Ph.D. Program Requirements and Procedures

 
An Outline of the Ph.D. Requirements in Comparative Literature

The basic outline of the coursework for the Ph.D. is as follows:

Year One: Eight graduate-level courses, including CMLT 50100 and 50200; demonstrated competence in two foreign languages; one substantial paper.
Years Two and Three: Eight graduate courses; Track Declaration in fall of second year; two substantial papers in second year; oral examination passed by end of third year. 
Year Four: Approval for dissertation proposal by end of year.
Years Five and Six: Dissertation colloquium at halfway point; completion of dissertation, culminating in dissertation defense and award of degree.
 
NB. Teaching under the GAI agreement is normally performed in Years Three, Four and Five.
 
See below for more detailed discussion of these requirements, and other conditions affecting students in the program.
 
 

Coursework

Year One
 
The first year of the Ph.D. program consists of eight graduate-level courses, all of which must be taken for a letter grade. Students are expected to take six of their eight courses in the first two quarters of the program. The two-quarter core sequence Comparative Literature 50100 (Autumn) and 50200 (Winter) is required for ALL first years and transfer students, including those with a previous MA.

The remaining six courses are normally divided among two literatures, although a student may, with department permission, place greater emphasis on one literature or on some special interest (see details in the Track Statement section below for dividing courses). In order to obtain their MA degree, students must also demonstrate competence (high proficiency in a graduate literature course using the form provided (download here) or high pass in a University translation examination) in two foreign languages, one of which must be either French or German.

At the annual spring review, faculty will take into account the presence or absence of incompletes in evaluating student progress and determining awards. Students with any incompletes in required courses at the time of the spring annual review will be asked to complete their incompletes before the beginning of the fall quarter of the next academic year (with all papers for incomplete courses turned in to both the course professor and the DGS by a specific date in the summer set by the DGS, normally in late August). Students who have more than 1 incomplete at the beginning of the fall will be placed on probation for one quarter. If they still have more than 1 incomplete at the end of the fall quarter, they will be asked to take a leave of absence until work is satisfactorily completed. No student will be allowed to take his or her oral fields exam until all required course work is complete.

Students' transcripts will be reviewed every year in spring quarter to establish "satisfactory progress." The transcripts should contain a majority of A or A minus grades. Any grade of B plus or above is considered satisfactory. Grades of B and below will be cause for concern. Courses with a grade of B minus or below may not count toward departmental requirements.

Students will be eligible for the M.A. degree upon successful completion of the first-year requirements, which include submitting two seminar papers for departmental review by the end of the first week of May: one seminar paper written for either quarter of the two-quarter required seminar sequence and one that demonstrates use of a foreign language. Near the end of the first year, the department will review students' records to assess whether students have made satisfactory progress and to provide guidance regarding their future course of graduate study.

Years Two and Three

In their second and third years of Ph.D. study, students are required to take a total of eight graduate level courses. Of these eight courses, at least six must be completed in the second year. No more than one of the eight required courses after year one may be taken for a pass/fail grade.

Entering with an MA

Students who enter the program with an M.A. degree from another university that has been judged suitable preparation for Comparative Literature study at the University of Chicago will still be required to take Comparative Literature 50100 and 50200.  Otherwise, they receive credit for one year’s work corresponding to the MA and are therefore required to take eight graduate courses in addition to the two core courses, normally six in their first year and two in the second, corresponding to the normal requirements for second and third year PhDs.

Apart from course requirements, students with previous MA s follow a similar schedule to other students who matriculated in the same year: see below for Substantial Papers, Track Declarations and Oral Exams.
 
 
 
The Humanities Division and the department encourage students to apply for a summer stipend ($3000 in 2014-15) for research and language training in any two summers of their first four years in the program. Requests for this funding are due at the end of April to the department administrator (copied to the DGS) and should include a description of the research and/or language training the student intends to undertake. Three stipends are usually granted, provided that that the applicant meets the requirements for each year’s work:
  1. End of first year—no more than 1 incomplete by the end of spring quarter among the 8 required courses and submission of two seminar papers for department review.
  2. End of second year—no more than 1 incomplete by the end of spring quarter among the 14 required courses for their first two years and submission of two substantial papers.
  3. End of third year—no incompletes by the end of spring quarter among the 16 required courses. Students should all be done with required courses by the end of the third year
  4. End of fourth year—successful completion of the oral exam.

Students who have received three stipends and who wish to apply for a fourth summer stipend must meet the following additional requirements mandated by the Division:

  1. For stipend #4: approved proposal and admission to candidacy by spring of the fourth year
All recipients of summer stipends must submit a one page report to the DGS or their dissertation director as applicable confirming that the funds were applied as indicated in the proposal or, if changes were made, explaining the academic purpose of those changes. The recipient should also be prepared to provide additional documentation as needed.
 
 

Substantial Papers

Students are also required to write a total of three substantial papers for courses taken in years one and two, including a minimum of two substantial papers for the second year. These papers are an important part of the annual review. Each substantial paper must met the following criteria:

a) it must be longer than a standard term paper: 25 pages in 11 pt font, not including bibliography;
b) it must demonstrate substantial in-depth research into context and secondary sources;
c) short items such as term papers or conference papers cannot therefore be substitutes for the substantial paper.
 
Substantial papers in the department of CMLT must be submitted in English so that all faculty members can read them for the spring review. Students writing for courses that may require or encourage submission in other languages must therefore provide a translation in addition to the original submission.
 
In order to ensure that the paper meets the above criteria, students will need to contact seminar instructors for prior consent at the proposal stage, before writing the paper; students are required to obtain from their instructors a signed approval form (download here) attesting that the paper meets the requirement. Copies of these papers with a signed substantial paper form must be submitted to the DGS by the end of the first week in May.
 
 

Annual Review

All academic and teaching records of students are reviewed yearly by CMLT faculty prior to submitting recommendations to the Humanities Dean of Students. Continuation of funding is dependent on meeting departmental and divisional requirements for satisfactory academic progress and completion of teaching obligations. In particular, summer stipends are conditional on satisfactory progress and will be revoked during periods of academic probation.

All students must meet the full-time residency requirements for autumn, winter, and spring during their coursework years and during exam preparation. The policy of the Humanities Division requires fulltime scholastic residency for four years. See divisional student manual.
 
 
 
In the first three years of the program while students are involved in coursework, all students will meet with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) prior to each quarter usually in week eight or nine to discuss and receive approval for course registration.

Students should also begin to approach specific faculty for ongoing advising in their respective fields of interest in their first year so that they can elicit specialist guidance in choosing Track I or II for submission early in the second year and begin preparing for the oral exam in the summer before the third

Once students have finished coursework and are registering for fewer than 300 units per quarter, they will be automatically enrolled in an Advanced Studies course for up to 300 units with the instructor listed as the DGS (see the Humanities Division’s policy on academic progress). The pass/fail grades for this Advanced Studies course will be assigned by the DGS based on the annual review of student progress in the spring quarter.
 
 

Incomplete Work: Departmental and Divisional Policy

Students may not begin the academic year with any incomplete work. This is Humanities Division policy; students are expected to start each term and each year with their full attention on current course work.

Students with incompletes in required courses at the time of the spring annual review in May will be required by the Dean to demonstrate that all incomplete work has been completed and graded before the beginning of Autumn quarter of the next academic year. All papers for incomplete courses must therefore reach the course professor and the department before August 31 to allow the professor time to grade the paper before the new academic year.

Students with any incompletes at the beginning of Autumn quarter will be placed on probation and will forfeit any future grade for the course in question, which will automatically revert to an R. Students will therefore be required to take another graduate course for a grade in order to meet their quota. If they have not made up the missing course by the end of Autumn quarter, they will be asked to take a leave of absence until work is satisfactorily completed. Leave of absence means withdrawal of funding for the duration of the absence.

Students with more than one incomplete to write over the summer after the first and second years will forfeit summer funding (see below). Students with any incompletes at the end of the third year will forfeit summer funding; any incompletes at this stage will prevent the student from meeting the oral exam schedule (see below).

Failure to meet requirements will jeopardize further progress in the program and in the profession and may be grounds for withdrawal from the Department and the University.
 
 

Track Declaration: Format and Schedule

At the start of their second year, after consultation with advisers in their chosen areas and with the approval of the Comparative Literature faculty, Comparative literature students choose either track I on “National Literatures” or track II on “Literature and another discipline” for their future research and teaching preparation.

Track I "National Literatures" requires a major focus upon one national literature (the major) with a secondary focus upon one or more second national literature, usually in a specified historical period or genre (the minor).  Track 1 students must take at least 3 graduate courses in their major national literature. Because students are likely to apply for jobs in national language departments as well as in Comparative Literature, these courses must be taken for full grade credit in those national literature departments.

Track II "Literature and Another Discipline" focuses on the critical relationship between literature and a non-literary discipline such as philosophy, history, art history, or music.  In order to fulfill the requirement, this discipline must be authorized by a recognized department or PhD granting committee in the University of Chicago. Sub-disciplines within literary study, such as post-colonial studies, area studies (e.g. Mediterranean) or period (e.g. Renaissance) are not separate disciplines and are therefore not options for a second track).

Track II students must take at least 3 graduate courses in the department that they choose other than literature. Students should consult with their advisors and with the DGS to ensure that they take courses appropriate for their chosen fields of specialization.

Format: a) a general statement explaining which track and why; b) which courses already taken in the first year fit the requirements; c) which courses will be taken in the second year to fit the requirements; d) which faculty the student will be working with, including at least one full member of CMLT and one member of the other relevant department, based on courses taken or to be taken and/or confirmation of interest from said faculty, to ensure advance planning for completing all course requirements early in the third year.

Since the track declaration is a declaration of intent that is subject to revision and which will be finalized only once the student passes the Track exam (see below for guidance and samples of successful exams), the department cannot post samples on a public website. Students should take the initiative to contact faculty members in the first year of study, to discuss the research and teaching that they wish to pursue, so as to prepare effectively for the track declaration.

Schedule: the track declaration should be submitted to the department in a WORD or PDF document no later than the third week of the fall quarter. The track declaration must be approved by the faculty as a whole, who may make recommendations for the proposed course of study. In such cases, the track declaration should be revised and resubmitted for approval.

 
 

 After course work, all students must pass the oral examination before they can be admitted as candidates for the doctoral degree. Students should begin planning for this exam at the start of the third year or, so that they can take the exam by the end of spring in that third year, as the Division prefers. Students entering with a previous MA are encouraged to begin this planning earlier, once they complete required graduate coursework in the second year. In order to meet this deadline, students should work with qualified faculty who will be in residence at the time of the exam rather than waiting for faculty to return from leave. Individual faculty who are on leave during the exam can be asked to join the dissertation committee later.

Since the exam requires the candidate to respond to spontaneous as well as prepared questions, the candidate and all the examiners should all be present in the room. At the very least, the candidate, the exam committee chair and the second examiner MUST be present; the third examiner may if his/her absence from Chicago is truly unavoidable participate by Skype or equivalent method but this exceptional arrangement can be extended to ONLY one person on ONE screen. It is the candidate’s responsibility to provide a working laptop with the Skype or other software required.

Unlike the dissertation, which requires deep and focused research on a single project, the oral exam is designed to help students demonstrate broad competence in two national literatures or in literature and another professionally recognized discipline. Developing and demonstrating this competence helps to lay the intellectual groundwork for dissertation research but is also essential preparation for life after the dissertation, in other words for academic or other intellectual employment. Thus, while some secondary critical material should be included, the lists should contain predominantly primary material (ie, works of literature in the National Literature Oral).

Examples of lists used by previous students are available here:

Track I

Track II
Track II: Literature and History
Track II: Literature and Philosophy (French and English)
Track II: Literature and Philosophy (Chinese and Western)
Track II: Literature and Sciences of the Mind
Track II: Literature and Biblical Studies

Students must choose one of the following two options:

Track I requires "The National Literature Oral." This is a two-hour oral examination based on no fewer than 60 titles in one major literature and no fewer than 30 titles in the minor literature. The list for the major literature will address all periods and genres so as to prepare the candidate for a wide range of teaching opportunities. The list for the minor literature will treat major texts of a more limited period or specific genre to be approved by the examiners.

The exam will consist of (5-10 minutes) presentations on 3 topics related to the lists, each followed by questions from the examining faculty. In consultation with the examiners, the student may either prepare 2 topics related to the major literature list and 1 topic related to the minor literature list or prepare 3 topics that address the works on both lists.

Track II requires "The Field Oral." This is a two-hour oral examination on a representative list of approximately 70-90 titles in a given comparative field, such as literature and philosophy, literature and art history, literature and film, literature and history, literature and music, literature and sociology, literature and religion, literature and science.  In order that candidates can find appropriate examiners to help them prepare for field expertise as it is generally understood by professionals, the second discipline should be represented by a distinct department or PhD granting unit in the University.  Subfields like postcolonial studies or drama, which are normally embedded in literature departments are therefore not eligible for the field oral.

Texts chosen for the field oral exam are to be distributed evenly between the two disciplines and should include works in the languages of the candidate’s competence in addition to English. The exam will consist of brief (5-10 minutes) presentations on 3 topics related to the lists, each followed by questions from the examining faculty.

Assembling the committee
The exam committee is assembled by the student and should be comprised of two or three full-time UChicago faculty members, at least one of whom must be a core member of Comparative Literature. Of the other two, for Track I: one examiner should cover the minor list, while two share the responsibility for the major, but the Comparative Literature member may also elect to ask questions about both lists. For Track II: one member should be a specialist in the other discipline represented in the exam, and the other would normally be a literature specialist, ideally but not necessarily with interest in the other discipline.

Students are responsible for assembling their lists based on their reading and/or course work. and in consultation with their examiners. Once all examiners are satisfied, the candidate must complete and circulate the oral exam book list approval form (download here). Students should consult with their exam committee to make sure they are meeting list expectations. Once the exam list has been approved by all members of the committee, a copy needs to be filed with the department a month before the scheduled exam.

Scheduling the oral exam should be arranged by the candidate with the examiners when filing the final oral exam reading list with the department. Because finding a date and time for oral examinations can sometimes be complicated, students must contact their examiners and alert the departmental administrator as early as possible, and absolutely no later than the end of the first week of the quarter in which the student plans to take the oral exam.  The candidate is responsible for negotiating the schedule with examiners; the department administrator for scheduling the room. Oral examinations are not administered during school breaks or over the summer.

The Humanities Division expects students to complete PhD exams by the end of the third year to enable the prompt transition to work on the dissertation proposal and the defense of that proposal by the end of the fourth year. Meeting this schedule will enable applications for extra summer funding (see Summer Stipends above) and other travel awards posted on the Divisional website. If a student has not completed the oral examinations by the end of his or her fourth year, he or she will be put on academic probation. If he or she does not complete the oral examinations by the end of the Autumn quarter of the fifth year, he or she will be asked to leave the program.

Students who fail the oral examination may, at the discretion of the committee, be allowed to retake the examination once and only once. If a retake is granted, it must be completed within two quarters of the original exam date. Continuation in the Ph.D. program is dependent upon success in the oral exam.
 
 

Language Requirements

The same language requirements hold for both Track I and Track II .

The minimal requirements are either:
1) high proficiency in one language (=normally one graduate literature course with required literature/theory read without translation) + two University reading exams in two additional languages (with a high pass on both) or 
2) two high proficiency (graduate literature courses) in two languages.
High proficiency means: fluent reading of complex texts in the original without translations and with minimal dictionary use.

Note: one language among the above must include either French or German

Students should also be working towards native fluency in the language of their major literature by applying to studying abroad, once they have exhausted University offerings first. Funding for language study depends on the language and on the student’s immigration status; for information, please review the websites of the Division and of Graduate Student Affairs. In addition, students should prepare for job applications well in advance by taking the necessary qualifications to teach the language (see Teaching Requirements).

Registration for the language exam (for which a High Pass is required) can be found at: http://languages.uchicago.edu/ReadingExams/reading_exams_main.html

All graduate students who wish to fulfill the language requirement through graduate course work must submit the CMLT department form (download here) to be filled out by the instructor after the course work has been completed. The form will evaluate the student's general knowledge of the language with emphasis on reading.

Timeline: one high proficiency language should be confirmed in the first year. The remaining requirements must be completed before the student is admitted to doctoral candidacy and certified by submission of the Divisional language requirement form (download here) to be signed by the chair of the candidate's committee and submitted to the department at the same time as the proposal form.

Students are reminded that competition for academic jobs requires that comparatists compete with native speakers and other national literature specialists an must therefore demonstrate  equivalent oral and written skills  and expertise in their primary language and literature.


 
If students need to take a leave of absence during the program, including maternity leave, they should carefully review divisional policy on residency and academic requirements in the student manual before discussing options with the DGS, Chair, and Humanities Dean of Students. In particular, students should note that taking leave of absence for a term, once that leave has been approved by the Dean of Students, does not excuse them from the obligation of meeting departmental requirements and the four years of Scholastic Residence mandated by the Humanities Division.

Annual Academic Progress Report

Beginning in the third year and every year beyond while enrolled in the program, students must complete an annual academic progress report (download here).  This report will be used by the faculty to determine and assess students’ academic progress during the annual spring review. It thus complements but does not replace  the “Advanced Studies” course that students are enrolled in when taking fewer than 300 units (see the Humanities Division’s policy on academic progress).

The Annual Report requires signed approval from the DGS in your third year and from your exam and/or dissertation committee chair in the fourth and subsequent years and is due each Spring Quarter in the first week of May.

The report should provide a brief account of post-coursework progress and/or problems with progress.  For all students in the third year and following, this should include the date passed or scheduled for the oral exam and teaching that the student has accomplished in the past year and/or scheduled for the following. For planning teaching, see Teaching Requirements.

For post-orals students, this should include teaching as above and a summary of dissertation research and writing accomplished during the academic year, including a description of what committee members have seen and approved. If it seems appropriate, the Chair will contact committee members to obtain their assessments of the student’s progress but it is the students’ responsibility to keep track of their academic progress and inform their dissertation committee in the first week of Spring Quarter of the material that will be included in this report.
 
 
 
Preparing: After passing their oral exams, students must promptly begin working on a dissertation proposal under the guidance of their dissertation committee. This committee must include two U Chicago faculty members, of which at least one should be a Comparative Literature faculty member. Before adding one or more members to the required two, students must explain to the dissertation director why their project requires a third reader, and should weigh the need, such as language or theoretical expertise not already represented by the original members, against the cost. Adding members tends to slow down feedback, revision, and thus also time to degree so should be undertaken only after careful consideration.

A dissertation proposal is necessarily provisional in its claims; students may change aspects of their argument as they continue to do their dissertation research, thinking, and writing. Nevertheless, formulating a coherent and compelling proposal is a vital step toward successfully completing the dissertation in a timely fashion.

Writing: The dissertation proposal should demonstrate that the student (a) has moved from thoughts on a topic to advancing a significant and original set of questions about that topic; (b) has sufficient understanding of the relevant scholarship and of his or her chosen methodology, and (c) has formulated plausible organizing principles for the dissertation as a whole.

The dissertation proposal should run approximately 12-20 pages or 3000-5000 words (excluding bibliography) and include the following:

  • statement of the topic or problem the dissertation will address with a succinct discussion of the inadequacies and insufficiencies of previous approaches to this topic or problem. The discussion of previous approaches should not be an exhaustive history of previous scholarship, but rather a pointed discussion of the most important and relevant scholarship with which the dissertation will engage
  • preliminary version of the dissertation's overall argument, as you understand it at this point
  • discussion of the specific contributions to its field of specialization the dissertation seeks to make
  • explanation of the methodology to be used, with relevant representatives cited
  • outline of the dissertation's chapter organization and contents
  • preliminary working bibliography of primary and secondary publications, and archives if relevant

There are various ways of organizing the dissertation proposal effectively, but the outline of the dissertation's chapter organization and contents normally appears as the final section before the bibliography. Students must consult their dissertation committee members regarding the committee members' specific expectations (e.g., regarding the optimum length of the proposal) as they work on their dissertation proposal.

Students who get stuck at any stage of writing the proposal should make use of the writing resources at:  http://grad.uchicago.edu/academic_career_development/

Submitting and defending: Before entering candidacy students are required to present and discuss their dissertation proposals at a proposal hearing. This hearing must be arranged by the student who will submit the proposal to the department administrator  a month in advance. The hearing will be presided over by the dissertation committee chair and attended by their dissertation committee and other interested faculty. The optimal discussion of the proposal depends on face to face communication. At the very least, the candidate, the dissertation director and the required second reader must be present in the room; if the third reader must be absent, he/she may participate on Skype or equivalent program but this exceptional arrangement can be extended to ONLY one person on ONE screen. It is the candidate’s responsibility to provide a working laptop with the Skype or other software required.

Once the faculty approves the proposal before the hearing, the chair of the committee should submit the signed Dissertation Proposal Approval Form to the department, and the candidate must file a copy of the dissertation proposal with the department.  The Divisional Language Requirement form (see above under Language Requirements) must also be submitted at this time or before the proposal hearing before the candidate can be admitted to candidacy

Timeline: In order to complete a dissertation in a timely fashion, students must sustain momentum after their oral examinations so as to make an effective transition to the dissertation. Students should have a dissertation proposal completed and approved by their dissertation committee by the end of the quarter following their oral fields examination. If they are not able to meet this deadline for a fully approved proposal, they must at least submit a rough draft to the committee along with a written explanation of sound academic reasons for the delay.  

Students who are admitted to candidacy by winter of their fourth year will be eligible to apply for the two-year Gray Dissertation Completion Fellowship and, even if this application is unsuccessful, will be well placed to apply for other completion fellowships in their fifth year, provided they produce at least one thoroughly revised, polished chapter

All students must pass their proposal hearing and submit an approved dissertation proposal to the department within three quarters of passing their oral fields examinations; failure to do so may be grounds for removal from the doctoral program. Students who do not pass their proposal hearing by spring of their fifth year will be withdrawn, per Divisional policy.

 
 

The Humanities Division expects dissertations to be completed within five to six years after matriculation. Candidates should be aware, however, that the basic funding package lasts only five years. In order to be eligible for dissertation funding beyond the fifth year, doctoral candidates must meet the following expectations:

Expectations: After admission to candidacy, dissertation writers are expected to produce at the minimum one chapter per academic year, and preferably two to three chapters. Producing polished chapters acceptable to their dissertation committee members requires handing in draft chapters at regular intervals with the expectation that the committee members may ask for several rounds of revisions before deeming the chapter acceptable.  

Because of the time needed for faculty to respond to work and for the student to make necessary revisions, candidates must provide the dissertation committee with at least one chapter by no later than the end of March each academic year. Students who get stuck at any stage with a chapter should explore the help offered by the staff at Graduate Student Affairs.

It is not acceptable to wait until May when the Annual Academic Progress Report is due to get back in touch with, or turn in a chapter to, one’s dissertation committee. Failure to meet the end-of-March deadline may jeopardize continuation in the doctoral program.

For Divisional policy concerning time limits to degree, click here. Students who get stuck at any stage of writing the proposal should make use of the writing resources at:  http://grad.uchicago.edu/academic_career_development/

Feedback: Doctoral candidates should normally expect their readers, including those on leave, to return dissertation chapters with written comments within a month or so of receiving them, barring exceptional circumstances. However, faculty can meet these expectations only if the doctoral candidate demonstrates his or her commitment to the dissertation by providing chapters and revisions to the dissertation committee members on a timely basis. If any member of the dissertation committee does not provide feedback to a completed chapter within the standard month, without adequate explanation, the candidate should discuss the matter with the dissertation director. If the dissertation director cannot resolve serious problems regarding timely feedback after the candidate requests help, the candidate should if necessary contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

In addition to sharing chapters with their dissertation committee, doctoral candidates’ writing and professional development depend on presenting work to others. Candidates are therefore strongly urged to join appropriate graduate/ faculty workshops to observe other candidates presenting chapter length work, and to present their chapters on a regular basis to such workshops. Lists of workshops can be found on the website of the Council on Advanced Studies

Feedback: Doctoral candidates should normally expect their readers, including those on leave, to return dissertation chapters with written comments within a month or so of receiving them, barring exceptional circumstances. However, faculty can meet these expectations only if the doctoral candidate demonstrates his or her commitment to the dissertation by providing chapters and revisions to the dissertation committee members on a timely basis. If any member of the dissertation committee does not provide feedback to a completed chapter within the standard month, without adequate explanation, the candidate should discuss the matter with the dissertation director. If the dissertation director cannot resolve serious problems regarding timely feedback after the candidate requests help, the candidate should if necessary contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

In addition to sharing chapters with their dissertation committee, doctoral candidates’ writing and professional development depend on presenting work to others. Candidates are therefore strongly urged to join appropriate graduate/ faculty workshops to observe other candidates presenting chapter length work, and to present their chapters on a regular basis to such workshops. Lists of workshops can be found on the website of the Council on Advanced Studies.

Dissertation Completion Fellowships: All candidates who are still working on their dissertations in the winter of their fifth year should be prepared to apply for dissertation completion fellowships not only in the Humanities Division, but also in University Centers for the Study of Gender, Race, Jewish Studies and specific area studies such as Latin America, East Asia. Candidates should also inform themselves about outside funding from, for instance, Fulbright, DAAD, Lurcy Foundation, the American Council on Learned Societies

Candidates are eligible to apply for dissertation completion fellowships only if they have completed at least one polished and approved chapter of the dissertation by the application deadline, usually January or February of the year preceding the fellowship.  Fellowship awards will be granted only if the candidate and the dissertation director certify that the dissertation will indeed be completed and defended by the end of the fellowship term. Strict instructions from U S Government and private grant-giving agencies also require the University to certify that candidates receiving dissertation completion fellowships will not receive any further funding after the fellowship. Candidates should also take note that being eligible to apply for funding is never a guarantee that an award will be offered and should therefore apply for funding from more than one source and for teaching positions as well. See advanced opportunities.

For information about fellowships candidates should read the periodic emails sent out by the Division and review the information on the Divisional website.

For Divisional policy concerning time limits to degree, click here.

About half way through the dissertation, normally in the fifth quarter or after the completion and approval of half the number of chapters outlined in the proposal, the candidate will arrange for a colloquium with their dissertation committee. Summer quarters will count in determining the number of quarters after admission to candidacy, but if the fifth quarter falls in summer quarter, the conference will be delayed until the succeeding autumn quarter.

In this colloquium, candidates will discuss with their dissertation committee the current state of the dissertation and outline their plans and schedule for further progress. This meeting will also help ensure that dissertation committee members are aware of each other's views and expectations. Candidates will be notified when they have reached their fifth quarter after admission to candidacy and reminded that it is their responsibility to schedule a colloquium with their dissertation committee.

The optimal discussion of the dissertation in progress depends on face to face communication. At the very least, the candidate, the dissertation director and the required second reader must be present in the room; if the third reader must be absent, he/she may participate on Skype or equivalent program but this exceptional arrangement can be extended to ONLY one person on ONE screen. It is the candidate’s responsibility to provide a working laptop with the Skype or other software required.
 
 

Dissertation Defense

The candidate must conclude his or her studies by defending successfully the dissertation in an oral final examination. Candidates must get the approval of their committee for a dissertation defense prior to submitting the full dissertation at least a month in advance so there is time to arrange for other faculty members and the dean's representative to attend. The dissertation should be submitted in the standard format required by the University’s dissertation office.

The defense of the dissertation in the company of the dissertation committee, the chair, the dean’s representative and the faculty and other doctoral candidates in the Department of Comparative Literature  depends on face to face communication among a larger number of people than the previous meetings discussed above. At the very least, the candidate, the dissertation director and the required second reader must be present in the room; if the third reader must be absent, he/she may participate on Skype or equivalent program but this exceptional arrangement can be extended to ONLY one person on ONE screen. It is the candidate’s responsibility to provide a working laptop with the Skype or other software required.

Please visit the Dissertation Office website for more specific information on university-wide deadlines, formatting, and submission procedures.
 
 
 
Here are links to the forms mentioned above:
 
 
Students who would like to see examples of previous orals lists, dissertation proposals, or track statements, should visit the Graduate Student Wiki. Please contact the department if you require access.