Required Course work

Students must take a minimum of 10 courses beyond the MA CLCS emphasis. These courses normally include:

I. At least three additional graduate-level courses listed under the CLCS catalogue number in the Department of Languages and Literature. Students are encouraged to take seminars with a strong theoretical component.
II. Seven graduate-level courses distributed over two of the language areas emphasized by the PhD Program. Normally five of these are taken in the student’s primary area of emphasis and two are taken in the secondary area; however, other distributions may be approved by the student’s supervisory committee.
III. A minimum of 14 semester hours of thesis research (7970).
IV. In compelling cases, graduate-level course work in areas other than those described above (for example, classes in other language areas within the Department; allied fields in which a graduate program is offered at the University of Utah) may be approved as areas of emphasis.
V. PhD students must also take LANG 6410: L2 Methodologies (Fall) if they did not complete a similar course while studying for the MA. This course does not count toward the overall 10-course requirement for the PhD.
VI. PhD students who are also TFs (Teaching Fellows) must attend a week-long teacher-training session immediately before each Fall Semester.

Academic Advising and Supervisory Committee

During the first semester of PhD studies, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), in conjunction with the CLCS Section Coordinator, will be the student's academic advisors.  At the beginning of this semester, the student is to consult with and obtain the written approval of the DGS and the CLCS Section Coordinator, which will be placed in the student's departmental file for all coursework to be taken during that semester.  By March 1 of the student's first year (if matriculated in the Fall) or by October 15 (if matriculated in the Spring), the student will form a 5-member Supervisory Committee, in consultation with the DGS and the CLCS Coordinator.  From then on, the Chair of the Committee will be the student's advisor in planning her/his academic program and in preparation for the examinations, and will direct the student's work on the PhD dissertation.  Supervisory Committee members should include representatives from the department's CLCS faculty as well as from the language/literature areas and any allied field approved for emphasis.  At least one member of the Committee must be from outside the Department of Languages and Literature. 

Language Proficiency

Students must prove advanced proficiency (defined by the department as the ability to do graduate work) in two languages other than English.  PhD students specializing in European literature up to and including the Renaissance are required to demonstrate at least "Standard Proficiency" (defined by the Graduate School as 1020) in either Latin or Ancient Greek as a part of this language proficiency.

Qualifying Final Exams

At, near, or shortly after the end of all coursework, the student will take both a written and an oral exam together called the Qualifying Exam. The Qualifying Exam will consist of 4 questions drawn from several focus areas (e.g., a problem such as "the subject," "representation," "difference," "gender [and] identity," etc.; a literary period or genre; a theoretical direction such a psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, deconstruction, etc.). At least one question of the exam will reflect both of the student’s language/literature areas. The student will consult with the Supervisory Committee Chair to outline the general areas of the four questions. Several of the questions may be oriented toward the student's dissertation topic and may serve to connect what the student has learned from course work with the new research directions she or he expects to pursue in the dissertation.


Upon successful completion of the Qualifying Exam, the student will submit for approval a dissertation prospectus to all members of the Supervisory Committee within a reasonable time frame to be determined by the Committee Chair. Upon approval of the prospectus, and in regular consultation with the Committee Chair (now referred to as the Dissertation Advisor), the student will write a doctoral dissertation that represents a substantial and original scholarly contribution to the field. Upon completion of the dissertation and preliminary approval by the Supervisory Committee, the candidate will present him- or herself for a public oral defense of the dissertation, which constitutes the "Final Exam."

For more information about the program and courses offered please visit the General Catalog.