Doctoral Qualifying Examinations

The Written Qualifying Examination

This examination consists of two parts, of which the first covers the historical area related to the proposed dissertation topic, and the second, critical theory relevant to the proposed dissertation. Each part is based on an individual reading list of approximately 15 works, established by the examiner and the candidate. These two four-hour examinations are to be taken within one week and are normally administered by two different committee members.

The Oral Qualifying Examination

The department requires that, prior to taking the oral qualifying examination, the student submit to each member of the doctoral examination committee, including the “outside” member(s), a dissertation prospectus. The prospectus is a descriptive text of approximately 20-30 pages outlining the nature, scope, and significance of the proposed dissertation topic, as well as a bibliography. For the preparation of the dissertation prospectus, the student works in close consultation with the guidance committee chair. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the prospectus be submitted to the committee in good time for administering the examination.

The oral qualifying examination, taken during the quarter following the written examinations, takes two hours and includes a review and discussion of the dissertation prospectus.

After successfully passing the doctoral qualifying examinations the student is said to have been “advanced to candidacy” (C. Phil.) for the Ph.D. degree in French and Francophone Studies and begins work on the dissertation.

The student writes the dissertation under the personal supervision of the dissertation director and the guidance of at least two other members of the committee that administered the oral qualifying examination, one of whom must be from outside the department. No defense is required unless specifically requested by the doctoral committee. The Ph.D. is awarded on approval of the dissertation by the (normally three) “certifying” members and its filing with Graduate Division. Students ready to file for the Ph.D. degree should pay close attention to the guidelines, procedures, and deadlines for submission of the dissertation to the proper university office and consult the Graduate Division for detailed information. The dissertation is expected to be written in one to two years and the department strongly encourages careful planning and timely completion of the dissertation. Students who go over the maximum allowed time to degree (21 quarters for the Ph.D.) may be dropped from the program.