PHD IN FRENCH LITERATURE
The PhD goal is to write an original contribution to existing scholarship on any given topic in French or Francophone literature. At this stage the students should be oriented towards both breadth and specialization.
PhD Students will be required to complete 27 hours of regular course work (beyond the MA) at the 7000 level. At the discretion of the director of graduate studies, students entering the PhD program who hold an MA from another program may be required to take the MA exam.
- PhD distribution requirements: Students must take one 7000-level course from each of five core areas listed above (see section I.A, “MA distribution requirements ”). Except under extraordinary circumstances, the Proseminar is to be taken during the student’s first semester in the PhD program. Courses in the five core areas that were taken at the 7000 level for fulfillment of the MA degree in our program will count toward the fulfillment of PhD distribution requirements but will not count toward fulfillment of the 27 hours of PhD course work.
Breadth of coverage is a requirement. The departmental-level academic course plan, designed by the student with his or her major professor, must be submitted to the director of graduate studies before being submitted to The Graduate School, so that breadth of coverage is assured.
- PhD General Exam
The PhD General exam will include:
- Dissertation Proposal: 30 pages (7500 words) with a bibliography, a chapter outline, and a projected timeline for completion.
- One written exam essay (15 pages; 3,750 words or more) on a general problem related to the dissertation proposal or a general theoretical or methodological problem arising from the dissertation topic. The formulation of the exam question will be determined by the student’s major professor in consultation with the student’s examining committee. The student will be given one week to write the exam essay.
- Oral defense of the written exam essay and the dissertation proposal, preceded by the candidate’s short presentation of the dissertation project.
Copies of the dissertation proposal and completed written exam essay should be distributed to all examining committee members at least two weeks prior to the scheduled General exam date.
- PhD Final exam (Dissertation Defense)
There will be an oral defense of the completed dissertation. The defense will commence with a brief presentation in which the candidate summarizes his or her achievement and its significance within the candidate’s field of study. The dissertation should make an original contribution to scholarship in the field.
The committee should be in possession of a finished copy of the dissertation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense date.
MINOR FIELD: If they wish, students may elect, in consultation with the DGS, a minor field. The minor may be defined within a specific department or discipline other than French, such as Spanish, history, art, English, or drama, or it may be an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary field such as women’s studies or literary theory. The department(s) or interdisciplinary program will define the requirements of the minor field. If there is a minor, the student’s examining committee for the PhD must include a faculty member from the minor field, and the advisory committee should include a member from the minor field as well. The student must take at least one 7000-level course in the minor.
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: Students working toward the PhD must, prior to the general exams, demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language other than French. Proficiency may be established by satisfactory performance on the ETS (Princeton) reading exam, by completion of appropriate course work in the language(s), or by satisfactory performance on a departmental reading exam.
DOCTORAL COMMITTEES: Doctoral committees must include at least two full members of the French Studies Graduate Faculty. The Dean of The Graduate School will appoint an outside member to serve on all general and final exam committees for the PhD The outside members represent the Dean and The Graduate Faculty and are full voting members of the committee, with all rights and responsibilities of other committee members. In the French department, committee chairs are responsible for providing copies of written exams and dissertations at least two weeks in advance of examinations to all committee members, including outside members.
REQUIREMENTS TO MAINTAIN CANDIDATE STATUS: The candidate must enroll in FREN 9000 Dissertation Research (1-12 per sem.) during each semester of enrollment as a degree candidate after completion of the general exam.
TIME LIMITS: The Graduate School limits the period for completion of the PhD to seven (7) years after classification as a doctoral student. Reconsideration of a student for the PhD program after this period has passed will be considered only in exceptional circumstances and must be initiated by written petition to the graduate faculty of the Department of French Studies who will evaluate the petitioner’s record and make a decision regarding exceptions to the 7 year time limit.