Graduate Rules and Procedures (Revised April 2016)
- Course of Study
- Oral Presentations
- Language Requirements
- The General Examination
- Dissertation Proposal
- Thesis-Writing Support
- The Language of the Dissertation
- The Scope of the Dissertation
- Final Public Oral Dissertation Defense
- Graduate Liaison Committee
- Teaching Assignments
- In Absentia and Leave Status
- Colloquia and Lectures
- Travel Funds
- Publication Funds
- Placement Dossiers
- Department Prizes
- DCE Status and Financial Support
- Terminal Masters Degree
The Graduate Program of the Department is administered by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), in consultation with the Chair of the Department. These two officers are the Department’s spokespersons on matters of policies and procedures as they pertain to departmental and university requirements and regulations.
Students consult regularly with the DGS concerning their intellectual interests and choices, as well as their course selection and academic performance in meetings scheduled from their first semester and throughout their graduate career.
II. Course of Study:
The department requires a total of 15 courses to be completed by students by the end of the fifth semester (14 for letter grade credit, and 1 that may be an audit in the third year).
IV. Oral Presentations:
V. Language Requirements:
Reading proficiency in a foreign language that are relevant to the student’s field of specialization is required. Since we are a Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, Spanish and Portuguese are not considered foreign languages.
VI. The General Examination:
VII. Dissertation Proposal:
VIII. Thesis-Writing Support:
In the fall of the 4th and 5th years, students writing their theses may participate in an informal series of meetings with faculty members to discuss aspects of dissertation research, writing, and structure.
IX. The Language of the Dissertation:
Students wishing to write their dissertation in Spanish or Portuguese rather than in English must obtain the prior approval of the DGS, who will consult with the dissertation director. If permission is granted, an explanatory letter from the thesis director and a formal request by the DGS will then be sent to the Dean of the Graduate School, who normally approves the request.
X. The Scope of the Dissertation:
Taking as a hypothetical example a dissertation of four chapters and an introduction, the optimal timetable would be as follows:
Chapter One, July, 3rd year;Chapter Two, December, 4th year;Chapter Three, May, 4th year;Chapter Four, October, 5th year;Introduction, February, 5th year;Final version, April, 5th year.
XI. Final Public Oral Dissertation Defense:
XII. Graduate Liaison Committee:
XIII. Teaching Assignments:
Graduate students will be assigned to teach specific courses based on: previous course evaluations, seniority, appropriateness of field, number of incompletes, and the discretion of the professor in charge of the course. This applies to all levels of teaching, from language courses to precepts.
Students will teach during the fall semesters of their second, third, and fourth years (five to six hours of elementary or advanced language or literary instruction). This will give them time to concentrate on their graduate seminars in their first year, and will also relieve the pressure during the fourth semester, when they will be preparing for their General Examinations.
Besides language teaching, graduate students may have the opportunity to teach discussion sections (preceptorials) in literature courses or assist faculty with the teaching of summer study abroad courses or Global Seminars. If circumstances permit and a student’s area of study is closely aligned to a course, one may be invited by a faculty member to teach a precept, and in such unique cases the following policies will apply.
1. Graduate students invited to be preceptors for courses of 18 or more will be relieved of their language teaching for that academic year. However, the student must actually lead his or her own precept to receive this course “relief”; he or she cannot, for instance, simply grade for a professor. Princeton in Argentina/Brazil/Spain, Princeton in Cuba, and Global Seminars taught by SPO faculty with the help of the graduate student will also allow participating graduate students language teaching relief.
2. Precepting can only count in lieu of language teaching if the course is within SPO, for a SPO professor’s class (say, located in PLAS or IHUM), for Princeton in Cuba, or for a SPO-led Global Seminar. Courses taught for other institutions cannot substitute for required teaching or precepting in SPO.
3. If a student uses summer teaching for a Global Seminar or for PIA, PIB, PIS to count as that academic year’s teaching, he or she will be compensated in the summer and will receive only the regular fellowship during the academic year.
4. If a proposed course does not achieve a minimum of 18 students in some advance of the semester’s inauguration, the precept will be eliminated and the student will be reassigned language courses when possible.
5. Students may only serve as preceptors for one semester, to enable fair access to this opportunity.
(The Department may elect to provide other forms of support fulfilling the teaching requirement, e.g., languages tables, tutoring, Assistantship, in lieu of teaching).
Students on outside fellowships will also be required to teach, at the Department's discretion. All graduate students will be visited at least once a semester by the head of the course they teach. After the visit, the head of course will meet with the student to discuss performance, offer suggestions and, if necessary, arrange for a follow-up visit. The head of course will also complete a Departmental evaluation form, which will be placed in the student's file.
While these teaching evaluations are confidential and will not be communicated verbatim to a prospective employer, it should be remembered that teaching is an essential part of the student's training, and the Department is usually asked to comment on the student's teaching performance.
XIV. In Absentia and Leave Status:
Students should consult the Graduate School for the University´s policies on In Absentia and Leave Status.
XV. Colloquia and Lectures:
XVI. Travel Funds:
XVII. Publication Funds:
XVIII. Placement Dossiers:
XIX. Department Prizes:
XX. DCE Status and Financial Support:
Students who have not completed the program by the end of their fifth year at Princeton have the option of applying for an additional year of DCE (Dissertation Completion Enrollment) status (see DCE Status at the Graduate School website). Since DCE students are not funded by the Graduate School in the same manner as regularly enrolled students, the Department may provide additional financial support through the assignment of language courses to departmental students with DCE status. Since the Department cannot guarantee teaching positions to all DCE students in need of financial support, it has therefore established the following guidelines regarding the assignment of courses to DCE students:
- Students must be in good standing in the program.
- Students must show significant progress towards completing their dissertation. They must present a detailed written report of the state of their project and copies of the sections completed to their advisor and the DGS in the Spring semester of their fifth year.
- Students are expected to apply for jobs at the MLA conventions and look for other sources of funding (teaching positions, fellowships, and so on) before they request teaching assignments from the Department.
- Students whose last teaching evaluations received an overall mark lower than 4.0 will not be considered for teaching.
- The Department will provide only one year of teaching to DCE students.
- Students who have been assigned courses will teach a total of three courses, two in the fall and one in the spring.
XXI.Terminal Masters Degree
Requirements for the terminal M.A. degree:
- Successful completion of at least 10 graduate courses with a minimum grade of B
- No INCs
- Completion of an M.A. Thesis (approximate length of 40 pages). The thesis can be based on a previous research paper. The advisor would be the faculty member for whom the thesis was written and there will also be a second reader. Ideally the thesis should be completed before the student's enrollment terminates. It will be accepted up to four months after termination.