Requirements for the PhD with En Route MA
The en route MA requires a minimum of 30 credits; 24 credits must be in substantive courses in the department, meeting major field and minor field requirements; the remaining 6 credits can consist of any combination of courses taken outside of the department (including transfer credits), a maximum of 1 Independent Reading and 1 Directed Study course.
Teaching assistants and teaching fellows new to the department are required to take a course in teaching methodology and language learning to assist them in teaching, unless a waiver is obtained.
In addition to the minimum of 30 credits, during the fourth year of full-time study (or its equivalent):
- Students must complete a long paper in the department, which is graded and serves as one part of the MA Comprehensive/PhD Preliminary examination.
- Students must also sit for the two-day MA Comprehensive/PhD Preliminary examination
Including the MA-level work, a minimum of 72 credit hours must be attained for the PhD. Students who have received the en route MA and are working toward the PhD in the department must take a total of 48 credits of substantive courses in the department. The remaining 24 credits may consist of courses taken outside of the department, credits transferred from other institutions, directed study, or PhD comprehensive exam/overview. Up to a maximum of 12 credits of PhD dissertation research credits are permitted to count toward these 24 credits.
Students who enter the department with an MA in Spanish or a related field from another institution must complete 30 credits of substantive course work out of the 72 total credits required for the PhD. The remaining 42 credits can be distributed among credits transferred from the institution from which they earned their MA’s (normally, up to 24 are allowed, in exchange for the fifth year of funding), courses taken in other departments at the University of Pittsburgh, directed study and PhD comprehensive exam/overview credits, and up to 12 credits of PhD dissertation research.
PhD Preliminary Exam: Students who enter the department with an MA in Spanish from another institution must pass the two-day PhD Preliminary examination in the fourth term of graduate study in the department, after which they can petition for the transfer of credits and continue on for the PhD.
Language Requirement: Candidates for the PhD degree must give evidence of their ability to read a third language (Portuguese, French, Italian, etc.) prior to presenting their dissertation proposal. The Department strongly encourages the learning of the Portuguese language.
PhD Comprehensive Exam/Dissertation Overview: After completing 60 credits of coursework and fulfilling the Portuguese requirement, students take the PhD Comprehensive exam made up of questions based on their proposal for doctoral research, which must also be defended before their proposed doctoral committee. Upon successful completion of this two-step exam process, the student is formally nominated to candidacy for the doctoral degree.
Dissertation Defense: The final oral examination in defense of the doctoral dissertation is conducted by the doctoral committee and is open to the University community. The dissertation must be presented in English unless prior permission is obtained for it to be presented in a language other than English.