Philosophy, Literature and the Theory of Criticism (PLC) PhD Program
The Philosophy, Literature and the Theory of Criticism (PLC) program crystallizes the department’s longstanding commitment to theory and contemporary thought. In addition to an extensive background in literary history and methods of reading, this track provides students significant preparation in contemporary philosophy and modern theories of language and interpretation. As a site for joint research and inquiry with a focus on the politics of understanding and signification, the PLC group draws on exceptional campus resources to bring literary research into vital interplay with work in such fields as anthropology, psychoanalysis, rhetoric, semiotics, and the visual arts.
An undergraduate specialization in philosophy or literature is desirable but not essential for admission.
For students entering with a BA the minimum course requirements for the PhD are 60 credits.
During the first year of study, students entering with a BA enroll in a master's level program. At the end of the third semester, students take an MA exam. Information about the MA exam is available in the office of the department or the graduate director. A minimum grade of B+ is required to be admitted to the Ph.D. level.
Students who already hold an MA upon admission take 36 credits to complete their course work.
All students are required to take COLI 592 (the Proseminar). At the beginning of each semester, students should seek approval for their coursework from the graduate director. In the final semester of coursework, all students take a 5-credit independent study with the committee chair in preparation of the dissertation proposal and comprehensive exams. Information about the comprehensive exams is available in the office of the department or the graduate director. A minimum grade of B+ is required to be admitted to the candidacy (ABD level).
Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in two languages other than English. The standard proficiency-level evaluations accepted by the Comparative literature Department are used. These represent minimal requirements, and students are advised to develop stronger proficiency in languages essential to their dissertations. Students are expected to have satisfied the language requirements before they take their comprehensive exams.
All students complete a dissertation, generally within five years upon being admitted to the candidacy.