Joint Track

The Joint Track in Romance Languages offers highly-qualified students a Ph.D. in two Romance languages and literatures, exploring the two fields more in depth than a major/minor program allows them to do. Joint track students demonstrate an equally high level of command in the literatures of two romance languages, and have a sufficiently clear idea of their fields of interest to design an appropriate, consistent, and feasible individualized course of study that explores various intellectual paths and establishes links across languages. There is no admission into the joint track prior to the first year of enrollment. Rather, students are accepted into it after completing one year of single track graduate studies with outstanding academic performance.

Candidates must explain to both of the relevant sections and the Director of Graduate Studies their intellectual reasons for combining two languages and define the areas of interest they wish to explore in their course of study. Criteria for selection into the joint track include language proficiency, strong cultural and literary foundations in both languages and literatures, and intellectual focus. A joint track student may revert back to a single track if it appears that this is not the best plan of graduate study for him or her. 


1. Eighteen courses (that is, two more than in the single track), to be completed in two years. The course distribution between the two languages should be fairly balanced, e.g.: 9:9 or 8:10, and may include Romance Studies courses. (It must include Romance Studies 201.) Students may take a maximum of two courses outside of the Department.

2. Students must satisfy mandatory course requirements in each of their two languages.


Each joint track student has one faculty advisor in each language. Advisors are designated prior to enrollment, according to the student’s chosen field and stated interests. Students may change advisors later on after discussion with their respective section head. Advisors are in charge of supervising the plan of studies and of organizing the General Examinations.


First Year Examinations
At the end of their first year, joint track students take the usual first-year examination in each of their languages. 

General Examinations (Effective Fall, 2011)

1. Reading Lists

List A: Literary Canon. A list of major works from the whole historical range of each literature (approximately 100 works; 50 from each literature.) The list will be established following each section’s specifications and with the help of the advisors.

List B: Area of specialization.  A list of approximately 50 texts that relate to the student’s specific area of interest (be it period, theme or genre) in both  fields, plus 10 to 20 theoretical and critical works that are highly pertinent to this special area.

Lists A and B should not duplicate one another.

2. Structure and Timeline:
The exam will be carried out in two sessions and  is to be completed no later than the end of exam period in the Spring of the 3rd year.

a) Session 1: General Knowledge (100 texts total)
Time: Students will take two separate examinations (one in each field), preferably during the fall term of their third year. If one exam is set in the spring term, it must be at least one month before the examination of session 2.
Content: The materials on List A. (Students should be able to deploy theoretical knowledge acquired from List B.)
Structure: Each section will structure its exam according to its own rules.

b) Session 2: Area of Specialization and Comparative Approach (120 texts total)
Time: To be taken at the end of the second semester of the 3rd year
Content: List B.  
Committee: To include three professors, one from each of the two sections of the joint track. The third may come from within Romance languages and Literatures or from outside the department.
Structure: This will be an oral examination, to be completed in around 3 hours and with three parts (order to be determined). Two parts (30 – 45 mins/part) will be in each of the target languages, testing the readings of List B and the student’s (broad) area of specialization. The third part of the examination (1 hour) will be conducted in English. The student will prepare, based on the extensive bibliography of List B, a conference-style paper that will be delivered to the committee. The paper will bring together the two tracks and treat a topic that is related to a more specific area of interest within the student’s field of specialization (this could be related to the student’s dissertation topic, though is by no means limited to it). A discussion based on the paper as well as the books on list B will follow.

The dissertation should be deeply informed by issues pertinent to both literatures.