Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers graduate courses leading to two degrees: Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Students must consult with the Graduate Coordinator concerning all matters having to do with their programs.

 

Please consult the admission requirements and the application procedures for the Ph.D. program. General information about graduate studies at the University of Toronto may be directed to the School of Graduate Studies. Students are urged to become familiar with the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies as soon as possible. The information on this Web site should not be viewed as a substitute for the official Calendar of the School of Graduate Studies.

Overview

Introduction
Specializations and Course Work
Field Examination
Dissertation Proposal
Language Requirements
Dissertation
Residence
Collaborative Programs

Introduction

The program has the following academic requirements:

  • Eight graduate half-courses or the equivalent
  • Field Examination
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Language Requirements
  • Doctoral Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

Under SGS regulations, the program must be completed within six years of the student’s initial enrolment.

Course Work

Each student must specialize in one of two fields:

  • Hispanic Literatures and Cultures
  • Hispanic Linguistics

Specialization requires that each student complete course work in accordance with distribution requirements that are defined in terms of the four areas of the department’s graduate curriculum:

1. Medieval Spanish Literature and Culture (to 1500)
2. Early Modern Hispanic Literature and Culture (1500-1700)
3. Modern and Contemporary Hispanic Literature and Culture (1700-present)
4. Hispanic Linguistics

It is the department’s expectation that students will complete the required course work during the first year of enrolment in the program. With the permission of the Graduate Coordinator, however, up to two half-courses may be taken in the second year rather than the first.

Medieval & Early Modern Hispanic Literature and Culture

Each student will select courses in the specific area of the curriculum directly related to his/her proposed area of research for the dissertation (for example, Early Modern Hispanic Literature and Culture). Additional courses must be selected to complement the student’s research training and to complete his/her general preparation in Hispanic literature and linguistics. Up to one full course equivalent may be taken from a cognate department (for example, Book History and Print Culture, Centre for Comparative Literature, Diaspora and Transnational Studies, French, History, Linguistics, Centre for Medieval Studies, Women’s Studies)

For the purpose of general academic preparation, each student must ensure that through course work at the two levels of the graduate program (M.A. and Ph.D.) he/she has taken at least one half-course in each of the four curriculum areas. A student entering the Ph.D. program after completing the M.A. at another university must consult the Graduate Coordinator concerning appropriate course selection for research specialization and general preparation.

Modern & Contemporary Hispanic Literature and Culture

Each student will select courses in the specific area of the curriculum directly related to his/her proposed area of research for the dissertation. Additional courses must be selected to complement the student’s research training and to complete his/her general preparation in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures and Hispanic Linguistics. Up to one full course equivalent may be taken from a cognate department (for example, Book History and Print Culture, Centre for Comparative Literature, Diaspora and Transnational Studies, French, History, Linguistics, Centre for Medieval Studies, Women’s Studies)

For the purpose of general academic preparation, each student must ensure that through course work at the two levels of the graduate program (M.A. and Ph.D.) he/she has taken at least one half-course in each of the four curriculum areas. A student entering the Ph.D. program after completing the M.A. at another university must consult the Graduate Coordinator concerning appropriate course selection for research specialization and general preparation.

Hispanic Linguistics

In consultation with the Graduate Coordinator and the faculty members in this field, each student will select courses related to the area of his/her proposed research for the dissertation. Students are expected to select from available courses in Hispanic Linguistics and appropriate courses offered by other units (Linguistics; French; Italian; Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE/UT).

For the purpose of general academic preparation, each student must ensure that through course work at the two levels of the graduate program (M.A. and Ph.D.) he/she has taken at least one half-course in each of the four curriculum areas.

Field Examination

During the winter term of the first year of enrolment in the program, each student should approach a graduate faculty member concerning the supervision of his/her dissertation and the potential membership of the Field Examination Committee (normally the student’s supervisor and two other members of the graduate faculty). By March 15 of the first year each student must inform the Graduate Coordinator in writing of the proposed area of his/her dissertation and the member of the graduate faculty whom the student wishes to select as dissertation supervisor. In the same written statement, the student should indicate three to four additional graduate faculty members who may serve as members of the committee for the Field Examination and the Dissertation Proposal (for students in Hispanic Linguistics, at least one proposed member of this committee will normally be from a cognate unit). The Graduate Advisory Committee will review this material, and by May 1 the Graduate Coordinator will inform each student in writing of the committee’s decision concerning his/her supervisor and committee members.

Administrative questions concerning the selection of the supervisor and the members of the Advisory Committee should be directed to the Graduate Coordinator.

The Field Examination centers on two subfields of Hispanic Literatures and Cultures or Hispanic Linguistics: the subfield of the student’s proposed dissertation research and a subfield relevant to the student’s research and general preparation. After May 1 each student in the first year of the program should consult the members of his/her committee concerning the reading lists for this examination. By October 1 of the second year of enrolment, each student must submit to the Graduate Coordinator a brief statement (3-4 pages double-spaced) concerning the primary and secondary subfields for the Field Examination and two reading lists (one for each subfield). The statement should outline the student’s research interests in the primary subfield and explain the relevance of the secondary subfield. Each of the two reading lists should consist of twenty-five to thirty items and should include primary and secondary sources. The student’s committee will review this material and meet with the student to indicate revisions or additions to the reading lists. The student must file final copies of the two reading lists, as approved by the committee, with the Graduate Coordinator by November 1.

The Field Examination will take place between January 15 and February 15 of the second year. It has two parts: a written examination of six hours and an oral examination of two hours. Each part will cover the primary and secondary subfields that the student has prepared. The written examination will consist of three questions chosen from a list of five. The three questions must encompass the two subfields under examination. At least one of questions must be answered in Spanish. It will be scheduled to be written in the department between 9:30 and 4:30 on a day in the last two weeks of January. The oral examination will follow in the first two weeks of February; it will normally be conducted in Spanish, although English may be used to accommodate committee members from cognate units. The Field Committee will grade the two parts of the examination together, on a credit/non-credit basis. A student who does not receive credit on the first attempt must re-take both parts of the examination by May 10.

Dissertation Proposal

Each student must submit a Dissertation Proposal (20-25 pages double-spaced, plus bibliography) to the Graduate Coordinator by April 15 of his/her second year of enrolment in the program. Developed in consultation with the student’s supervisor and Field Committee, the proposal should state the questions that the dissertation will address, discuss the current state of scholarship on these questions, indicate the research methodology, and offer a concise analysis of a representative text, a corpus of data, or a pilot study. The proposal should be written in the language that the student intends to use in writing the dissertation (Spanish or English). Sources should be documented in accordance with the procedures outlined in the current edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. (Students in Hispanic Linguistics should follow documentation procedures appropriate to their field). Each student must present his/her Dissertation Proposal in a two-hour oral examination, to be held by May 15. The oral examination will consist of two parts. During the first part the student will make a brief presentation (20 minutes) of his/her proposal to graduate faculty members and graduate students in the department, followed by a twenty-minute question period open to the audience. After that, the public will leave and the student will be questioned by the members of the Field Committee. The examination will normally be conducted in the language of the student’s proposal. The proposal and oral examination will be graded on a credit/non-credit basis. A student who does not receive credit on the first attempt must revise and resubmit the Dissertation Proposal by September 15 of his/her third year of enrolment and re-take the oral examination on the proposal by October 15 of that year. If the Field Committee for a student's second oral examination on the proposal decides that s/he has failed to demonstrate a sufficient mastery of the Field to proceed to the Dissertation stage, his or her candidacy for the degree will be terminated.

Language Requirements

Before registering for the fourth year in the program, each student must demonstrate a reading knowledge of French and of a third non-English language relevant to his/her area of research. These language requirements may be satisfied by passing the appropriate reading knowledge examinations offered by the various departments of language and literature at the University of Toronto. Significant prior training in a language (such as an undergraduate Major or Minor) will also be accepted as demonstration of reading knowledge.

Dissertation

The third and fourth years in the program are devoted to researching and writing the doctoral dissertation. To sustain good progress toward completing the dissertation, each student should concentrate on intensive research during the third year of enrolment, with the objective of completing at least one chapter in draft by the end of that year. Further research and writing can then be undertaken in the following year. During this period each student is expected to maintain regular contact with his/her supervisor and to submit chapters in draft for comment and subsequent revision. The student’s Field Committee will normally become the Supervisory Committee for the dissertation. In specific cases, however, a student may request that another member of the graduate faculty be substituted for a member of the Field Committee or be added to the Supervisory Committee. Under SGS regulations the Supervisory Committee must meet on an annual basis to review the student’s progress toward completion and file a written report with the Graduate Coordinator.

The Supervisory Committee must normally approve the dissertation before the student can proceed to the final oral examination. This examination is arranged by the Department in collaboration with the School of Graduate Studies. At least eight weeks must be allowed for all arrangements to be made following the submission of the dissertation to the Graduate Coordinator.

Residence

Candidates must be registered as full-time on-campus students and must reside in sufficient geographical proximity to enable them to fulfill the requirements of the program in a timely fashion. They are also expected to participate fully in department activities. While writing the dissertation, candidates expected to be in residence, with the exception of absences for research purposes and approved leaves.

Collaborative Programs

The Department participates in four collaborative programs:

1 Editing Medieval Texts (www.chass.utoronto.ca/medieval/)
2 Diaspora and Transnational Studies (www.cdts.utoronto.ca)
3 Book History and Print Culture (http://bookhistory.ischool.utoronto.ca/)
4 Women and Gender Studies (www.utoronto.ca/wgsi)

For detailed information, consult the web sites listed above or the separate entries for these programs in the Calendar of the School of Graduate Studies.

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires a Master’s degree in an appropriate discipline from a recognized university with an average of A- or higher.

The admissions process is competitive, and is based on a number of factors in addition to grades. The principal factors include the ability of the department to offer graduate work in the applicant’s preferred areas of interest, the availability of appropriate supervisory resources, and the suitability of the applicant in relation to the academic profile and programs of the department.

Students currently registered in the department's M.A. program must apply through SGS and provide the same materials as listed above.

For application instructions please click on Application Procedures.