of the junior year. In Autumn Quarter of the senior year, honors students must enroll in DLCL 189, a 5-unit seminar that focuses on researching and writing the honors thesis. Students then enroll for 5 units of credit in FRENLIT 189A while composing the thesis during Winter Quarter. Students who did not enroll in a 189B course in the junior year may enroll in FRENLIT 189B in Spring Quarter of the senior year while revising the thesis, if approved by the thesis adviser.

A total of 10-12 units are awarded for completion of honors course work, independent study, and the finished thesis. Honors essays are due to the thesis adviser no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 15 of the terminal year. If an essay is found deserving of a grade of 'A-' or better by the thesis adviser, honors are granted at the time of graduation.

Honors College—The Department of French and Italian encourages honors students to enroll in the honors college run by the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL). The college meets at the end of every summer, during the weeks directly preceding the start of the academic year, and is designed to help students develop their honors thesis projects. Applications must be submitted by Spring Quarter of the same calendar year. For more information, contact the undergraduate student services officer in the DLCL.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Italian

REQUIREMENTS

ITALIAN

To graduate with a major in Italian, students must complete a minimum of 60 units of course work in the major. These 60 units may not be used towards any other major or minor. Courses applied to the major must be taken for a letter grade, and a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better must be achieved in each course. Relevant courses from other departments or programs may also earn credit toward the major with the prior consent of the Chair of Undergraduate Studies. To enroll in all ITALLIT courses at or above 127, students must have successfully completed ITALLANG 113 or above, or successfully tested above this level through the Language Center.

  1. Second Year Language—Students must enroll in all second-year language courses (9-12 units)
  2. ITALLANG 21. Second-Year Italian, First Quarter
  3. ITALLANG 22. Second-Year Italian, Second Quarter
  4. ITALLANG 23. Second-Year Italian, Third Quarter
  5. Advanced Language—Students must enroll in at least one of the following advanced language courses (4 units)
  6. ITALLANG 113. Italian Cultural Studies
  7. ITALLANG 114. Advanced Stylistics and Composition
  8. ITALLANG 115. Academic and Creative Writing
  9. Introductory Culture and Literature Courses—Students must take all three of the following core courses at Stanford (12 units). Any one of these courses fulfills the Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement.
  10. ITALLIT 127. Inventing Italian Literature
  11. ITALLIT 128. The Italian Renaissance
  12. ITALLIT 129. Modern Italian Literature
  13. Core Literature Courses—Students must complete one course on each of the following topics (12 units)
  14. Dante
  15. The Middle Ages (14th - 16th c.)
  16. Early Modern (16th - 18th c.)
  17. Modern (18th c. to the present)
  18. Electives—A maximum of 24 elective units dealing with Italy above the 100 level may be applied to the major. Prior approval from the Chair of Undergraduate Studies is required. The following courses have been pre-approved as electives:
  19. IHUM 2 and IHUM 3. Epic Journeys, Modern Quests (8-10 units)
  20. OSPFLOR courses. Courses taken at the Bing Overseas Studies in Florence program (regardless of the language of instruction).
  21. SLE 91, 92, and 93. Structured Liberal Education (10 units)
ITALIAN AND PHILOSOPHY

The Italian and Philosophy major track requires a minimum of 16 courses, for a minimum total of 65 units, distributed as follows:

  1. Italian Survey Sequence (12 units): ITALLIT 127, 128, 129.
  2. Advanced Language Course (ca. 4 units): ITALLANG 113 and above.
  3. Philosophy Writing in the Major (5 units): PHIL 80. Prerequisite: introductory philosophy class.
  4. Philosophy and Literature Gateway Course (4 units): ITALGEN 181 (same as PHIL 81). This course should be taken as early as possible in the student’s career, normally in the sophomore year.
  5. Aesthetics, Ethics, Political Philosophy (ca. 4 units): one course from the PHIL 170 series.
  6. Language, Mind, Metaphysics, and Epistemology (ca. 4 units): one course from the PHIL 180 series.
  7. History of Philosophy (ca. 8 units): two courses in the history of philosophy, numbered above PHIL 100.
  8. Upper Division Italian Courses (ca. 12 units): at least three courses numbered ITALLIT/ITALGEN 100 or higher.
  9. Related Courses (ca. 8 units): two upper division courses relevant to the student’s chosen area of specialization.
  10. Capstone Seminar (ca. 4 units): this year’s capstone seminars are:
  11. PHIL 194L. Montaigne
  12. COMPLIT 199. Narrative and Ethics

One of these courses must be taken in the student's senior year.

The capstone seminar and the two related courses must be approved by both the undergraduate adviser of Italian and the undergraduate adviser of the program in philosophical and literary thought administered through the DLCL. No more than 24 units may be drawn from courses offered overseas. Substitutions, including transfer credit, are not normally permitted for items 5, 6, and 7, and are not permitted under any circumstances for items 3, 4, and 10. Up to 10 units of courses taken in the Philosophy department may be taken CR/NC or S/NC; the remainder must be taken for a letter grade.

EXTENDED MAJORS

Requirements for both extended majors are essentially identical to those of the Italian major with a concentration in Italian literature.

Italian and English Literatures—In addition to the 32 departmental units required for the B.A. in Italian, candidates must complete four English literature courses numbered 100 and above related to the field of concentration in Italian Studies.

Italian and French Literatures—In addition to the 32 departmental units required for the B.A. in Italian, candidates must complete four French literature courses numbered 100 and above related to the field of concentration in Italian Studies.

MINOR IN ITALIAN

To earn a minor in Italian, students must complete a minimum of 24 units of course work in the department.  These 24 units may not be used towards any other major or minor. Courses applied to the minor must be taken for a letter grade, and a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better must be achieved in each course. To enroll in all ITALLIT courses at or above 127, students must have successfully completed ITALLANG 113 or above, or successfully tested above this level through the Language Center.

  1. Language—Students may earn 12 units in second-year and above language courses (maximum 12 units)
  2. ITALLANG 21-23. Second-year Italian Language
  3. ITALLANG 113. Italian Cultural Studies
  4. ITALLANG 114. Advanced Stylistics and Composition
  5. ITALLANG 115. Academic and Creative Writing
  6. Introductory Culture and Literature Courses—Students must take two of the following core courses at Stanford (8 units)
  7. ITALLIT 127. Inventing Italian Literature
  8. ITALLIT 128. The Italian Renaissance
  9. ITALLIT 129. Modern Italian Literature
  10. Electives—A maximum of 8 elective units may be applied to the minor. Prior approval from the Chair of Undergraduate Studies is required. The following courses have been pre-approved as electives:
  11. IHUM 2 and IHUM 3. Epic Journeys, Modern Quests (4 units)
  12. OSPFLOR courses. Courses taken in Italian at the Bing Overseas Studies in Florence program.
  13. SLE 91, 92, and 93. Structured Liberal Education (5 units)

 

Honors Program

Italian majors with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 (B+) or better in all Italian courses are eligible for department honors. Students interested in the honors program should consult the Italian undergraduate adviser early in their junior year. In addition to the requirements listed above, the student must submit to the Italian faculty a proposal for the honors essay by the end of Spring Quarter of the junior year. During the quarter, students may enroll in ITALLIT 189B while drafting and revising the proposal and conducting preliminary research. In Autumn Quarter of the senior year, honors students must enroll in DLCL 189, a 5-unit seminar that focuses on researching and writing the honors thesis. Students then enroll for 5 units of credit in ITALLIT 189A while composing the thesis during Winter Quarter. Students who did not enroll in a 189B course in the junior year may enroll in ITALLIT 189B in Spring quarter of the senior year while revising the thesis, if approved by the thesis adviser. A total of 10-12 units are awarded for successful completion of honors course work, independent study, and the finished thesis. Honors essays are due to the thesis adviser no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 15 of the terminal year. If an essay is found deserving of grade of 'A-' or better by the thesis adviser, honors are granted at the time of graduation.

Honors College—The Department of French and Italian encourages honors students to enroll in the honors college run by the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL). The college meets at the end of every summer, during the weeks directly preceding the start of the academic year, and is designed to help students develop their honors thesis projects. Applications must be submitted by Spring Quarter of the same calendar year. For more information, contact the undergraduate student services officer in the DLCL.

 

Minor in Modern Languages

The Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages offers a minor in Modern Languages. This minor draws on literature and language courses offered through this and other literature departments.  See the "Literatures, Cultures, and Languages" section of this bulletin for further details about the minor and its requirements.

 

Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Program in French or Italian

University requirements for the coterminal M.A. are described in the "Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Degrees" section of this bulletin.

Each year the department admits a small number of undergraduates to the coterminal B.A. and M.A. degree in French or in Italian. Applications must be submitted by January 31 of the senior year to the Director of the Department and must include:

  • a written statement of purpose
  • two letters of recommendation from faculty at Stanford
  • a transcript.

Students accepted into the coterminal program must have been undergraduate majors in the relevant language and must meet all requirements both for the B.A. and the M.A.

 

Master of Arts in French

University regulations pertaining to the M.A. are listed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

The terminal M.A. in French provides a flexible combination of language, literature, cultural history, and methodology course work designed to enhance the preparation of secondary school, junior college, or college teachers.

Candidates must complete a minimum of 45 units of graduate work, all courses being taken for a letter grade, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.3, as well as pass the master’s examination at the end of their studies. To fulfill the requirements in a single year, enrollment must be for an average of 15 units per quarter.

Candidates must take one cultural history course (to be taken either inside or outside the Department of French and Italian). All remaining units are to be taken in advanced French literature courses (200 level or above), three of which must be concerned with the pre-revolutionary period of French cultural history.

Applicants should consult Graduate Admissions for information related to the application process.  Candidates for this degree are not eligible for financial aid or for teaching assistantships.

EXAMINATION

The terminal M.A. examination is administered the fourth week of Spring Quarter by a three-member committee, selected each year by the Chair of Graduate Studies. It consists of two parts:

1. Written Exam—The two-hour written exam tests the candidate's general knowledge of French literature and is based on the French Ph.D. reading list which may be obtained from the chair of Graduate Studies, Student Affairs Officer, or by referencing the French and Italian Graduate Student Handbook.

The exam requires that the candidate answer two questions (out of three) in a manner that demonstrates his/her ability to synthesize and draw parallels between periods, genres, and systems of representation on the basis of the standard reading list. One question must be answered in French. Use of a dictionary is allowed.

If the student's performance on the exam is deemed a 'pass' by two out of three of the members of the examining committee, the student is then permitted to go on to the oral examination (taken later the same week). Should the candidate fail the M.A. written exam, he/she is given a second chance at the end of Spring Quarter.

2. Oral Exam—The 90-minute oral exam is based upon the student's answers on the written exam. It examines the candidate's knowledge and understanding of French literary history on the basis of the standard reading list.

At the conclusion of the oral exam, the examination committee meets in closed session and discusses the student’s performance on the written and the oral portions of the examination. If it is judged adequate, the M.A. degree is granted. In no event may the master’s written and oral exams be taken more than twice.

 

Doctor of Philosophy in French

University regulations pertaining to the Ph.D. are listed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Course Work—A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must complete at least 135 units of graduate-level study. 72 of the 135 units must be taken within the department. All course work should be selected in consultation with the Chair of Graduate Studies.

Required Courses

  • FRENGEN 369: Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession. This course must be taken in the first quarter of study.
  • FRENGEN 301E: New Methods and Sources in French and Italian Studies. This course must be taken no later than the end of the third year of study.
  • DLCL 201: The Learning and Teaching of Second Languages. This course must be taken in Spring Quarter of the first year of study.
  • A minimum of five courses taught in French (FRENLIT) at the graduate level with instruction in French. Three of the required five courses must be taken within the first year.

Elective Courses—  Apart from the required courses above, students are granted considerable freedom in structuring a course of study appropriate to their individual needs. During the first year, most course work is done within the department, in order to ensure an adequate preparation for the qualifying examination. Students are encouraged to take a variety of courses in order to be exposed to different periods and issues. Students are not allowed to take Independent Study during their first year.  In the second and third years, however, the program of study is tailored to the specific interests of the student.

  1. Examinations—Successful completion of all department and University examinations.
  2. Dissertation—Submission and approval of a dissertation.
  3. Teaching—Ph.D. students are required to teach minimum of five courses within their five years of funding.
  4. Language Requirements—Attaining a native or near-native fluency in French is a requirement to qualify for the Ph.D. degree. Upon entering the program, candidates must contact the Language Center and arrange to take the OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) to determine their fluency in French. An advanced level or above must have been reached by the time candidates take their qualifying exam in Autumn Quarter of the second year of study. If a student fails to score in the advanced bracket of the OPI test upon entering, he/she is tested again at the beginning of the second year. It is the responsibility of the candidates to design a course of study to improve his or her proficiency in French. Candidates who do not meet the minimum language requirement must discuss their plans to meet this requirement with the Chair of Graduate Studies.

In addition, candidates are required to achieve a high level of proficiency in one additional foreign language, with the language in question to be determined by the student and adviser as a function of the student's area of specialization. Such proficiency may be demonstrated either by completing a graduate seminar in the language in question, or by passing an exam that establishes a third-year or above level of competence in writing, reading, and speaking. In the case of ancient Greek and Latin, a high level of proficiency means a level superior to a second-year collegiate level of proficiency in reading and writing. The second foreign language requirement must be completed by the end of the third year.

  1. Candidacy—At the end of the second year of residency, students who are performing well, as indicated by their course work, performance on the Qualifying Exam, and teaching and research assistantship performance, are advanced to candidacy. This step implies that the student has demonstrated the relevant qualities required for successful completion of the Ph.D. Future evaluations are based on the satisfactory completion of specific remaining department and University requirements. Students who are not advanced to candidacy will normally be terminated from the program and awarded an M.A. degree. In some cases, the department may require that a student complete outstanding work or complete unmet requirements before admission to candidacy. The university requires that all students must be admitted to candidacy by the beginning of the third year in residence in order to continue in the Ph.D. program. Therefore all requirements stipulated by the department must be met before registration for Autumn Quarter of the student's third year. At any point during the degree program, evidence that a student is performing at a less than satisfactory level may be cause for a formal academic review of that student.
  2. TGR Status—Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy, completed all required courses and degree requirements other than the dissertation, completed 135 units, and submitted a Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee form, must request Terminal Graduate Registration status to complete their dissertations. Each quarter, all TGR students must enroll in FRENGEN 802 for zero units, in the appropriate section for their adviser.

GRADING

Doctoral students in the department must take required courses for a letter grade if available and are expected to earn a grade of 'B+' or better in each course. Any grade of 'B' or below is considered to be less than satisfactory. Grades of 'B' or below are reviewed by facultywhile the grade will stand, the student may be required to revise and resubmit the work associated with that course.

EXAMINATIONS

There are three examinations: the Qualifying Examination, the Field Examination, and the University Oral Examination. All course work must be current prior to taking any scheduled exams.

Qualifying Examination—The first oral examination, which takes place in the first two weeks of October of the second year of study, tests the student's knowledge of language and literature and his/her aptitude for critical thinking. The examining committee, determined by the Director of French and Italian, schedules the precise exam date and time.

The exam is based on a standard reading list covering major works from all periods of literature in the language(s) of study, from the Middle Ages to present day. The list may be expanded to reflect a student's particular interests, but not abridged. The reading list may be obtained from the Chair of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Student Affairs Officer, or by referencing the French and Italian student handbook.

The exam is 90 minutes in length and consists of two parts:

  1. A 20-minute presentation by the candidate on a topic to be determined by the student. This presentation may be given in English or in the language of study and should engage, in a succinct manner, an issue or set of issues of broad relevance to the literary history of the language(s) of study. The presentation must not simply be a text read aloud, but rather must be given from notes. It is meant to be suggesting and not exhaustive, so as to provoke further discussion.
  2. A 70-minute question and answer period in which the examining committee follows up on the candidate's presentation and discusses the reading list with the student. At least part of this portion of the exam takes place in the language(s) of study. The student is expected to demonstrate a solid knowledge of the texts on the reading list and of the basic issues which they raise, as well as a broader sense of the cultural/literary context into which they fit and demonstrate the ability to formulate an original point of view on such texts and contexts.

Students who do not pass the Qualifying Exam their first time may be placed on probation with limited enrollment and be allowed to retake the exam at the end of Autumn Quarter. Should the student not pass the retake exam, his or her studies in the Ph.D. program will be concluded.

Students already holding an advanced degree in the relevant area may request to be excused from the Qualifying Exam. However, the student must present a formal request for a waiver to the Chair of Graduate Studies upon arrival at Stanford. Such a request must document the course work completed elsewhere and include all relevant reading lists. Only in cases where taking the Qualifying Exam would involve considerable repetition of already competed work is such a waiver likely to be granted.

Field Examination—The second oral examination takes place in the Autumn Quarter of the third year of study.  The exam is 120 minutes in length and consists of two parts:

  1. A 20-minute presentation by the student on a topic (a particular literary genre or a broad theoretical, historical, or interdisciplinary question) freely chosen and developed by the individual student working in collaboration with his/her adviser and the Chair of Graduate Studies. The student should design this research project so that it has the breadth and focus of a book he/she might write or a seminar he/she might teach. The student should discuss the proposed topic with the Chair of Graduate Studies before the end of the quarter preceding the quarter in which he/she plans to take the exam; together they choose a committee of two faculty members with interests close to the proposed topic. (In most cases, one of these committee members is the student's adviser.) In addition to these two members, the examination committee includes the Chair of Graduate Studies, who serves in an ex officio capacity as the third member of the examination committee. This presentation is followed by a 20-minute discussion.
  2. An 80-minute discussion of a reading list, assembled by the student, which covers about a century of writing. The reading list should include works in all genres relevant to the period covered and should be around two single-spaced pages in length. The list may well include critical and scholarly works or texts from outside the traditional domain of literary studies in the chosen tradition (such as film, philosophy, other literary traditions), but such coverage should be regarded as supplemental except in rare instances where the chair and faculty advisers have agreed to define these materials as the student's field. Students are required to discuss the reading list for the examination with the Chair of Graduate Studies and with members of their committee during the quarter preceding the examination. A final reading list must be submitted to the committee no later than two weeks preceding the examination. Each member of the committee is assigned a 20-minute period to question the candidate on the reading list and its intellectual-historical implications. The aim of these questions is to establish the student's credentials as a specialist in the period of his/her choosing, so the core of the reading list must be made up of texts that are essential to any specialist. It follows that reading lists must not focus on the narrow area of the student's research interest. The tendency to bias reading lists towards the dissertation topic, be it an author or a genre, does not cancel the obligation to cover the major figures and genres. It is understandable that some students, by their third year, have become so deeply committed to their work toward the dissertation that they wish to use the preparation period for the examination as part of their dissertation research. Certainly, some of the exam work may prove relevant, but students should also remember that the examination is the central means of certifying their expertise in a literary period.

The University Oral Examination—This examination takes the form of a dissertation proposal defense. It is to be taken no later than Autumn Quarter of the student's fourth year. Students must have completed all course work and language requirements before the quarter in which they take the University Oral examination. One quarter prior to the University Oral examination, students must schedule the exam date and time as well as work with their primary adviser to obtain an outside chair for the examination.

Two weeks before the exam, the student must submit to the committee a 25-35 page proposal, which must contain the following parts:

  1. a clear presentation of the student's central thesis
  2. a synthetic overview of the dissertation
  3. a description of the methodology that is used in the dissertation
  4. an in-depth discussion of current secondary sources on the topic.

The student must also append a bibliography, but this does not take the place of number 4. The proposal must be prepared in close consultation with the dissertation director during the months preceding the exam.

The exam committee consists of four members, in addition to a committee chair from outside the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, whose principal functions are to keep track of time and to call on the four members of the committee who question the candidate on the talk and on the reading list.

After a 20-minute presentation on the part of the candidate, each member of the committee (apart from the committee chair) questions the student for 20 minutes. At the end of the hour and forty minutes, the faculty readers vote on the outcome of the exam. If the outcome is favorable, (four out of five votes in favor of the student passing), the student is free to proceed with work on the dissertation. If the proposal is found to be unsatisfactory, the dissertation readers may ask the student to revise and resubmit the dissertation prospectus and to schedule a second exam. A student who fails a second time will be released from the Ph.D. program and awarded a terminal M.A. degree.

ADVISING

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Ph.D. programs and the opportunity they afford each student to create an individualized program of study, regular consultation with an adviser is of the utmost importance. The adviser for all entering graduate students is the Chair of Graduate Studies, whose responsibility it is to assist students with their course planning and to keep a running check on progress in completing the course, teaching, and language requirements. By the end of the second year of study, each student should have chosen a faculty adviser whose expertise is appropriate to his/her own area of research and interests.

Yearly Review—The faculty provide students with timely and constructive feedback on their progress toward the Ph.D. In order to evaluate students' progress and to identify potential problem areas, the department's faculty reviews the academic progress of each student at the end of the academic year. The yearly reviews are primarily intended to identify developing problems that could impede progress. In most cases, students are simply given constructive feedback, but if more serious concerns warrant, a student may be placed on probation with specific guidelines for addressing the problems detected. Possible outcomes of the yearly review include (1) continuation of the student in good standing, or (2) placing the student on probation, with specific guidelines for the period on probation and the steps to be taken in order to be returned to good standing. For students on probation at this point (or at any other subsequent points), possible outcomes of a review include: (1) restoration to good standing; (2) continued probation, again with guidelines for necessary remedial steps; or (3) termination from the program. Students leaving the program at the end of the first or second year are usually allowed to complete the requirements to receive an M.A. degree, if this does not involve additional residency or financial support.

 

Doctor of Philosophy in Italian

University regulations pertaining to the Ph.D. are listed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Course Work—A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must complete at least 135 units of graduate-level study. 72 of the 135 units must be taken within the department. All course work should be selected in consultation with the Chair of Graduate Studies.

Required Courses

  • ITALGEN 369: Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession. This course must be taken in the first quarter of study.
  • ITALGEN 301E: New Methods and Sources in French and Italian Studies. This course must be taken no later than the end of the third year of study.
  • DLCL 201: The Learning and Teaching of Second Languages. This course must be taken in the Spring quarter of the first year of study.
  • A minimum of five courses taught in Italian (ITALLIT) at the graduate level with instruction in Italian.  Three of the required five courses must be taken within the first year.

Elective Courses—  Apart from the required courses above, students are granted considerable freedom in structuring a course of study appropriate to their individual needs. During the first year, most course work is done within the department, in order to ensure an adequate preparation for the qualifying examination. Students are encouraged to take a variety of courses in order to be exposed to different periods and issues. Students are not allowed to take Independent Study during their first year. In the second and third years, however, the program of study is tailored to the specific interests of the student.

  1. Examinations—Successful completion of all department and University examinations.
  2. Dissertation—Submission and approval of a dissertation.
  3. Teaching—Ph.D. students are required to teach minimum of five courses within their five years of funding.
  4. Language Requirements—Attaining a native or near-native fluency in Italian is a requirement to qualify for the Ph.D. degree. Upon entering the program, candidates must contact the Language Center and arrange to take the OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) to determine their fluency in Italian. An advanced level or above must have been reached by the time candidates take their qualifying exam in the Autumn Quarter of the second year of study. If a student fails to score in the advanced bracket of the OPI test upon entering, he/she is tested again at the beginning of the second year. It is the responsibility of the candidates to design a course of study to improve their proficiency in Italian. Candidates who do not meet the minimum language requirement must discuss their plans to meet this requirement with the Chair of Graduate Studies. By the end of the third year, students must have passed reading examinations in two additional foreign languages. If the candidate’s period of concentration is earlier than the Romantic period, one of these must be Latin; if Romantic or later, French.
  5. Candidacy—At the end of the second year of residency, students who are performing well, as indicated by their course work, performance on the Qualifying Exam, and teaching and research assistantship performance, are advanced to candidacy. This step implies that the student has demonstrated the relevant qualities required for successful completion of the Ph.D. Future evaluations are based on the satisfactory completion of specific remaining department and University requirements. Students who are not advanced to candidacy will normally be terminated from the program and awarded an M.A. degree. In some cases, the department may require that a student complete outstanding work or complete unmet requirements before admission to candidacy. The university requires that all students must be admitted to candidacy by the beginning of the third year in residence in order to continue in the Ph.D. program. Therefore all requirements stipulated by the department must be met before registration for the autumn quarter of the student's third year. At any point during the degree program, evidence that a student is performing at a less than satisfactory level may be cause for a formal academic review of that student.
  6. TGR Status—Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy, completed all required courses and degree requirements other than the dissertation, completed 135 units, and submitted a Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee form, must request Terminal Graduate Registration status to complete their dissertations. Each quarter, all TGR students must enroll in ITALGEN 802 for zero units, in the appropriate section for their adviser.

GRADING

Doctoral students in the department must take required courses for a letter grade if available and are expected to earn a grade of 'B+' or better in each course.  Any grade of 'B' or below is considered to be less than satisfactory.  Grades of 'B' or below are reviewed by faculty: while the grade will stand, the student may be required to revise and resubmit the work associated with that course.

EXAMINATIONS

There are three examinations: the Qualifying Examination, the Field Examination, and the University Oral Examination. All course work must be current prior to taking any scheduled exams.

Qualifying Examination—The first oral examination, which takes place in the first two weeks of October of the second year of study, tests the student's knowledge of language and literature and his/her aptitude for critical thinking. The examining committee, determined by the Director of French and Italian, schedules the precise exam date and time.

The exam is based on a standard reading list covering major works from all periods of literature in the language(s) of study, from the Middle Ages to present day. The list may be expanded to reflect a student's particular interests, but not abridged. The reading list may be obtained from the Chair of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Student Affairs Officer, or by referencing the French and Italian student handbook.

The exam is 90 minutes in length and consists of two parts:

  1. A 20-minute presentation by the candidate on a topic to be determined by the student. This presentation may be given in English or in the language of study and should engage, in a succinct manner, an issue or set of issues of broad relevance to the literary history of the language(s) of study. The presentation must not simply be a text read aloud, but rather must be given from notes.  It is meant to be suggesting and not exhaustive, so as to provoke further discussion.
  2. A 70-minute question and answer period in which the examining committee follows up on the candidate's presentation and discusses the reading list with the student. At least part of this portion of the exam takes place in the language(s) of study. The student is expected to demonstrate a solid knowledge of the texts on the reading list and of the basic issues which they raise, as well as a broader sense of the cultural/literary context into which they fit and demonstrate the ability to formulate an original point of view on such texts and contexts.

Students who do not pass the Qualifying Exam their first time may be placed on probation with limited enrollment and be allowed to retake the exam at the end of Autumn Quarter. Should the student not pass the retake exam, his/her studies in the Ph.D. program will be concluded.

Students already holding an advanced degree in the relevant area may request to be excused from the Qualifying Exam. However, the student must present a formal request for a waiver to the Chair of Graduate Studies upon arrival at Stanford. Such a request must document the course work completed elsewhere and include all relevant reading lists. Only in cases where taking the Qualifying Exam would involve considerable repetition of already competed work is such a waiver likely to be granted.

Field Examination—The second oral examination takes place in the Autumn Quarter of the third year of study. The exam is 120 minutes in length and consists of two parts:

  1. A 20-minute presentation by the student on a topic (a particular literary genre or a broad theoretical, historical, or interdisciplinary question) freely chosen and developed by the individual student working in collaboration with his/her adviser and the Chair of Graduate Studies. The student should design this research project so that it has the breadth and focus of a book he/she might write or a seminar he/she might teach. The student should discuss the proposed topic with the Chair of Graduate Studies before the end of the quarter preceding the quarter in which he/she plans to take the exam; together they choose a committee of two faculty members with interests close to the proposed topic. (In most cases, one of these committee members is the student's adviser.) In addition to these two members, the examination committee includes the Chair of Graduate Studies, who serves in an ex officio capacity as the third member of the examination committee. This presentation is followed by a 20-minute discussion.
  2. An 80-minute discussion of a reading list, assembled by the student, which covers about a century of writing. The reading list should include works in all genres relevant to the period covered and should be around two single-spaced pages in length. The list may well include critical and scholarly works or texts from outside the traditional domain of literary studies in the chosen tradition (such as film, philosophy, other literary traditions), but such coverage should be regarded as supplemental except in rare instances where the chair and faculty advisers have agreed to define these materials as the student's field. Students are required to discuss the reading list for the examination with the Chair of Graduate Studies and with members of their committee during the quarter preceding the examination. A final reading list must be submitted to the committee no later than two weeks preceding the examination. Each member of the committee is assigned a 20-minute period to question the candidate on the reading list and its intellectual-historical implications. The aim of these questions is to establish the student's credentials as a specialist in the period of his/her choosing, so the core of the reading list must be made up of texts that are essential to any specialist. It follows that reading lists must not focus on the narrow area of the student's research interest. The tendency to bias reading lists towards the dissertation topic, be it an author or a genre, does not cancel the obligation to cover the major figures and genres. It is understandable that some students, by their third year, have become so deeply committed to their work toward the dissertation that they wish to use the preparation period for the examination as part of their dissertation research. Certainly, some of the exam work may prove relevant, but students should also remember that the examination is the central means of certifying their expertise in a literary period.

The University Oral Examination—This examination takes the form of a dissertation proposal defense. It is to be taken no later than Autumn Quarter of the student's fourth year.  Students must have completed all course work and language requirements before the quarter in which they take the University Oral examination. One quarter prior to the University Oral examination, students must schedule the exam date and time as well as work with their primary adviser to obtain an outside chair for the examination.

Two weeks before the exam, the student must submit to the committee a 25-35 page proposal, which must contain the following parts:

  1. a clear presentation of the student's central thesis
  2. a synthetic overview of the dissertation
  3. a description of the methodology that is used in the dissertation
  4. an in-depth discussion of current secondary sources on the topic.

The student must also append a bibliography, but this does not take the place of number 4. The proposal must be prepared in close consultation with the dissertation director during the months preceding the exam.

The exam committee consists of four members, in addition to a committee chair from outside the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, whose principal functions are to keep track of time and to call on the four members of the committee who question the candidate on the talk and on the reading list.

After a 20-minute presentation on the part of the candidate, each member of the committee (apart from the committee chair) questions the student for 20 minutes. At the end of the hour and forty minutes, the faculty readers vote on the outcome of the exam. If the outcome is favorable, (four out of five votes in favor of the student passing), the student is free to proceed with work on the dissertation. If the proposal is found to be unsatisfactory, the dissertation readers may ask the student to revise and resubmit the dissertation prospectus and to schedule a second exam. A student who fails a second time will be released from the Ph.D. program and awarded a terminal M.A. degree.

ADVISING

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Ph.D. programs and the opportunity they afford each student to create an individualized program of study, regular consultation with an adviser is of the utmost importance. The adviser for all entering graduate students is the Chair of Graduate Studies, whose responsibility it is to assist students with their course planning and to keep a running check on progress in completing the course, teaching, and language requirements. By the end of the second year of study, each student should have chosen a faculty adviser whose expertise is appropriate to his/her own area of research and interests.

Yearly Review—The faculty provide students with timely and constructive feedback on their progress toward the Ph.D. In order to evaluate students' progress and to identify potential problem areas, the department's faculty reviews the academic progress of each student at the end of the academic year. The yearly reviews are primarily intended to identify developing problems that could impede progress. In most cases, students are simply given constructive feedback, but if more serious concerns warrant, a student may be placed on probation with specific guidelines for addressing the problems detected. Possible outcomes of the yearly review include (1) continuation of the student in good standing, or (2) placing the student on probation, with specific guidelines for the period on probation and the steps to be taken in order to be returned to good standing. For students on probation at this point (or at any other subsequent points), possible outcomes of a review include: (1) restoration to good standing; or (2) continued probation, again with guidelines for necessary remedial steps; or (3) termination from the program. Students leaving the program at the end of the first or second year are usually allowed to complete the requirements to receive an M.A. degree, if this does not involve additional residency or financial support.

 

Doctor of Philosophy in French and Italian

University regulations pertaining to the Ph.D. are listed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Course work—A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must complete at least 135 units of graduate-level study. 72 of the 135 units must be taken within the department. All course work should be selected in consultation with the Chair of Graduate Studies.

Required Courses

  • FRENGEN/ITALGEN 369. Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession. This course must be taken in the first quarter of study.
  • FRENGEN/ITALGEN 301E. New Methods and Sources in French and Italian Studies. This course must be taken no later than the end of the third year of study.
  • DLCL 201. The Learning and Teaching of Second Languages. This course must be taken in Spring Quarter of the first year of study.
  • A minimum of four advanced courses on French literature and culture, and four advanced courses on Italian literature and culture. Four of the required eight courses must be taken within the first year.

Elective Courses— Apart from the required courses above, students are granted considerable freedom in structuring a course of study appropriate to their individual needs. During the first year, most course work is done within the department, in order to ensure an adequate preparation for the qualifying examination. Students are encouraged to take a variety of courses in order to be exposed to different historical periods and issues. Students are not allowed to take Independent Study during their first year. In the second and third years, however, the program of study is tailored to the specific interests of the student.

  1. Examinations—Successful completion of all department and University examinations.
  2. Dissertation—Submission and approval of a dissertation. The dissertation topic must include a substantial quotient of material from both the French and Italian tradition, and the dissertation must include either (1) at least one chapter on French materials and one chapter on Italian materials, or (2) at least two chapters focusing on a comparison between French and Italian materials.
  3. Teaching—Ph.D. students are required to teach a minimum of five courses within their five years of funding. Of these five courses the student is required to teach at least one French language course and one Italian language course.
  4. Language Requirements—Attaining a native or near-native fluency in both French and Italian is the individual responsibility of all candidates in the Ph.D. program, and remedial course work needed to achieve such fluency cannot count towards the Ph.D. degree.

For students specializing in areas (a) medieval and renaissance and (b) renaissance and early modern, proficiency in Latin equivalent to a second year collegiate level of proficiency (the equivalent of CLASSLAT 101, 102, and 103) in reading is also required. Such proficiency may be demonstrated by successfully completing a course in the language in question (at least second-year level, but preferably a graduate seminar); or by passing an exam that establishes a second-year or above level of competence. In no case is passage of a standard reading competence exam considered sufficient.

For students specializing in area (c) modern and contemporary, proficiency in a third language (beyond French and Italian) is not required; students are, however, encouraged to acquire competency in a third language or area that is relevant to their research (e.g. German).

The language requirements should be completed as soon as possible, but in any case not later than the end of the third year.

  1. Candidacy—At the end of the second year of residency, students who are performing well, as indicated by their course work, performance on the Qualifying Exam, and teaching and research assistantship performance, are advanced to candidacy. This step implies that the student has demonstrated the relevant qualities required for successful completion of the Ph.D. Future evaluations are based on the satisfactory completion of specific remaining department and University requirements. Students who are not advanced to candidacy will normally be terminated from the program and awarded an M.A. degree. In some cases, the department may require that a student complete outstanding work or complete unmet requirements before admission to candidacy. The university requires that all students must be admitted to candidacy by the beginning of the third year in residence in order to continue in the Ph.D. program. Therefore all requirements stipulated by the department must be met before registration for Autumn Quarter of the student's third year. At any point during the degree program, evidence that a student is performing at a less than satisfactory level may be cause for a formal academic review of that student.
  2. TGR Status—Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy, completed all required courses and degree requirements other than the dissertation, completed 135 units, and submitted a Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee form, must request Terminal Graduate Registration status to complete their dissertations. Each quarter, all TGR students must enroll in FRENGEN 802 for zero units, in the appropriate section for their adviser.

GRADING

Doctoral students in the department must take required courses for a letter grade if available and are expected to earn a grade of 'B+' or better in each course. Any grade of 'B' or below is considered to be less than satisfactory. Grades of 'B' or below are reviewed by faculty; while the grade will stand, the student may be required to revise and resubmit the work associated with that course.

EXAMINATIONS

There are three examinations: the Qualifying Examination, the Field Examination, and the University Oral Examination. All course work must be current prior to taking any scheduled exams.

Qualifying Examination—The first oral examination, which takes place in the first two weeks of October of the second year of study, tests the student's knowledge of language and literature and his/her aptitude for critical thinking. The examining committee, determined by the Director of French and Italian, schedules the precise exam date and time.

Students may take either two qualifying exams, one in French and one in Italian, or a single qualifying exam in French and Italian. The combined French and Italian qualifying exam covers one of three periods, (a) medieval and renaissance, (b) renaissance and early modern, or (c) modern and contemporary. For each period it is based on a standard reading list. The list may be expanded to reflect a student’s particular interests, but not abridged. One third of the combined exam takes place in English, one third in French, and one third in Italian (with the student free to choose which portion transpires in which language). The reading lists may be obtained from the Chairs of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Student Affairs Officer, or by referencing the French and Italian student handbook.

The exam is 90 minutes in length and consists of two parts:

  1. A 20-minute presentation by the candidate on a topic to be determined by the student. This presentation may be given in English or in the language of study and should engage, in a succinct manner, an issue or set of issues of broad relevance to the literary history of the language(s) of study. The presentation must not simply be a text read aloud, but rather must be given from notes. It is meant to be suggesting and not exhaustive, so as to provoke further discussion.
  2. A 70-minute question and answer period in which the examining committee follows up on the candidate's presentation and discusses the reading list with the student. At least part of this portion of the exam takes place in the languages of study. The student is expected to demonstrate a solid knowledge of the texts on the reading list and of the basic issues which they raise, as well as a broader sense of the cultural/literary context into which they fit, and demonstrate the ability to formulate an original point of view on such texts and contexts.

Students who do not pass the Qualifying Exam their first time may be placed on probation with limited enrollment and be allowed to retake the exam at the end of Autumn Quarter. If the student does not pass the second exam, his/her studies in the Ph.D. program will be concluded.

If, at the qualifying exam stage, a student’s work is judged insufficient for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D., the student may petition to continue in French only or Italian only. This petition is reviewed by the qualifying exam committee, the relevant Chair of Graduate Studies, and the Director of the Department of French and Italian.

Students already holding an advanced degree in the relevant area may request to be excused from the Qualifying Exam. However, the student must present a formal request for a waiver to the Chair of Graduate Studies upon arrival at Stanford. Such a request must document the course work completed elsewhere and include all relevant reading lists. Only in cases where taking the Qualifying Exam would involve considerable repetition of already competed work is such a waiver likely to be granted.

Field Examination—The second oral examination takes place in the Autumn quarter of the third year of study. The exam is 120 minutes in length and consists of two parts:

  1. A 20-minute presentation by the student on a topic (a particular literary genre or a broad theoretical, historical, or interdisciplinary question) freely chosen and developed by the individual student working in collaboration with his/her adviser and the Chair of Graduate Studies. The student should design this research project so that it has the breadth and focus of a book he/she might write or a seminar he/she might teach. The student should discuss the proposed topic with the Chairs of Graduate Studies before the end of the quarter preceding the quarter in which he/she plans to take the exam; together they choose a committee of two faculty members with interests close to the proposed topic. (In most cases, one of these committee members is the student's adviser.) In addition to these two members, the examination committee includes the Chair of Graduate Studies, who serves in an ex officio capacity as the third member of the examination committee. This presentation is followed by a 20-minute discussion.
  2. An 80-minute discussion of a reading list, assembled by the student, which covers about a century of writing. The reading list should include works in all genres relevant to the period covered and should be around two single-spaced pages in length. The list may well include critical and scholarly works or texts from outside the traditional domain of literary studies in the chosen tradition (such as film, philosophy, other literary traditions), but such coverage should be regarded as supplemental except in rare instances where the chair and faculty advisers have agreed to define these materials as the student's field. Students are required to discuss the reading list for the examination with the Chairs of Graduate Studies and with members of their committee during the quarter preceding the examination. A final reading list must be submitted to the committee no later than two weeks preceding the examination. Each member of the committee is assigned a 20-minute period to question the candidate on the reading list and its intellectual-historical implications. The aim of these questions is to establish the student's credentials as a specialist in the period of his/her choosing, so the core of the reading list must be made up of texts that are essential to any specialist. It follows that reading lists must not focus on the narrow area of the student's research interest. The tendency to bias reading lists towards the dissertation topic, be it an author or a genre, does not cancel the obligation to cover the major figures and genres. It is understandable that some students, by their third year, have become so deeply committed to their work toward the dissertation that they wish to use the preparation period for the examination as part of their dissertation research. Certainly, some of the exam work may prove relevant, but students should also remember that the examination is the central means of certifying their expertise in a literary period.

The University Oral Examination—This examination takes the form of a dissertation proposal defense. It is to be taken no later than Autumn Quarter of the student's fourth year. Students must have completed all course work and language requirements before the quarter in which they take the University Oral examination. One quarter prior to the University Oral examination, students must schedule the exam date and time as well as work with their primary adviser to obtain an outside chair for the examination.

Two weeks before the exam, the student must submit to the committee a 25-35 page proposal. This proposal must contain the following parts:

  1. a clear presentation of the student's central thesis
  2. a synthetic overview of the dissertation
  3. a description of the methodology that is used in the dissertation
  4. an in-depth discussion of current secondary sources on the topic.

The student must also append a bibliography, but this does not take the place of number 4. The reading list should include works in both French and Italian in all genres relevant to the period covered. The proposal must be prepared in close consultation with the dissertation director during the months preceding the exam.

The exam committee consists of four members, in addition to a committee chair from outside the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, whose principal functions are to keep track of time and to call on the four members of the committee who question the candidate on the talk and on the reading list.

After a 20-minute presentation on the part of the candidate, each member of the committee (apart from the committee chair) questions the student for 20 minutes.  At the end of the hour and forty minutes, the faculty readers vote on the outcome of the exam. If the outcome is favorable (four out of five votes in favor of the student passing), the student is free to proceed with work on the dissertation. If the proposal is found to be unsatisfactory, the dissertation readers may ask the student to revise and resubmit the dissertation prospectus and to schedule a second exam. A student who fails a second time will be released from the Ph.D. program and awarded a terminal M.A. degree.

ADVISING

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Ph.D. programs and the opportunity they afford each student to create an individualized program of study, regular consultation with an adviser is of the utmost importance. The adviser for all entering graduate students is the Chair of Graduate Studies, whose responsibility it is to assist students with their course planning and to keep a running check on progress in completing the course, teaching, and language requirements. By the end of the second year of study, each student should have chosen a faculty adviser whose expertise is appropriate to his/her own area of research and interests.

Yearly Review—The faculty provide students with timely and constructive feedback on their progress toward the Ph.D. In order to evaluate students' progress and to identify potential problem areas, the department's faculty reviews the academic progress of each student at the end of the academic year. The yearly reviews are primarily intended to identify developing problems that could impede progress. In most cases, students are simply given constructive feedback, but if more serious concerns warrant, a student may be placed on probation with specific guidelines for addressing the problems detected. Possible outcomes of the yearly review include (1) continuation of the student in good standing, or (2) placing the student on probation, with specific guidelines for the period on probation and the steps to be taken in order to be returned to good standing. For students on probation at this point (or at any other subsequent points), possible outcomes of a review include: (1) restoration to good standing; or (2) continued probation, again with guidelines for necessary remedial steps; or (3) termination from the program. Students leaving the program at the end of the first or second year are usually allowed to complete the requirements to receive an M.A. degree, if this does not involve additional residency or financial support.

 

 

Ph.D. Minor in French or Italian

The Ph.D. may be combined with a minor in a related field, including Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Modern Thought and Literature, Art History, History, Music, Philosophy, and Spanish. Ph.D. candidates in French may minor in Italian, and vice versa. Students interested in a minor should design their course of study with their adviser(s).

Ph.D. Minor in French Literature—The department offers a minor in French Literature. The requirement for a minor in French is completion of 24 units of graduate course work in the French section. Interested students should consult the graduate adviser.

Ph.D. Minor in Italian Literature—The department offers a minor in Italian Literature. The requirement for a minor in Italian is a minimum of 24 units of graduate course work in Italian literature. Interested students should consult the graduate adviser.