Requirements

Ph.D. Requirements

The Ph.D. in Italian requires:

  • at least 60 credit hours, of which 45 are based on course work; 
  • regularly attending and giving one research presentation in the Italian Research Seminar;
  • demonstrating reading knowledge in a language other than Italian/English;
  • teaching and service in accordance with student and program needs;
  • successfully passing the comprehensive examinations;
  • successfully preparing and defending the dissertation proposal; 
  • successfully completing and defending the dissertation. 

Sample curriculum

The following is the course of study of a Ph.D. student on a standard five-year cycle. Students who complete an M.A. in Italian at Notre Dame follow a four-year cycle. 

First Year

Coursework

During the first year of study, students take four courses in Italian; two courses on a subsidiary topic or in the general area of literary and/or critical theory; plus the Introduction to Advanced Studies in Italian course.

During the summer after the first year of study, students revise or develop an aspect of one of their first-year Italian course papers, enrolling in a directed reading course with the professor supervising their work. This gives them an opportunity to prepare an advanced draft of an essay of publishable quality.

Second Year

Coursework

During the second year of study, students take four courses in Italian; and two courses on a subsidiary topic or in the general area of literary and/or critical theory.

Examinations

At the beginning of the Spring Semester, students take the first part of the Comprehensive Examination, a written and oral evaluation to assess their mastery of the Italian literary and cultural canon. The language requirement must be satisfied by the end of the second year. 

Dissertation

At the end of the Spring Semester, students submit an initial 1000-word description of their dissertation.

Third Year

Coursework

During the third year of study, students take the course Foreign Language Acquisition and Instruction to prepare them for teaching.

Teaching

Students start performing teaching duties to gain valuable experience in view of their future careers. 

Examinations

At the beginning of the Fall Semester, students take the second part of the Comprehensive Examination, a written and oral evaluation to assess their command of intellectual history, theory, and criticism relating to Italian Studies generally and to their specific area of research. Students also discuss a prospective syllabus for a course based on their research area.

Dissertation proposal and Advancement to Candidacy

In their third year, students devote increasingly more time and energy to dissertation research. In November they submit and defend their dissertation proposal. Once they have their dissertation proposal approved and have met all other requirements, students are admitted to candidacy.

Fourth Year

Teaching

Students perform teaching duties to gain valuable experience in view of their future careers.

Dissertation

Students work full-time on researching and writing the dissertation. The aim of the dissertation is to demonstrate the student’s ability to create and sustain an extended analytical argument that makes an original contribution to scholarship in their field of study.

Fifth Year

Dissertation and Defense

Students complete a full draft of their dissertation by March of their fifth year. Before formal submission to the Graduate School, the dissertation must be defended during an oral discussion with the dissertation committee.

For a detailed description of requirements and deadlines for the Ph.D. in Italian, see the Italian Graduate Handbook
 

M.A. Requirements

The M.A. in Italian Studies requires

  • completing 39 credit hours of course-work spread over two years; 
  • performing teaching duties in the Italian language program during each of the four semesters of enrollment;
  • demonstrating reading knowledge in a language other than English/Italian;
  • successfully passing a two-part comprehensive examination on the Italian literary canon;
  • regularly attending and giving one research presentation in the Italian Research Seminar;
  • successfully completing a thesis.

Sample Curriculum 

The following is the standard course of study for an M.A. student at Notre Dame.

First Year

Fall Semester
  • Introduction to Advanced Studies in Italian (ROIT 63010, 1.5 Cr)
  • Practicum in Teaching Italian (LLRO 61077, 0 Cr)
  • Foreign Language Acquisition and Instruction (LLRO 63075, 3 Cr) 
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies (3 Cr)
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies (3 Cr)
Spring Semester
  • Comprehensive Examination, Part I
  • Introduction to Advanced Studies in Italian (ROIT 63011, 1.5 Cr) 
  • Practicum in Teaching Italian (0 Cr)
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies (3 Cr)
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies (3 Cr)
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies or Related Field (3 Cr)

Second Year

Fall Semester
  • Comprehensive Examination, Part II
  • Practicum in Teaching Italian (0 Cr)    
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies (3 Cr)    
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies (3 Cr)    
  • Thesis Direction Course (3 Cr)    
Spring Semester
  • Practicum in Teaching Italian (0 Cr)    
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies (3 Cr)    
  • Graduate Seminar in Italian Studies (3 Cr)    
  • Thesis Direction Course (3 Cr)   
  • Twenty-minute research presentation in the Italian Research Seminar  
  • M.A. Thesis (to be submitted by the Graduate School deadlines)   
  • The Foreign Language Requirement can be satisfied at any point before graduation
     

For a detailed description of requirements and deadlines for the M.A. in Italian, see the Italian Graduate Handbook.