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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 Italian

Stanford's Ph.D. program in Italian offers the opportunity for advanced work in Italian literature and studies within a flexible interdisciplinary framework. It is independent of the Ph.D. program in French and aims to encourage students to bring broad methodological and interdisciplinary concerns to bear on the study of Italian literature. While it places primary emphasis on developing a command of Italian literature as a whole, it allows students to construct a highly individualized course of study, integrating specialization in a particular literary period with work in such fields as art history, classics, comparative literature, feminist studies, film, French, history, history of science, linguistics, literary theory, Medieval or Renaissance studies, philosophy, and religion. The program is founded on the belief that balance between period specialization and interdisciplinary breadth is essential in a small field such as Italian studies, particularly given the diversity of the Italian literary canon which extends over many disciplines.

Students admitted into the Ph.D. program in Italian work closely with the adviser in structuring a plan of study appropriate to needs and interests. Such a plan usually involves a mix of teaching and courses taken within the Italian program, courses taken in other departments, and independent work under supervision of a member of the Italian faculty, thus integrating financial support with training as scholars and prospective university teachers. Assuming satisfactory academic progress, fellowships are typically offered for three or four years. Graduate-level work completed elsewhere may be counted as fulfilling part of the requirements for the degree. Students in the fifth year normally apply for outside fellowships or part-time teaching positions in the department.

Aside from the benefits of the program's structure and fellowship plan, a number of unique resources are available to Ph.D. students in Italian at Stanford. During their years of study, students may be permitted to take courses, pursue dissertation research, and do independent work at the Stanford campus in Florence under supervision of a member of the Italian faculty. The Florence center, located in a palazzo along the Arno, is near important Florentine libraries and archives and the University of Florence. Graduate students also have at their disposal the resources of La Casa Italiana, a residential theme house which serves as an Italian cultural center and hosts such events as colloquia, lectures, and film series.


Students must complete the requirements outlined in the "General Requirements for the Ph.D. in French or Italian" section of this bulletin, as well as the requirements outlined following.


As soon as possible, but not later than the end of the third year, the candidate must have passed reading examinations in two additional foreign languages. If the candidate's period of concentration is earlier than the Romantic period, one of these must be Latin; if Romantic or later, French. Completion of the language requirement is a prerequisite for taking the University oral examination.

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