Ph.D Program

The department offers a single Ph.D. with a concentration in one of five primary fields of study: French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Italian Literary and Cultural Studies, Spanish Studies, and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies. In addition to the primary fields of specialization, the department also offers secondary areas of specialization in Applied Linguistics, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Digital Culture and Media Studies, and Film. Students may also develop a secondary field of specialization in collaboration with other programs at the University. These include but are not limited to: Medieval Studies, Gender Studies, Human Rights, and Judaic Studies.

Coursework for the Ph.D. in Literatures, Cultures and Languages comprises an interdisciplinary approach to the various fields that make up its curriculum. The department considers the integration of the study of various regional cultures, periods, and methodologies essential to literary and cultural scholarship in the context of an emerging global community: central among the Ph.D. program’s objectives is the study of literature and culture and language, emphasizing that scholarship in these fields both includes and exceeds boundaries of disciplines, nations, and regions. Areas of research, which include specializations, are thus conceived as complementary and interconnected in the department’s offerings. The curriculum brings together faculty with a broad range of research and teaching interests, and the breadth and expertise of our faculty enables graduate students to design simultaneously focused, individualized, and interdisciplinary areas of study.

The Ph.D. in LCL equips students with the skills necessary to examine present and past cultural, literary, and artistic expressions from trans-national, trans-regional, trans-historical and intercultural perspectives and through various interdisciplinary lenses (i.e., Classical and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, World Cinema, Gender, Race, and Ethnic Studies, Diaspora and Migration Studies, Judaic Studies, Human Rights, Media Studies, among others). In addition, the program trains its graduates both in established and in cutting-edge pedagogical approaches to the teaching of languages, literatures, and cultures. Relevant coursework focuses on the theoretical basis and practical application of current foreign language teaching pedagogies and emerging digital methods applied to foreign language teaching.

The Ph.D. program includes an emphasis on active mentoring; this aspect of the program enables students to establish a scholarly profile through active participation in and organization of conferences, the editing of research papers followed by professional publication prior to finishing the degree, collaboration with faculty members on a variety of projects, as well as training in editorial work through participation in one of the refereed journals housed in the department (Contemporary French & Francophone Studies: SITES; The Brecht Yearbook; Flusser Studies: Multilingual Journal for Cultural and Media Theory;Italian Culture).

The flexible design of the program and the close scholarly and professional mentoring by clusters of faculty experts will prepare graduates for successful placement in a broad range of academic units (i.e., literature and language departments, general humanities programs, interdisciplinary programs, digital culture, film studies, etc.). With its strong and highly competitive emphasis on pedagogy in praxis the program also develops teachers capable of meeting the educational needs of a growing, culturally diverse community and the demands for innovative instruction at a variety of levels.

M.A. students anticipating formal acceptance as Ph.D. candidates should complete during the first year of graduate study one 3-credit seminar course in Literary Theory (CLCS 5302), one 3-credit course in Methods and Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (LCL 5030). Students who are accepted in the Ph.D. program with an earned M.A. from another university will need advisory committee approval of equivalent satisfaction, if any, of these requirements. Because some Ph.D. requirements may be completed by students who received their M.A. from UConn, the minimum number of credits may be reduced to 24 for them in the Ph.D. program.

Students who have a master’s degree in a relevant field –Classics, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Media Studies, Philosophy, Anthropology, History, English or another modern language, among others— or who are working towards such a degree, and whose graduate work shows sufficient promise in analytical work may apply for admission to the doctoral program.

Advanced proficiency in one language besides English as well as reading knowledge of an additional language is required for the Ph.D. The requirement for students who opt for the specialization in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies is advanced knowledge in two languages in addition to English and reading knowledge in a third language.

Other requirements regarding the areas for the general examination as well as requirements particular to a specific primary or secondary specialization are described in the handbook Graduate Programs in the Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, which may be obtained from the Graduate Director.

Admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs: Prospective applications for admission to M.A. or Ph.D. study, together with letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a critical and analytical original paper should reach Storrs by December 1 to be competitive for assistantships and fellowships for the following Fall semester. Applications at other times may be considered for funding. There is no separate application for teaching assistantships. Admission is competitive, and qualifying graduate students are financially supported by teaching or research assistantships.

Forms for application and financial aid may be obtained by following this link to the Graduate School web site.