Degree Requirements: To qualify for the doctorate, a student must satisfactorily complete graduate studies totaling at least 72 points (at least 32 points in residence at New York University), pass a qualifying examination, and present an acceptable dissertation. Completion of all requirements is expected within seven years and preferably within five for students entering with a B.A. degree or within three to four years for students entering with an M.A. degree. It is recommended that every student plan to spend at least one semester in Italy for research and/or course work.
Coursework: Students must satisfy the distribution requirement by completing two courses each focusing on the periods 1200-1400, 1400-1600, 1600-1900, and 1900-present, for a total of 8 courses. Students must also take Ph.D. Exam Preparation Seminar, ITAL-GA 3020.
Foreign Language Requirements: Students are required to demonstrate proficiency sufficient for research purposes in a language other than English or Italian. The choice of language is subject to approval by the student’s academic adviser or the director of graduate studies and depends on the student’s interests and area of specialization. Students specializing in the medieval and Renaissance periods are usually advised to demonstrate proficiency in Latin. Students specializing in the modern period are usually advised to choose from among French, German, or Spanish. Other languages must be approved by a departmental committee. Proficiency in Latin may be demonstrated in one of the following ways: (1) passing a regularly scheduled test prepared by the Department of Classics at the level of intermediate Latin or (2) showing an official college transcript with at least one course in Latin literature with texts read in Latin. Proficiency in French, German, or Spanish may be demonstrated by any of the methods described in the Degree Requirements section of this bulletin or by passing with a grade of B or better a graduate course taught in that language.
Qualifying Portfolio: To complete the course distribution requirement, students will submit all eight seminar papers written for the eight courses in the four required chronological periods, including instructors’ comments, as a dossier to be reviewed by faculty at the time of the formation of the Committee for the Doctoral Examination.
Qualifying Essay: After completion of the Distribution Requirement, students will enroll in a one-semester course supervised by two faculty members, during which students will write a 25-page Qualifying Essay based on a trans-chronological theme grounded in knowledge of the whole historical range of Italian Studies and connected with the student’s intended dissertation research.
Doctoral Examination: A Committee of at least three faculty members will review the Qualifying Essay, the Qualifying Portfolio and a sample teaching syllabus prepared by the student. The Examination will be an oral discussion with the Committee engaging the student’s chronological depth of knowledge of the field, based on the Essay, Portfolio, and Sample Syllabus. All candidates for the doctorate are expected to demonstrate sufficient comprehensive knowledge of Italian culture and history as well as good familiarity with an array of methodological, critical, and theoretical approaches. This examination may be repeated once after a period of no less than three months.
Prospectus Defense: Following successful completion of the Doctoral Examination, students will submit a one-page dissertation proposal to their chosen PhD advisor. Over the course of the subsequent semester or summer they will produce a 10-15 page dissertation Prospectus, including bibliography, outlining the principal hypotheses and arguments of the thesis, its theoretical basis, the methodologies and sources to be utilized, and how it will be structured. This prospectus must be defended orally before a Committee of three faculty members no later than the second week of the term following the summer or term devoted to the preparation of the Prospectus. The Prospectus will be submitted to the Committee two weeks before the scheduled Defense. After the successful completion of the Prospectus Defense, the student will be admitted to candidacy and begin dissertation research and writing. It is advisable that a draft of the firstchapter of the dissertation will be submitted to the Ph.D. advisor by the end of the term following the one devoted to the preparation of the Prospectus.
Dissertation: When the dissertation is completed and approved by the adviser and at least two readers, an oral examination is scheduled at which the candidate presents and defends research results to a faculty committee of five.
Concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies: The concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies is interdisciplinary in nature and creates a framework and community for diverse approaches to the study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It complements doctoral students’ work in their home departments with interdisciplinary study of the broad range of culture in the medieval and early modern periods, as well as of the theories and methods that attend them. The concentration is designed to train specialists who are firmly based in a traditional discipline but who can work across disciplinary boundaries, making use of varied theoretical approaches and methodological practices. The concentration consists of twenty credits distributed under the following courses: Proseminar in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, MEDI-GA 1100, Late Latin and Early Vernaculars, MEDI-GA 2100 or other approved course, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies Workshop, MEDI-GA 2000, 2 points per semester taken twice in an academic year. Students must also take one approved course in the area of Medieval and Renaissance Media: Visual and Material Cultures, and one approved course in a medieval or early modern topic. At least one course, not counting either the Proseminar or Workshop, must be taken outside a student’s home department. In addition, students pursuing the concentration will present a paper at least once either in the Workshop or in a conference offered by the Medieval and Renaissance Center.
**PhD students who entered the program prior to 2020 have the option to follow Former PhD Exam Guidelines**