Ph.D. Examination and Dissertation Requirements

  1. Examination Schedule
    1. Preliminary exams: Students must have passed both of their preliminary examinations in Greek and Latin by the end of their second semester in the Ph.D. program. Students who fail an examination in an ancient language may retake it once in the following semester. Students may only fail an exam in ancient language once, and in such a case must have passed all language exams by the end of the third semester in the Ph.D. program.
    2. The Comprehensive Examination may not be taken until all preliminary examinations have been successfully completed.
    3. Under exceptional circumstances, students may petition for an additional semester to complete an exam or other requirement; such petitions must be approved by the full Faculty.
    4. Students who fall behind this schedule will be required to leave the program, unless they petition successfully for an extension.
  2. Comprehensive Exam
    The topics, one each in the fields of Greek and Roman cultures, are to be selected with the approval of the Graduate Committee, which will designate an Examination Committee in each field. Students are expected to demonstrate specialized knowledge of primary materials, which they will be asked to translate and discuss in detail. The examinations will cover the secondary literature on the topic, including, where relevant, the manuscript and editorial traditions. Students should circulate to the Exam Committee a syllabus of their own design for a future graduate seminar on each special topic at least one week before the exam. The oral portion of the examination will cover the student's broad area of specialization in language and literature, ancient history, archaeology, philosophy, or religion. Students are expected to demonstrate familiarity with primary and secondary sources as well as related issues such as social and historical context, and current theoretical trends in the field. Students should be able to discuss the authors represented on the Ph.D. translation exam reading lists, demonstrating not only a fundamental understanding of those authors but also awareness of current scholarship about them. The Examining Board for the oral portion of the Exam shall consist of the student's Advisory Committee and additional members appointed by the Graduate Committee, to a minimum total of five with the Chair of the Advisory Committee as Chair of the Examining Board. Students should consult with their examining committees at least two months before the exam date and should plan to meet with committee members again before the exam.
  3. Dissertation Director and Committee
    As soon as an area of specialization has been determined, the student will request the faculty member with whom the student wishes to work to act as Dissertation Director and Chair of the Advisory Committee. With the advice and approval of the Graduate Committee and the Dissertation Director, the student will select two additional Advisory Members of the Dissertation Committee, one of whom may be chosen from another department.
  4. Dissertation Prospectus
    The Dissertation Prospectus should provide a clear written outline of the dissertation, including major themes to be explored and a chapter-by-chapter outline, as well as an extensive bibliography. Students are expected to demonstrate familiarity with their field, a thorough knowledge of primary and secondary sources, current trends in scholarship, and a clearly articulated sense of their novel contributions to the field. The prospectus should be roughly four to five thousand words long, plus bibliography, and will be circulated to the Dissertation Advisory Committee; the Dissertation Advisory Committee will decide if a prospectus is acceptable.
  5. Dissertation
    The dissertation must be finished and submitted in typewritten form at least 45 days before the date of the Final Examination. It must be formally approved by the Dissertation Advisory Committee and made available to the Faculty for inspection at least one week before the date of the Final Examination. The dissertation must meet the format requirements of the Graduate School. Students should consult the University Catalog and confer with the Graduate School for specifications and deadlines.
  6. Final Examination
    The Final Examination is the oral defense of the dissertation before a Committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. The Committee will consist of at least five members, three of whom must be Boulder Campus faculty and one of whom must be from outside the department. More than one dissenting vote will disqualify the candidate in the Final Examination. Upon the recommendation of the Examining Committee, a candidate who fails the Final Examination may retake it once. The examination is open to anyone.

General Rules and Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

  1. Quality of Graduate Work
    Students are required to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 (=B). No grade below B- may be counted toward the Ph.D.
  2. Course Load
    1. All full-time students in the first year of the Ph.D. program are strongly encouraged to carry a full course load of 3 courses (9 hours) per semester. First-year Ph.D. students who do not have teaching obligations and are supported either by a fellowship or a research assistantship are expected to carry this load.
    2. Advanced full-time students in the Ph.D. program would typically carry a reduced load of 2 courses (6 hours) per semester, provided they are making adequate progress toward the degree. With the permission of the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, 1-3 hours of dissertation credit or 2-3 hours of Independent Study may be substituted for one classroom course; however, no more than 10 hours of dissertation credit may be accumulated prior to the semester of taking the Oral Comprehensive Examination.
    3. Ph.D. Candidates (i.e., students having passed the Oral Comprehensive Examination) must be registered for 5-10 hours of dissertation credit per semester.
  3. Part-Time Students
    Students wishing to pursue a degree on a part-time basis (i.e., carrying less than the minimum number of courses per semester required by the University) must so indicate when applying for admission to the department. Part-time students will arrange with their advisor and the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies for their individual course of study and examination schedule; however, examinations for part-time students will normally be given only at the time of regularly scheduled examinations of the same kind. Part-time students will not normally be considered for graduate teaching appointments.
  4. Independent Study
    All independent study courses must be approved by a faculty sponsor, the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, and the Chair of the department.
  5. Termination
    A student who fails any Preliminary Examination two times will automatically be dropped from the program, unless an additional attempt is authorized, upon the student's petition, by a majority vote of the Faculty. Under department rules, a Preliminary Examination in Greek or Latin translation may only be retaken once. Under Graduate School rules, a Comprehensive Examination may be retaken only once.
  6. Progress Toward the Degree
    Students are expected to make reasonable progress toward their degrees. They will be required by the department to take their written or oral examinations at specified regular examination times. Four years is considered a reasonable period for the Ph.D. Successful progress toward the degree is a determining factor in the award of financial support to students in the graduate program. All work for the Ph.D. must be completed within six years from the date course work was started in the Ph.D. program. For possible extensions, students should consult with the Graduate School.