Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program: Japanese Studies

The Ph.D. program in East Asian languages and literatures is designed to provide students with a high level of competence in their area of specialization and a familiarity with applicable methodologies and theories. The program has four components: course work, comprehensive examination, prospectus for the dissertation, and the dissertation itself.

Specific courses and projects used to fulfill requirements must be approved by the student's adviser, who works with the other faculty members to develop the student's program

The Ph.D. with a specialization in Japanese Studies requires students to successfully complete nine graduate courses beyond the number required for the M.A. degree. These courses must be chosen in consultation with the student's adviser. Appropriate courses in related fields (e.g., Japanese history, religion) may be substituted with the adviser's approval.

Course Work

Students must successfully complete nine graduate courses including:

  1. Three courses in Japanese literature and/or film (with at least one course in each area)
  2. One course in an interdisciplinary subfield
  3. Two courses in critical theory and/or film theory, preferably in the Japanese studies sector
  4. One course in Japanese linguistics or teaching methodology

Comprehensive Examination

Candidates for the Ph.D. must pass a comprehensive examination, which consists of six questions covering the student's major fields of study. A committee is chosen by the student in consultation with his or her adviser, which consists of three faculty members, at least two of whom are members of the department. With input from the student, the committee prepares questions based on an approved bibliography. Each student is given five days in which to write and submit answers to four of the six questions. If the committee finds that the student has not performed adequately on one question, the student may, at the discretion of the committee, be allowed one opportunity to retake the examination in that subfield before the end of the following term. Students who fail more than one question have their status as doctoral students terminated.

Prospectus and Dissertation

Immediately following successful completion of the comprehensive examination, a dissertation committee is formed by the student and the graduate secretary. This committee advises the student on writing the dissertation and approves the completed dissertation. The student presents to this committee, within one month, a dissertation proposal with a bibliography. After approval of this prospectus, the student becomes eligible to enroll in Dissertation (JPN 603).

Timeline for Completion of the Ph.D. Program

  • Course work: two years
  • Comprehensive examination and prospectus approval: one year
  • Dissertation writing and defense: two years

 * The student who has taken a M.A. comprehensive exam in Japanese studies at the EALL department does not need to take a Ph.D. comprehensive exam. However, the student needs to orally defend her/his dissertation prospectus within one academic term after the completion of course work. The Major purposes of the prospectus defense in a timely manner are to facilitate the student's completion of her/his dissertation as well as to let the faculty community clearly know the progress of the student toward the completion.