To meet the qualifying requirements for the PhD in Comparative Literature, after completing their three field examinations, graduate students develop a prospectus for their doctoral dissertation in close consultation with their committee members. See below (section 12) for more information about putting together a doctoral committee. Once the committee members have approved of the written prospectus, they meet as a group with the candidate to discuss the prospectus and to determine whether the student is sufficiently prepared to proceed with the writing of the dissertation. At its discretion, the dissertation committee may request only one set of revisions before determining whether the prospectus is approved.
9.1. Description of the Prospectus
The prospectus, 10-15 pages in length, should include a clear formulation of the research topic, an outline of the projected contents of each chapter of the dissertation, a discussion of how the proposed work promises to contribute to the field or discipline to which it belongs. It should indicate that the candidate is conversant with the relevant secondary literature and major scholarship and also include a discussion of the methodological and theoretical framework within which the topic will be examined. A working bibliography should be included as well as a schedule that indicates when drafts, chapters and revisions will be submitted.
9.2. Oral Presentation
The candidate will begin the meeting by giving a presentation of approximately 20 minutes of the proposed dissertation project. The presentation is followed by a discussion of 45-60 minutes among the committee members and the candidate about the viability of the project, possible difficulties that may arise, and the soundness of the proposed argumentation and methodology. After the discussion, the committee members will meet without the candidate to determine whether they deem him/her prepared to proceed with the project. The committee may approve the prospectus either unconditionally or on the condition that further revisions are made. Once the committee has reached its decision, the discussion will resume with the candidate. The entire oral examination should take between 1.5-2 hours.
In order to establish the committee, the student must file the PhD Form I with the Graduate Division. The form can be found at www.graddiv.ucsb.edu/academic/forms-petitions and includes the mandatory UCSB Graduate Student Conflict of Interest Form. For the oral examination, the candidate must enter the exam with the PhD Form II in hand, to be completed by the committee at the end of the examination. The PhD Form II is available at www.graddiv.ucsb.edu/academic/forms-petitions, and requires the payment of the advancement to candidacy fee at the Cashier’s office prior to submission to the Graduate Division.