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This archived information is dated to the 2010-11 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Doctor of Philosophy in Iberian and Latin American Cultures

The requirements of the Ph.D. in Iberian and Latin American Cultures (ILAC) are:

  1. 135 units of graduate-level course work with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above. All candidates for the Ph.D. degree are expected to fulfill all requirements for the M.A. during their first year in the program. Units completed for the M.A. degree at another institution (up to 45 units) can be counted toward the Ph.D. Independent study courses (ILAC 299, 399) and crosslisted courses originating outside the department may not be used to fulfill requirements except by consent of the Chair of Graduate Studies in consultation with the student's graduate adviser. Students must be enrolled in at least one 300-level graduate seminar offered through the department each quarter before advancing to TGR status.
  2. Knowledge of Catalan, Portuguese, and Spanish equivalent to one year of university study must be demonstrated before students take the comprehensive examination. In addition, Ph.D. students must have superior proficiency in one of these languages upon admission to the program.
  3. The qualifying paper, the comprehensive examination, and the University oral examination, as described below
  4. Teaching of five courses in the department
  5. Completion of a dissertation

For residency and candidacy requirements, see the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. For further information, consult the department's Graduate Student Handbook.

In preparation for teaching, Ph.D. candidates are required to take DLCL 201 in the first year.

In consultation with the adviser, students choose one major field of study from the following:

  1. Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Literature and Culture
  2. Modern Iberian Literature and Culture
  3. Modern Latin American Literature and Culture (includes Brazil)
  4. U.S. Latino/Chicana/o Literature and Culture

In addition, candidates choose two secondary areas of study outside the major field from any of the above.

At least four courses must be taken in the major field of study. At least two courses must be taken in each secondary area.

In addition to the department's course offerings, students may take relevant courses with the approval of their adviser in other departments and programs, such as courses in Comparative Literature, Feminist Studies, History, Linguistics, or Modern Thought and Literature. It is also possible to complete a minor in another department with approval of the adviser. Not more than 20 units may be taken outside the department. The principal conditions for continued registration of a graduate student are the timely and satisfactory completion of the university, department, and program requirements for the degree, and fulfillment of minimum progress requirements. Failure to meet these requirements results in corrective measures which may include a written warning, academic probation, and/or the possible release from the program.

After the first year of study, the student's progress is evaluated by the faculty to determine whether continuation to the Ph.D. is recommended and whether there are particular areas where improvement is needed. For this evaluation, students submit a research paper, called the qualifying paper. The qualifying paper should be written in Catalan, English, Portuguese, or Spanish (students must write the paper in a language other than their first language), of no more than 6,000 words, including notes and bibliography, and following current MLA Style. A digital copy of the qualifying paper must be submitted to the department administrator by October 1 of the second year. For more details consult the Graduate Student Handbook.

If approval of the qualifying paper is granted, the student should file a formal application for candidacy no later than the end of the second year, as prescribed by the University. Course requirements are usually completed by the third year of study. A written comprehensive examination on the major field and secondary areas is then taken. The examination is based on a list of readings, selected in consultation with the adviser, which integrates major and secondary topics in both Iberian and Latin American or Latino/Chicano Studies. The comprehensive examination must take place in its entirety during the same quarter (usually during the first quarter of the fourth year of graduate study), but not during dead week or finals week. The comprehensive examination consists of three components:

1. A written exam in the major field of study. This exam lasts four hours. Students are given four questions, and they must answer two. Students may write in Catalan, English, Portuguese, or Spanish.

2. A written examination in each of the minor fields of study. These exams last two hours each. For each exam, students are given two questions, and they must answer one. Students may write in Catalan, English, Portuguese, or Spanish.

3. An oral examination. This exam is presented to the Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee and lasts no more than two hours. It may be conducted in Catalan, English, Portuguese, and /or Spanish depending on the committee, and is based on the student's reading list and written examinations.

The written exams may be taken all on one day or on two consecutive days. The oral examination must take place between two and three weeks after the written examinations. For further details, consult the Graduate Student Handbook.

Following the comprehensive examination, students should find a topic requiring extensive original research and request that a member of the department serve as dissertation adviser. The student must complete the Reading Committee form and request that the chair approve a committee to supervise the dissertation. The committee may advise extra preparation within or outside the department, and time should be allowed for such work. The University oral examination usually takes place one or two quarters after the comprehensive examination. The oral examination covers plans for the dissertation based on a prospectus approved by the committee (20 to 25 pages), and may be taken in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or Catalan, depending on the committee.

The dissertation must be submitted to the reading committee at least eight weeks before the University filing deadline in the quarter during which the candidate expects to receive the Ph.D. degree. Ph.D. dissertations must be completed and approved within five years from the date of admission to candidacy. Candidates taking more than five years must apply for reinstatement of candidacy and may not expect financial support.


The department participated in the Graduate Program in Humanities leading to†a Ph.D. degree in Spanish and Humanities. At this time, the option is†available only to students already enrolled in the Graduate Program in†Humanities; no new students are being accepted. The University remains†committed to a broad-based graduate education in the humanities; the†courses, colloquium, and symposium continue to be offered, and the Division†of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages provides advising for students†already enrolled who may contact DLCL student affairs officer at (650) 724-1333 or for further information. Courses are listed under the subject code HUMNTIES and may†be viewed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

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