5: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

General Information | Programs and Degrees Offered | Admission Information
Financial Assistance | Graduate Academic Regulations
Requirements for Specific Graduate Degrees | Departments and Programs | Faculty

Master's Degree | Master's Degree in the Summer Session | Master of Fine Arts
Doctor of Philosophy | Table of Major Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy will be conferred upon the holder of an approved baccalaureate degree who has fulfilled within the designated time limit all requirements as set forth below under the headings: language requirements, program of studies, dissertation, and final examination.

Requirement Examinations in Foreign Languages for M.A./Ph.D. Candidates   Students wishing to take foreign languages examinations to meet departmental or School graduate requirements should contact their departmental chairman. Examinations are offered in Spanish, German, French, and Russian and special arrangements may be made for ancient and other languages. Once the student has notified the department, a representative of that department will then contact the requested language department. At least two weeks' notice should be given to the language department in order that arrangements be made for test administration.

Two types of tests are available: "Proficiency" and "Mastery." Students should
carefully review their departmental requirements before they indicate which level test they wish to take.

Proficiency Examinations   The proficiency examination for the M.A. and/or Ph.D. requirements is designed to test the student's proficiency in the language.

The examination consists of a prose passage in the language to be translated in 90 minutes into adequate, if not literary, English. The length will be between 250-750 words. The texts are chosen out of recent books, journals, or news magazines, and an attempt is made whenever possible to select them as relating to the major discipline of the student being tested. The student has to demonstrate a clear understanding of syntactical structures and some basic knowledge of cultural references. Verb wheels and dictionaries are allowed.

The results of the examinations are sent to the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with the graded examination booklets. The booklets are the property of the University of Virginia. A copy of the results is sent to the graduate advisor and the secretary of the student's department.

The grading fee has been set by the Graduate School, and students will be informed by their department that they must clear administrative matters with the Graduate School before receiving credit for the examination.

Mastery Examination   The mastery examination differs from the proficiency examination in that it lasts two hours and is made up of three parts:

  1. A short critical prose passage (not necessarily contemporary) relating to the student's major to be translated in 40 minutes.
  2. Analysis of a short text relating to the student's major. Forty minutes are allowed to answer six to eight questions about the form and meaning of the proposed text.
  3. A short essay in the language with a general question relating to the student's major.
Dictionaries are permitted. Administrative details for the mastery examination are the same as those for the proficiency examination.

Program of Studies   Constituting not less than three complete sessions of full-time graduate work or the equivalent, the program of studies must be successfully completed under satisfactory conditions of registration. The student may elect courses in more than one department or subject if they contribute appropriately to his or her program, but the entire program must be directed and approved by one department. (See Table of Major Requirements for specific requirements.)

A formal degree application must be submitted and must be approved by the dean not later than October 1 if the degree is to be conferred in January, or February 1 if the degree is to be conferred in May, or July 1 if the degree is to be conferred in August.

With the approval of the supervising department and the dean, up to one session of the required three sessions of graduate work may be completed at another graduate school or may be taken at this University on a part-time basis; also with the approval of the supervising department and the dean, up to one session or the equivalent may be spent in dissertation research elsewhere. However, no candidacy will be approved unless the applicant has spent at least two consecutive semesters during the academic year beyond the M.A. or equivalent level in full-time residential study at this University.

Exceptional students who complete all other degree requirements within two calendar years of entering this Graduate School may petition the dean to waive the third year of graduate work.

Following the course listings of the departments will be found statements of any special requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Dissertation   The preparation of a dissertation exhibiting independent research in the candidate's major subject is required. The advisory professor will periodically evaluate the student's progress on the dissertation. If the student's progress is judged to be unsatisfactory, the advisory professor may recommend a new topic or may recommend to the department that the student not be allowed to continue his or her graduate work.

The title of the dissertation is to be approved by the advisory professor and submitted to the dean on the degree application. The dissertation must be submitted in completed form to the department for approval by the advisory professor and by the special examining committee (see below, under "Final Examination"). The original and one copy, or two electrostatic copies of the dissertation on acceptable paper, must be brought to the Graduate School Office for inspection not later than December 1 if the degree is to be conferred in January, or May 1 if the degree is to be conferred in May, or August 1 if the degree is to be conferred in August.

The dissertation must be double-spaced, upon 20 pound weight bond paper of good quality (either Crane's Thesis Paper, Standard Permalife, Xerox Archival Bond Paper, Capitol Bond Paper, Swan Linen Bond Paper, Millers Falls Old Deerfield Bond Paper, or Southworth Four Star Bond Paper), 8 1/2 x 11 inches, with a left-hand margin one and one-half inches in width. The remaining margins are to be one inch wide. Paper for the second copy must be of the same quality as the original, whatever process of reproduction is used, though it may be of 16 pound weight. Erasable paper is not acceptable. Pages should be numbered throughout, consecutively. Dissertations must be in manila envelopes with the following information noted thereon: name of author; abbreviated title of dissertation (36 spaces or less); degree; and date to be conferred.

After two copies of the dissertation have been inspected and approved at the Graduate School Office, the student will deliver these copies to the Photography Division of Printing Services, Alderman Library, and pay for the cost of permanent binding. A receipt showing that these two copies of the dissertation have been delivered to the Photography Division of Printing Services must be returned to the Graduate School Office. Personal copies will be handled by the Photography Division of Printing Services also.

More detailed instructions for preparing a dissertation are available in the Graduate School Office (438 Cabell Hall, 924-7183). The student should consult the advisory professor in reference to any special departmental requirements relating to the dissertation.

All dissertations will be published by having a master microfilm negative made from each original dissertation. These negatives will be stored and serviced by University Microfilms of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Positive microfilms, or enlarged prints, will be produced to order at the standard rate for other scholars who desire access to any dissertation.

Each dissertation, when submitted, must be accompanied by three copies of an abstract of 350 words or fewer. The abstract, or summary, will be published in Microfilms Abstracts, for national distribution. No dissertation will be accepted without this abstract.

A fee of $60 for the above service must be paid to the Photography Division of Printing Services by the candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree before it is conferred.

Final Examination   A candidate must receive a satisfactory standing in a final examination, oral, written, or both. Upon acceptance of the dissertation by the advisory professor and the department concerned, the dean will appoint, upon nomination of the department, a special committee to examine the candidate upon such phases of the major subject and of allied subjects as the committee shall prescribe. The examining committee, under the chairmanship of the advisor professor, will consist of not fewer than four members from the graduate faculty, one of whom must be from another department and serves as a representative of the Graduate Committee. Through its chairman, the examining committee may invite other members of the departmental faculty to take part in the examination; indeed, it is recommended that the doctoral examination be given before the entire professional staff of the department concerned. The result of the examination, with the names of the examiners and their departmental affiliation, must be reported by the chairman of the examining committee to the Graduate School no later than two weeks before Final Exercises.

The candidate shall not be admitted to the final examination before satisfying the foreign language requirement, if such is required by the candidate's department. No candidate may be admitted to the final examination until the dissertation has been accepted. Preliminary examinations may, in addition, be required by individual departments.

Time Limitation   All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed within seven years from the date of admittance into the Ph.D. Program. In special cases, upon approval of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, work out-of-date may be revalidated by examination. In case of interruption of work by military service, time spent in service will be excluded from the computation of this seven-year period.

Certificate of Candidacy   A Certificate of Candidacy may be awarded by certain departments to students who have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. degree except for the dissertation.


Continue to: Table of Major Requirements
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