Doctor of Philosophy in East Asian Languages and Literatures

https://eall.uoregon.edu/

Comprehensive Examination

The goal of the comprehensive examination is to ensure that students have received training broad enough to qualify as a teacher beyond the narrow research focus of their dissertation. The comprehensive examination is composed of a written and an oral component. 

In conjunction with their primary advisor, students choose three fields, a major field and two minor fields, each to be advised by a faculty member in that area. Cultural fields may be determined by genre, time period, or methodology; linguistic fields may be determined by theoretical orientation, language orientation, and methodology. In conjunction with their advisors, students develop a reading list of twenty to forty items for each field. For culture students, these items may include both primary and secondary texts; the composition of each reading list will be tailored to the individual student’s needs. It is expected that reading lists will develop organically from graduate seminars and readings and conferences. 

For each field, the student will submit a comprehensive examination paper. The papers may be developed from a term paper written for a seminar or written for the sake of the examination, as determined by the advisor. These comprehensive examination papers should demonstrate the student’s broad knowledge of a field. Ideally, for the major field, this paper will be the basis for a dissertation chapter. In some instances, students may be asked to develop a syllabus rather than write a research paper. 

Advisors have two weeks to read and approve each comprehensive examination paper. After the three comprehensive examination papers have been approved by the field examiner and the primary advisor, the student schedules an oral examination. The oral examination (one to two hours in duration) is an opportunity for the three examiners to engage the student in an in-depth conversation about the items on the reading lists. The goal of the oral examination is to ensure that students have enough familiarity with both the critical and primary works in the field to teach at the postsecondary level. The oral examination is not open to the public.    

Both parts of the comprehensive examination should be completed by the end of the student’s third year in the program. It is at the discretion of the committee to determine if students should have a second opportunity to sit for an oral examination if the first attempt is not successful. At the discretion of the committee, those students whose performance is deemed unsatisfactory may be granted a terminal MA.

Prospectus (Culture Track)

Before scheduling the prospectus defense, students need to notify the graduate secretary of the membership of their dissertation committee (three faculty members from the department and one from another department). The prospectus defense is the first meeting of the entire dissertation committee to provide feedback on the dissertation research project. The prospectus, a document of twenty to thirty pages, should introduce the research question, the methodology, and a basic outline of the dissertation; a bibliography is required. Once the advisors approve a draft of the dissertation prospectus, certifying that in their opinion the project is well-conceived and viable, the student schedules a meeting of the entire committee. A defense is an opportunity for the committee to ask questions and provide advice and direction for the research project. The prospectus defense is public.

In order to leave enough time for the dissertation research and writing, the prospectus defense should take place during the third year of study and no later than the winter term of the fourth year. Students who are unable to complete a viable prospectus by spring of their fourth year in the program will be granted a terminal MA. 

Qualifying Paper (Linguistics Track)

As the equivalent of the prospectus defense for culture track students, linguistics students are expected to produce an original publishable paper, of substantial length and quality, in a subfield of linguistics. This qualifying paper should demonstrate the student's ability to carry out an empirical study and write an analytical research paper. The unmodified MA thesis cannot serve this purpose. 

A committee consisting of the advisor and a second faculty member familiar with the subfield will referee the qualifying paper. The student may be asked to revise the qualifying paper before it is accepted as satisfactory work. Upon documented completion of the paper, the student needs to identify a dissertation committee (three faculty members from the department and one from another department) and notify the graduate secretary. The student then confirms the dissertation topic and presents a prospectus constituting a short abstract detailing their research topic. This should be done within one term of completing the qualifying paper. After the prospectus has been approved, the student will advance to candidacy. 

To leave enough time for the dissertation research and writing, the qualifying paper and prospectus should be completed during the third year of study and no later than the winter term of the fourth year. Students who are unable to complete a viable qualifying paper by spring of their fourth year in the program will be granted a terminal MA. 

Program Goals

The comprehensive examination is distinct from the dissertation prospectus or qualifying paper. The comprehensive examination papers and oral examination involve general preparation and give the student an opportunity to show broad knowledge of a field. The prospectus defense for culture-track students is more narrowly focused on the dissertation project and demonstrates the student's ability to identify and define a research project. Similarly, the qualifying paper for linguistics students is focused on the student's main research area and demonstrates the ability to undertake a research project. The comprehensive examination and prospectus defense or qualifying paper enable students to demonstrate that they can be successful as teachers and researchers. Students will advance to ABD (all but dissertation) status after the successful completion of both the comprehensive examination and the prospectus defense or qualifying paper, in addition to the completion of all required course work. 

Dissertation

A dissertation committee is formed at least one month before the prospectus is presented for review and approval. This committee advises the student on writing the dissertation and approves the completed dissertation.

Students who have taken an MA comprehensive exam in Japanese studies do not need to take a PhD comprehensive exam. However, they need to defend their dissertation prospectus within one academic term after the completion of doctoral course work.

PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Chinese Studies

The PhD degree in East Asian languages and literatures with a specialization in Chinese studies requires completion of a minimum of six 4-credit graduate-level courses beyond those required for the MA degree. Depending on the student’s background or preparation at the time of admission to the PhD program, the number of required courses may be nine or twelve. Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Six courses in Chinese literature, linguistics, or film
CHN 523Issues in Early Chinese Literature 14
CHN 524Issues in Medieval Chinese Literature 14
CHN 525Issues in Modern Chinese Literature 14
Select one of the following:
Demonstrate the ability to use a second foreign language substantively in research or pass a translation examination in the language
Demonstrate advanced knowledge of a particular methodology or theory by taking three graduate-level courses, including one course in CHN 605 for which the student writes a paper applying the methodology to Chinese literature
Complete three courses in a secondary literature

Other electives may be taken in linguistics, language teaching specialization, or psychology in consultation with an advisor.

Students in the PhD track must successfully complete a comprehensive examination and prospectus defense (culture students) or qualifying paper (linguistics students) to advance to candidacy (all but dissertation) status. By the end of their second year in the program (at the very latest), each student should identify a committee of three faculty members who will oversee their training for the comprehensive examination. Since each person’s needs and interests may be different, students are expected to work closely with their primary advisor at all stages of the process. 

PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Japanese Studies

The PhD with a specialization in Japanese studies requires students to successfully complete nine graduate courses beyond the number required for the MA degree. These courses must be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor. Appropriate courses in related fields (e.g., Japanese history, religion) may be substituted with the advisor’s approval.

Four courses in Japanese studies
Two courses in methodology-theory, preferably in Japanese studies 1
Japanese linguistics or teaching methodology course
Two courses chosen in consultation with advisor 1

Other electives may be taken in linguistics, language teaching specialization, or psychology in consultation with an advisor.

Students in the PhD track must successfully complete a comprehensive examination and prospectus defense (culture students) or qualifying paper (linguistics students) to advance to candidacy (all but dissertation) status. By the end of their second year in the program (at the very latest), each student should identify a committee of three faculty members who will oversee their training for the comprehensive examination. Since each person’s needs and interests may be different, students are expected to work closely with their primary advisor at all stages of the process. 

PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Korean Studies


The PhD degree in East Asian languages and literatures with a specialization in Korean studies requires nine to twelve graduate-level courses depending on the student's background or preparation at the time
of admission to the PhD program. The program will be customized in consultation with the student's advisor.

PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Linguistics

The PhD with a specialization in East Asian linguistics is designed to build a high level of competence in linguistics research in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. The program has four components: 

  • Course work
  • Comprehensive exam
  • Qualifying paper
  • Dissertation

A total of nine graduate courses beyond those at the MA level is required. Courses must be chosen in consultation with a doctoral advisor.

Choose three or more core courses in East Asian linguistics:
Chinese Linguistics
Japanese and Korean Phonetics
Japanese and Korean Syntax
Linguistics Research and Bibliography
Choose three or more electives in East Asian linguistics:
Pedagogical Grammar of Chinese
History of the Chinese Language
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Pedagogy
Experimental Course: [Topic]
Second-Language Acquisition
Dissertation
Dissertation

Other electives may be taken in linguistics, language teaching specialization, or psychology in consultation with an advisor.

Students in the PhD track must successfully complete a comprehensive examination and prospectus defense (culture students) or qualifying paper (linguistics students) to advance to candidacy (all but dissertation) status. By the end of their second year in the program (at the very latest), each student should identify a committee of three faculty members who will oversee their training for the comprehensive examination. Since each person’s needs and interests may be different, students are expected to work closely with their primary advisor at all stages of the process. 

Comprehensive Examination

The goal of the comprehensive examination is to ensure that students have received training broad enough to qualify as a teacher beyond the narrow research focus of their dissertation. The comprehensive examination is composed of a written and an oral component. 

In conjunction with their primary advisor, students choose three fields, a major field and two minor fields, each to be advised by a faculty member in that area. Cultural fields may be determined by genre, time period, or methodology; linguistic fields may be determined by theoretical orientation, language orientation, and methodology. In conjunction with their advisors, students develop a reading list of twenty to forty items for each field. For culture students, these items may include both primary and secondary texts; the composition of each reading list will be tailored to the individual student’s needs. It is expected that reading lists will develop organically from graduate seminars and readings and conferences. 

For each field, the student will submit a comprehensive examination paper. The papers may be developed from a term paper written for a seminar or written for the sake of the examination, as determined by the advisor. These comprehensive examination papers should demonstrate the student’s broad knowledge of a field. Ideally, for the major field, this paper will be the basis for a dissertation chapter. In some instances, students may be asked to develop a syllabus rather than write a research paper. 

Advisors have two weeks to read and approve each comprehensive examination paper. After the three comprehensive examination papers have been approved by the field examiner and the primary advisor, the student schedules an oral examination. The oral examination (one to two hours in duration) is an opportunity for the three examiners to engage the student in an in-depth conversation about the items on the reading lists. The goal of the oral examination is to ensure that students have enough familiarity with both the critical and primary works in the field to teach at the postsecondary level. The oral examination is not open to the public.    

Both parts of the comprehensive examination should be completed by the end of the student’s third year in the program. It is at the discretion of the committee to determine if students should have a second opportunity to sit for an oral examination if the first attempt is not successful. At the discretion of the committee, those students whose performance is deemed unsatisfactory may be granted a terminal MA.

Prospectus (Culture Track)

Before scheduling the prospectus defense, students need to notify the graduate secretary of the membership of their dissertation committee (three faculty members from the department and one from another department). The prospectus defense is the first meeting of the entire dissertation committee to provide feedback on the dissertation research project. The prospectus, a document of twenty to thirty pages, should introduce the research question, the methodology, and a basic outline of the dissertation; a bibliography is required. Once the advisors approve a draft of the dissertation prospectus, certifying that in their opinion the project is well-conceived and viable, the student schedules a meeting of the entire committee. A defense is an opportunity for the committee to ask questions and provide advice and direction for the research project. The prospectus defense is public.

In order to leave enough time for the dissertation research and writing, the prospectus defense should take place during the third year of study and no later than the winter term of the fourth year. Students who are unable to complete a viable prospectus by spring of their fourth year in the program will be granted a terminal MA. 

Qualifying Paper (Linguistics Track)

As the equivalent of the prospectus defense for culture track students, linguistics students are expected to produce an original publishable paper, of substantial length and quality, in a subfield of linguistics. This qualifying paper should demonstrate the student's ability to carry out an empirical study and write an analytical research paper. The unmodified MA thesis cannot serve this purpose. 

A committee consisting of the advisor and a second faculty member familiar with the subfield will referee the qualifying paper. The student may be asked to revise the qualifying paper before it is accepted as satisfactory work. Upon documented completion of the paper, the student needs to identify a dissertation committee (three faculty members from the department and one from another department) and notify the graduate secretary. The student then confirms the dissertation topic and presents a prospectus constituting a short abstract detailing their research topic. This should be done within one term of completing the qualifying paper. After the prospectus has been approved, the student will advance to candidacy. 

To leave enough time for the dissertation research and writing, the qualifying paper and prospectus should be completed during the third year of study and no later than the winter term of the fourth year. Students who are unable to complete a viable qualifying paper by spring of their fourth year in the program will be granted a terminal MA. 

Program Goals

The comprehensive examination is distinct from the dissertation prospectus or qualifying paper. The comprehensive examination papers and oral examination involve general preparation and give the student an opportunity to show broad knowledge of a field. The prospectus defense for culture-track students is more narrowly focused on the dissertation project and demonstrates the student's ability to identify and define a research project. Similarly, the qualifying paper for linguistics students is focused on the student's main research area and demonstrates the ability to undertake a research project. The comprehensive examination and prospectus defense or qualifying paper enable students to demonstrate that they can be successful as teachers and researchers. Students will advance to ABD (all but dissertation) status after the successful completion of both the comprehensive examination and the prospectus defense or qualifying paper, in addition to the completion of all required course work. 

Dissertation

A dissertation committee is formed at least one month before the prospectus is presented for review and approval. This committee advises the student on writing the dissertation and approves the completed dissertation.

Students who have taken an MA comprehensive exam in Japanese studies do not need to take a PhD comprehensive exam. However, they need to defend their dissertation prospectus within one academic term after the completion of doctoral course work.