Requirements for the Ph.D.
16 courses total are required: 8 courses beyond the B.A. to receive the M.A.; 8 courses beyond the M.A. to receive the Ph.D. HISP 2010 and HISP 2900 are required for the M.A. and should be taken during the first year, if offered. If not offered during the first year, they must be completed by end of second year.
Independent Studies course to complete the Major Paper taken in the fourth semester counts towards fulfillment
of the 16-course requirement.
Please note: two or more Incompletes jeopardizes good standing in the program and two or more course grades of B are considered unsatisfactory and jeopardize good standing in the program. No grades below a B are acceptable.
Annual Review/Academic Standing: each student will receive annually a letter explaining their current standing in the program as either: 1) Good; 2) Acceptable; or 3) Warning.
Students must take a minimum of one course from each of the seven Preliminary Examination areas (see
Worksheet, section I.3.a).
The seven designated areas of study are as follows:
1. The Middle Ages
2. The 16th and 17th centuries
4. The 18th and 19th centuries
5. The 20th century
LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE
5. The Colonial Period
6. The 19th and early 20th century, through Modernismo
7. The later 20th century
Students may take up to 2 undergraduate courses as electives, after prior consultation with the Director of
Students should petition for Transfer Credits for M.A. or Ph.D. work in Hispanic Studies completed at another
institution during the second semester of their first year at Brown. Up to 3 transfer credits can be granted for
such work. The petition should be addressed to the Graduate Advisor and should include an official copy of the
For the M. A., to be completed by the end of the second year of coursework, a reading knowledge of French is required. For the Ph. D., to be completed by the end of the fourth year of study, a reading knowledge of a language other than Spanish or English related to the dissertation field: e. g., German or Latin or Portuguese or Italian. For either requirement—M. A. or Ph. D—another language may be substituted by petition to the Department.
To satisfy the language requirement, a reading knowledge is required. However, students are strongly encouraged to acquire and demonstrate a more profound knowledge of languages other than English and Spanish. Optimally, students will take a 100-level or higher course in the language. Early in their graduate careers, students should begin to plan and work on the fulfillment of the language requirements. Although language courses per se do not count toward the 16 courses required for the Ph. D., the plan of study allows students one semester in which to take one course less than normal load in order to satisfy the language requirement. 100-level and higher courses in another language, it should be noted, do count toward the 16 courses required for the Ph. D.
For each language, the requirement can be fulfilled in any one of the following ways:
1. By completing, with a grade of “B” or higher, an advanced intermediate or higher level course in the language at Brown, or by achieving a similar level on a lacement test. The reading course in French offered at Brown fulfills the requirement for that language.
2. By presentation of coursework from another institution at the level specified in #1.
3. By passing the reading examination administered by another department. Arrangements for these examinations are made by the Director of Graduate tudies; please consult him or her.
4. With permission of the instructor of a Hispanic Studies course, by writing a course paper in the language of the requirement.
THE MAJOR PAPER
The Major Paper is required of all graduate students in Hispanic Studies, regardless of whether they entered Brown with an M.A. from another institution. The Major Paper generally entails the reworking of a good course paper that has already been graded--often through an Independent Studies course with an advisor of the student's choice--into an essay of publishable length (25-30 pages) and quality, with an authoritative bibliography. The Major Paper can treat an issue that would conceivably feed into the Ph.D. dissertation, can explore a related field, or can deal with a student's secondary field of interest.
As are most published articles, the Major Paper should be 25-30 pages in length.
The Major Paper should follow the most recent MLA style. It is NOT handed into the Graduate School and
therefore need not follow the strict formatting and guidelines foe Ph.D. dissertations. No special paper need be
used. One copy of the Major Paper should be given to the student’s advisor; another (bound in a black soft
cover) should be deposited in the Department Library.
The Major Paper is generally undertaken in the student’s second or third year at Brown. Plan ahead; make arrangements for an independent studies course with your potential advisor a semester in advance.
Requirements for the M.A.
• 8 graduate courses beyond the B.A. degree. (Under most circumstances, this includes HISP 2010 (Spanish Philology) and SP 2900 (Theory and Methods of Foreign Language Teaching).
• Fulfillment of the language requirement of French.
• Completion of the Major Paper.
If the student desires formal conferring of the M.A. degree from Brown, in the semester that the requirements are completed he/ she should petition the Graduate school for the degree to be conferred. Students who have an M.A. from another institution but have completed the M.A. requirements at Brown can ask to be mentioned at the graduation ceremony.
The preliminary examination seeks to reveal the quality of the student's general preparation in Hispanic Studies and also to indicate capacity to undertake the research necessary for the doctoral dissertation. Each student will decide his or her three fields of examination in consultation with the Graduate Advisor and other faculty. All will choose one field of in-depth specialization (out of which the dissertation will probably emerge), to be complemented with two secondary fields of specialization, conceivably related to the dissertation as well. For their one area of in-depth specialization, students will be responsible for the corpus of works and for the works
designated “Para especialistas” in the Ph.D. reading list. For the two fields of secondary specialization, students will be responsible only for the first corpus of works listed in each section or sub-section of the area. (Please see department webpage for Ph.D. Reading List).
The examination is normally offered during the first week in December, and, by petition, by the end of April, or by the third week in September. Candidates must make a request to the Director of Graduate Studies that an examination be prepared. Candidates should also indicate at that time their primary and secondary areas of specialization (from the seven areas designated above in this handbook). In the Areas section of the Ph.D. reading list, there are instances in which students have the option of choosing between two works. Upon making this selection, students need to inform the Director of Graduate Studies so that the preliminary examination may be accurately and fairly prepared.
1. The first part of the preliminary examination will consist of a written paper, of 4 hours duration, on a list of 50 especially significant works drawn from all periods and genres of Spanish and Spanish-American literature. Emphasis in this “General Works” examination will be largely on the intrinsic quality of the works concerned. A limited choice of questions will be offered: four questions, three of which must be answered.
2. The second part of the preliminary examination will consist of a written paper, of 4 hours duration, on THREE of the seven designated areas of study. This, the “Areas” part of the examination, will be concerned with the cultural and literary historical background as well as with the quality of the texts themselves. Again, a limited choice will be offered: four questions, three of which must be answered. Within individual questions there may be a choice of works to be discussed.
THE DISSERTATION PROPOSAL AND PROPOSAL PRESENTATION
The Dissertation Proposal is to be presented to the faculty by the second semester of the Third Year, approximately one semester after the student passes Prelims. The Dissertation Director will set the date and time for the presentation. A week before the oral presentation, the proposal will be distributed to all faculty members by the department Administrative Assistant.
While each project has its own requirements and each individual thesis advisor has her or his views about the proposal, it will generally include the following components: approximately 8 pages of narrative explanation of the project (including the question to be studied, the objectives of the project, work already done on the subject and areas not yet explored, a discussion of methodology and bibliography of the key primary, secondary and theoretical texts for the project. All told, the proposal should not exceed 12-15 pages. The Graduate Advisor can provide the student with models for the proposal.
The proposal presentation is NOT an examination, to be passed or failed. Rather, it is a forum for students to
receive useful feedback on his/ her project at an early stage in its development. The 10-15 minute presentation,
in English or in Spanish, complements, rather than reiterates, the proposal. The presentation generally includes
an account of how the student became drawn to their particular, why it is significant to them and in general, their plan of action for the dissertation.
After this presentation, faculty will offer their comments and suggestions on the project. The whole event will not last more than one hour.
The Student and Dissertation Director together should decide, as soon as possible, who the first and second readers of the dissertation will be. Normally, the first reader is a department member and the second a member of another department at Brown or an outside specialist. It is then the responsibility of the dissertation director to contact those individuals, to obtain their participation, and to file the requisite form with the Graduate Advisor. In short, it is the dissertation director’s responsibility to ask colleagues in the field to be readers of the dissertation.
Dissertation writers need to give their second and third readers ample time to read the thesis. The second reader may be involved throughout the process, after the dissertation director has read the first draft of a chapter and the author has made the changes suggested by the director. If the second reader is not involved throughout, he or she should have the dissertation well in advance of the defense, with enough time for the author to incorporate the second reader’s suggestions before the defense. The third reader generally reviews a complete draft of the dissertation; it is preferable if not always feasible, that the third reader’s suggestions be incorporated into the thesis before the defense.
SAMPLE PLAN OF STUDY
Nota bene: The plan for the first year assumes a full-time fellowship; the plan for the second and subsequent years assumes a teaching or research assistantship or a proctorship. It is assumed that students who come in with an MA will advance at a somewhat faster pace; please consult graduate advisor for a personalized plan of study. All students are encouraged to consult the graduate advisor at least once a year to review their progress toward the degree.
Students are expected to include literary/cultural theory in their coursework, as courses integrating these areas or wholly dedicated to them, within or outside the department (the latter in consultation with graduate advisor), are available.
First year: 4 courses per semester, including, if offered, Teaching Methodology and Philology. Second semester: if applicable, apply for transfer department course credits and university tuition units.
Second year: 3 courses per semester, including Teaching Methodology and/or Philology if not offered during first year. One of the courses during the second semester could be used to complete the Major Paper (HISP 2920). In December, consider applying for Proctorship, Kenyon, Exchange Programs and Machado House.
Perform teaching assistant/teaching fellow duties for one course each semester.
May take one course at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University during either semester.
French language requirement should be fulfilled by the end of the second year.
During the summer, begin preparation for Preliminary Examination.
Third year: Fall: Two remaining courses, including the Major Paper (HISP 2920) if not taken earlier. If possible, complete Preliminary Examination. In December, consider applying for Proctorship, Kenyon, Exchange Programs and Machado House.
Spring: Complete Preliminary Examination. If it is already completed, present disertation proposal.
Perform teaching assistant/teaching fellow duties for one course each semester.
Fourth year: Fall: If Preliminary Examination has not been taken, take in September or early October. Present dissertation proposal by December (students who do not present the dissertation proposal by December may not qualify to apply for dissertation fellowships for the following year).
Spring: Work on the dissertation (register for HISP 2990, section 1 regardless of advisor). Complete second language requirement by the end of this academic year.
Perform teaching assistant/teaching fellow duties for one course each semester, if not enjoying a proctorship, a Kenyon or a Dissertation Fellowship.
Fifth Year: Continue work on the dissertation. Before December, prepare job applications. For May graduation, dissertations are usually defended on or before late April.