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Ph.D. Requirements


Students may enter the doctoral program with or without having previously earned an M.A. degree in Hispanic Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, or a related field. There are additional program requirements for students not holding an M.A. In order to complete these requirements, non-M.A. holding students are provided with an additional year of funding.


Requirements

I. 5-year Ph.D. (for students who enter the doctoral program without an M.A. degree)

  • Coursework: Students need to complete 45 course credits (15 courses of 3 credits). At least 24 credits (8 courses) must be taken in the Spanish and Portuguese program. Students need advisor approval for any courses taken inside or outside the Spanish and Portuguese program. Each track has specific coursework requirements, for more details on each of the tracks, see here.

  • Dissertation credits: After students complete their coursework, or as they are about to complete it, they must enroll in 12 dissertation credits. These credits must be taken before a student leaves the university, while the tuition waiver is in effect. A student who fails to enroll in dissertation credits while in residence will be responsible for paying full tuition in order to complete them.

  • Residency: Students must spend a minimum of 1 academic year as full-time graduate students in residence. The residence year must consist of two consecutive semesters of full-time graduate work in a fall-spring or spring-fall sequence. During this year, students must spend some part of each week physically on campus, not necessarily live in the Amherst area. In order to qualify for full-time status, students must enroll in 9 or more credits per semester, either in regular graduate courses, dissertation credits, or a combination of both.

  • Foreign languages: Students will demonstrate or develop reading knowledge of 2 foreign languages related to their academic needs. These languages should be selected in consultation with the advisor and/or the Graduate Program Director (GPD). This requirement should be completed as early as possible in the student's career. The student must inform the GPD as soon as the requirement is fulfilled. It may be fulfilled in one of the following ways:

    • By earning a minimum grade of B in a 240-level or above course at UMass within the preceding 5 years.

    • By examinations given either by the departmental units that offer those languages or by qualified faculty members.

    • The GPD will grant waivers to students with formal language training, such as an undergraduate major or minor, or appropriate coursework taken outside UMass in the preceding 5 years. Unusual cases will be referred to the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).

    • For students concentrating in Spanish, by obtaining a grade of C or better in the intensive courses in Portuguese or Catalan for graduate students offered in the program.

  • Candidacy exam: Students must pass a two-part candidacy exam:

    • Part 1: after completing 30 course credits, students will take an exam or will present a thesis. See regulations here.

    • Part 2: after completing all 45 course credits and the first part of the candidacy exam, students will take the second part of the exam. See regulations here.

  • Dissertation proposal: Once the candidacy exams are successfully completed, students will present a dissertation proposal.

  • Dissertation: After presenting the proposal and completing 12 dissertation credits, students will write and defend their dissertation. See regulations here.

 

II. 4-year Ph.D. (for students who enter the doctoral program with an M.A. degree)

  • Coursework: Students need to complete 24 course credits (8 courses of 3 credits). At least 12 credits (4 courses) must be taken in the Spanish and Portuguese program. Students need advisor approval for any courses taken inside or outside the Spanish and Portuguese program. Each track has specific coursework requirements, for more details on each of the tracks, see here.

  • Dissertation credits: After students complete their coursework, or as they are about to complete it, they must enroll in 12 dissertation credits. These credits must be taken before a student leaves the university, while the tuition waiver is in effect. A student who fails to enroll in dissertation credits while in residence will be responsible for paying full tuition in order to complete them.

  • Residency: Students must spend a minimum of 1 academic year as full-time graduate students in residence. The residence year must consist of two consecutive semesters of full-time graduate work in a fall-spring or spring-fall sequence. During this year, the student must spend some part of each week physically on campus, not necessarily live in the Amherst area. In order to qualify for full-time status, students must enroll in 9 or more credits per semester, either in regular graduate courses, dissertation credits, or a combination of both.

  • Foreign languages: Students will demonstrate or develop reading knowledge of 2 foreign languages related to their academic needs. These languages should be selected in consultation with the advisor and/or the Graduate Program Director (GPD). This requirement should be completed as early as possible in the student's career. The student must inform the GPD as soon as the requirement is fulfilled. It may be fulfilled in one of the following ways:

    • By earning a minimum grade of B in a 240-level or above course at UMass within the preceding 5 years.

    • By examinations given either by the departmental units that offer those languages or by qualified faculty members.

    • The GPD will grant waivers to students with formal language training, such as an undergraduate major or minor or appropriate coursework taken outside UMass in the preceding 5 years. Unusual cases will be referred to the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).

    • For students concentrating in Spanish, by obtaining a grade of C or better in the intensive courses in Portuguese or Catalan for graduate students offered in the program.

  • Candidacy exam: after completing 24 course credits, students will take a doctoral comprehensive exam. See regulations here.

  • Dissertation proposal: Once the candidacy exams are successfully completed, students will present a dissertation proposal.

  • Dissertation: After presenting the proposal, and completing 12 dissertation credits, students will write and defend their dissertation. See regulations here.

 


Progress towards degree completion

The student’s progress towards the degree is assessed yearly by the Graduate Studies Committee.
 

I. For students entering the program without an M.A.

  • The first foreign language requirement should be fulfilled by the 4th semester.

  • The second foreign language requirement should be fulfilled by the 8th semester.

  • The first 30 course credits should be completed by the 4th semester.

  • The first part of the candidacy exam should be completed by the 4th semester.

  • All 45 course credits should be completed by the 6th semester.

  • The second part of the candidacy exam should be completed by the 7th semester.

 

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year

Fall

3 courses

3 courses

3 courses

diss. prospectus

 

Spring

3 courses

-1 course

-1st part of candidacy exam

-1st language requirement

-2 courses

-2nd part of candidacy exam

 

-2nd language -requirement 

diss. defense

 

II. For students entering the program with an M.A.

  • The foreign language requirements should be fulfilled by the 6th semester.

  • All 24 course credits should be completed by the 3rd semester.24 course credits 

  • The candidacy exam should be completed by the 4th semester.

 

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

Fall

3 courses

2 courses

diss. prospectus

 

Spring

3 courses

candidacy exam

lang. requirement 

diss. defense

 


Concentrations and advising

  • Advising: In their first semester, the Graduate Program Director (GPD) assigns students an advisor within their general area of concentration (Hispanic linguistics, Latin American and Latina/o literatures and cultures, Iberian literatures and cultures, or Lusophone literatures and linguistics). By the second semester, students must choose an advisor in their area of specialization. In consultation with the GPD, students may change their advisor when appropriate.
  • Double Concentration Option: Students may request a double concentration, individually designed, in the Literatures and Cultures of both the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds. The request must be submitted for approval by the Graduate Studies Committee in consultation with the student's advisor.

 


Coursework Requirements

5-year Ph.D. (45 cr)

30 cr

1. Language Pedagogy in SpanPort  (3 cr)

Literatures and Cultures

Linguistics

2. Literary Theory in SpanPort (3 cr)

2. SpanPort Courses in Ling.  (21 cr)

3. SpanPort Courses in Lits. and Cults.  (18 cr)

3. Electives (6 cr)

4. Electives (6 cr)

 

15 cr

1. SpanPort  Courses (9 cr)

2. Electives (6 cr)

 

4-year Ph.D. (24 cr)

1. Language Pedagogy in SpanPort  (3 cr)

Literatures and Cultures

Linguistics

2. Literary Theory in SpanPort (3 cr)

2. SpanPort Courses in Ling.  (15 cr)

3. SpanPort Courses in Lits. and Cults.  (12 cr)

3. Electives (6 cr)

4. Electives (6 cr)

 

 

Notes

  • Major and minor fields need to be defined in consultation with the advisor.
  • Electives may be taken inside or outside of SpanPort.
  • Electives may include a maximum of 1 Independent Study within SpanPort per course of studies. This IS needs to be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.