Literature PhD Program Requirements

Students who have earned the MA from the Literature Program at the University of Arizona must  complete at least 15 units of 500- or 600-level course beyond the requirement for the MA,  for a total of 45 units. At least 33 units (11 courses) of the 45 must be in regularly scheduled literature classes, unless otherwise approved by the Program Director. In addition, students must register for 18 hours of dissertation units. Prior to beginning the PhD program, students must pass the Qualifying Exam.

Students who earned the MA elsewhere must complete a minimum of 30 units (10 classes) of course work; of these, at least 18 units (6 courses) must be in regularly scheduled literature classes, unless otherwise approved by the Program Director.  The additional 15 units towards degree requirements will be transferred from the MA but coursework more than ten years old is not acceptable for meeting degree requirements.
In addition, students must satisfy the Foreign Language requirement, pass the Comprehensive Examination, complete at least 18 units of dissertation credit, and write a dissertation acceptable to the Department of English.

Foreign Language Requirement 

Students entering the program with an MA from elsewhere may satisfy the foreign language requirement for the PhD in one of three ways:

1.  By receiving the grade of Pass on the departmental translation test.

2.  By earning a grade of A in one senior-level literature course in the language.

3.  By earning a grade of A or S (not P)  in one of several graduate-level translation courses offered every spring.

Literature students who elect to take the departmental exam are limited to two attempts. Students who fail the exam a second time must then register for a graduate translation/reading course in order to fulfill the foreign language requirement. Greek, Latin, French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Italian automatically qualify as acceptable languages for the requirement; other languages must be approved by the Graduate Literature Program Director. The language requirement must be met before the student may take the comprehensive examination.

Language exams are administered at the beginning of each semester.  See the Program Assistant for details and sample exams.


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences