7. The PhD Program

7.1. Admission

Our program has no separate MA program; all students admitted into the MA program are conditionally admitted into the PhD program as well. Thus, for the purposes of applying for fellowships, all graduate students in our department are considered to be PhD students. However, for academic purposes, continuation beyond the MA degree is by invitation only, based on the academic record (see above).

The PhD degree in comparative literature requires the study of three fields consisting of national literatures, multinational and multilingual regional studies, or related disciplines. One of the field exams may be devoted to a study of an English-language corpus. The two other fields should be focused on non-English literary traditions, with the primary texts studied in the original language. The selection of fields should be approved by the Graduate Faculty Advisor/The Director of Graduate Studies.

7.2. PhD Coursework & Requirements

7.2.1. Continuing Students (MA from UCSB)

Beyond the requirements for the MA, continuing students are required to complete a minimum of 24 units of coursework for the PhD, a minimum of 60 units total (see also section on course load.) Among these 60 total units, a minimum of 12 units of graduate-level course work must be completed in each of the student’s three fields, plus at least 12 additional units of graduate-level course work from the offerings in the Comparative Literature Program, with the remaining 12 units to be distributed among the student’s fields in consultation with the Graduate Advisor. Students are encouraged to take and/or audit other courses, both within and outside of the department, that match their interests and planned areas of specialization. In order to be advanced to candidacy, they must also demonstrate competency in a second foreign language, pass two more field examinations and present and defend a dissertation prospectus. After advancement to candidacy, they write and defend a dissertation. The university’s absolute time limit for passing the field exams and advancing to candidacy is 4 years. See section 15 below on Normative Time.

7.2.2 Students with the MA from another institution

Students entering the program with an MA in comparative literature or a closely related field need a minimum of 24 units of additional graduate-level course work to be distributed in consultation with the Faculty Graduate Advisor/Director of Graduate Studies (see also section on course load.) These 24 units must include 4 units in each of two national literatures, 4 units in the student's third national literature or related discipline, and 4 units in comparative literature.  A limited number of course exemptions will, however, be allowed, as indicated in 2.6, “Transfer of Credit.” Additional course work may be required to make up for deficiencies. Students must pass three field exams in three national literatures or two national literatures and a related field. The first field examination should be taken in the first quarter of their second year at UCSB in a national literature other than the literature of the student’s native language. In order to be advanced to candidacy students must also demonstrate competency in a second foreign language and present and defend a dissertation prospectus. After advancement to candidacy they write and defend a dissertation. The university’s absolute time limit for passing the field exams and advancing to candidacy is 4 years. See section 15 below on Normative Time.

It is essential that incoming students meet with the Faculty Graduate Advisor prior to their first quarter at UCSB in order to review their academic record and map out a program that will insure a grounding equivalent to UCSB’s MA program.