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Spanish PhD Exam and Dissertation Guidelines

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Spanish PhD Exam and Dissertation

PhD Advisory Committee and Advisory Conference Report

Each student and his or her advisor should schedule the advisory conference by the end of the first year of enrollment.

The PhD advisory committee is composed of five members of the graduate faculty, including at least one regular graduate faculty member (not retired) at the University of Oklahoma from outside the major department. The committee member whose academic specialty is the student's dissertation field is the chair of that committee. Students should prepare for distribution to the advisory committee a list of the undergraduate and graduate courses already completed in the major and minor fields, degrees earned, and a statement of the area of specialization within the major. The committee then meets with the graduate advisor and the student to plan the doctoral program in keeping with the Department and University requirements and the student's specific needs and interests. The committee also decides what previously acquired credit may be applied to the PhD program.

All PhD students must complete and submit to the Graduate Liaison an Advisory Conference Report at least one semester before taking the General Examination. Click here to access this form online. The Graduate Liaison files the report of the PhD Advisory Conference with the Graduate College, signed by all members of the advisory committee. All subsequent changes in the program must be approved by the committee and the Graduate Liaison.

Changes in the composition of the committee must be approved by all faculty involved and reported to the Graduate College on the proper forms.

Students who have completed or nearly completed all required coursework file a Graduate College application for the General Examination requesting that the committee be authorized to administer the PhD General Examination. The student must explain on this form all variations from the original report of the advisory committee. The committee may give the examination after obtaining authorization to do so.

No PhD examinations, whether written or oral, may be scheduled during University finals week.

Spanish PhD General Examination Procedure

The PhD General Examination is normally given during the twelfth week of the semester as follows:

The procedure will be in the form of three take-home exams, a thesis proposal, and an oral defense of the aforementioned:

  • one exam on the student's area of study
  • two exams on related areas

(always in agreement with the chair of the committee)

The General Examination covers the entire major field and courses taken for the minor field. The PhD committee is responsible for preparing the examination questions or for asking other graduate faculty to prepare questions in their specific area of specialization. The PhD Committee grades all portions of the examination.

In addition to the Spanish MA reading list, PhD candidates must request additional bibliographies from PhD committee members.

The oral examination is scheduled within two weeks after the last written examination. Students are required to present a prospectus of their dissertation at the oral examination (see dissertation procedures). No PhD examinations, whether written or oral, may be scheduled during University finals week.

When the majority of the committee decides that the student's performance is clearly satisfactory or unsatisfactory, the committee shall inform the Graduate College Dean by letter within seven (7) days after completion of the oral portion of the examination. The letter must be signed by the entire committee, and any dissent from the majority opinion must be specifically noted.

In the case of inadequate results on the examination, two areas of the examination may be retaken. Failure in the area of specialization within the major and/or in more than two other areas requires the retaking of the entire examination.

Upon successful completion of the PhD General Examination, students who do not hold an MA degree in their major field may be awarded one by making application and paying the required fees.

Graduate Teaching Assistants are expected to continue to fulfill their GTA duties during the two-week exam period.

Spanish PhD Dissertation Procedure

Students in the PhD program are urged to choose a topic for their dissertation as early as possible. A dissertation prospectus (ten pages minimum, plus selected bibliography) is required at the time of the oral examination.

Candidates conducting research or writing their dissertations enroll in dissertation hours (Spanish 6980) once they have successfully completed the general exams. Following the initial enrollment, a student must maintain continuous enrollment during each regular semester (summers excepted) in at least two hours of 6980, until the degree is completed or the candidacy discontinued. Exceptions will be made for military service. However, enrollment in 6980 is mandatory in any semester or summer session during which the student is actually doing dissertation work regardless of other hours of enrollment. The advisory committee guides the student in the research and writing of the dissertation. As each chapter is completed, copies are distributed to committee members for approval and suggestions for revision.

Upon completion of the dissertation, one reading copy must be submitted to the Graduate College for approval before the final copies are made. The chair of the advisory committee schedules the defense of the dissertation which is attended by all committee members. The candidate must prepare an abstract and bring to the defense copies of the dissertation and all the forms to be signed by the committee members. If the committee approves the student's defense, all members sign the copies and the report of the final examination. If the defense is unsatisfactory, the committee prepares the report with appropriate recommendations. The candidate submits the report to the Graduate College. If the report is satisfactory, three copies of the dissertation are submitted to the library.

Candidates must comply with Graduate College regulations in applying for graduation and payment of fees.