All PhD students are required to demonstrate competency in three languages before advancement to the prospectus exam in the third year of study; one language must be ancient and one modern. The language choices are determined by the student's research specialty as approved by the Director of the PhD Program in consultation with the chair of the student's prospectus examination. The language possibilities include, but are not limited to: Greek, Latin, Syriac, German, French, Spanish or Italian. Prior to acceptance in the program, students must assure competency in at least one of the above languages. The student must demonstrate this competency during the first year of study. If competency is not demonstrated during the first year, the student will be removed from the program. The second language should be examined in the second year, and the third language in the third year before the prospectus exam. The expected time for taking language exams is the Fall semester.
In addition to the three language requirements for advancement to PhD candidacy, other languages to conduct research for the dissertation may be required by the director of the candidate's dissertation. For example, a student who fulfills the three language requirements with Latin, German, and French and plans a dissertation topic on Bonaventure would also have to develop proficiency in Italian. Hence, the dissertation is the final arbitrator of the languages required.
Language Examination Procedures
1.In a two-hour period and with the use of a printed and/or electronic dictionary/lexicon, students will translate accurately and in good English the selected text.
2.Faculty from the Department of Classical and Modern Languages or other qualified evaluators (with the exception of Syriac, which will be evaluated in the DTS) will evaluate and recommend to the director a pass or fail. Expected timeframe for assessment is two weeks, but under certain circumstances may take up to one month.
3.All language competencies must be demonstrated prior to the "prospectus exam" in the third year. Students are allowed two retakes of language exams (three exams total) to demonstrate competency that is acceptable to the external evaluators. Each retake follows the procedure outlined in #1 above.
Assessment Rubrics for Language Examinations
|Length of Translation within two-Hour Timeframe with Difficulty of Original Text Factored into Assessment
|Vocabulary / Nuanced Language|
Written and Oral Examinations
Each year of coursework has its own examination requirements. In year one, students sit for a six hour exam that examines the content of the three survey courses (i.e., two hours for each exam). The following year, students will complete a four hour written exam based on the required reading list for their major field (these reading lists are determined by the faculty members in each area of specialization). Finally, at the end of year three, each student must complete a two hour oral examination that focuses on the programmatic essay. Each examination is graded as a pass/fail, although for the third year oral examination examiners may assign a pass, pass with distinction or pass with great distinction.
Download the Reading Lists for the First-Year Examination
Download the Reading Lists for the Second-Year Examination
Download the Assessment Rubrics for the Programmatic Essay
All written examinations may be re-sat after one failed attempt. Re-sits must be completed by the end of the Fall semester following the sitting of the failed examination. All unsatisfactory performances on examinations are reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee to determine how the faculty may assist the student further. The Committee may at any time recommend that a student leave the program because of consistent failing performance. The decision to remove a student, however, rests with the Chair of the Department.
The Oral examination may also be repeated once after a failed attempt. If a second failure results, the student will not be permitted to advance to candidacy and will be asked to leave the program.
Next: Advancement to Candidacy