A very brief summary of degree requirements appears below; click on the links to the right for more detailed information about progress to the degree. For more information regarding departmental policies and resources, please consult the NELC Graduate Student Handbook. Paper copies of the booklet are available in the NELC office.

Residence: There is a minimum residence requirement of two years.

Courses: PhD candidates are required to complete a minimum of sixteen half-courses or the equivalent. Particular requirements of certain fields of study may require additional coursework.

GSAS Requirements: In addition to departmental requirements, students are responsible for meeting the 'Common Requirements' set forth in Chapter 3 of the GSAS Handbook.

General Field Requirements: The departmental fields, and often their sub-fields, each have particular course requirements. These are specified in the field’s written program description, both basic requirements and optional requirements for various directions within the field. Students are expected to consult with the advisor(s) in their fields concerning these requirements.

Language Study Requirements: Students are expected to consult with their advisors concerning the corpus of texts required and the scope of the examinations; the advisors are expected to provide the students with clear and comprehensive information. The major language of the student’s field of research is normally one of the fields of the general examinations. In addition, all students are expected to have or acquire knowledge of a second departmental language. The minimum level of competence expected in this requirement is a grade of B in the final examination of a second-year course in the language.

Instead of such language coursework, a student may demonstrate the equivalent level of competence in a required language by taking a special examination administered by a member of the faculty. If a second departmental language is included in the general examinations, the level of competence will be significantly greater than that required in a second-year language course examination.

Languages of modern scholarship: Each student must demonstrate reading proficiency in two modern languages of secondary scholarship (other than English) of direct relevance to their proposed subject of study.  One of these languages must be either French or German. The second of these languages will be determined by the student's adviser in view of the student's proposed subject of study and the guidelines set out by the NELC sub-field. The student must demonstrate reading proficiency in one modern language by the beginning of the Fall semester of the second year of study. Students who have failed to do so will be placed into unsatisfactory status.

Note: Courses in the languages of modern scholarship do not count toward the required sixteen half-courses or the equivalent (see above).

Satisfactory Progress: A prospective third-year student must have achieved a minimum grade point average of "B" up to that point. At the end of every fall term, the faculty discusses the progress of each student; if there are problems, a letter is sent to the student at that time. At the end of every spring semester, the faculty again reviews the progress of each graduate student and, in accordance with graduate school policy, assigns a status of "satisfactory," "grace," or "unsatisfactory." The terms "grace" and "unsatisfactory" are defined in the GSAS Handbook. The schedule for satisfactory progress is based on a timeline that leads up to dissertation completion no later than G-7, which will enable students who entered in 2005 or later to qualify for the Dissertation Completion Grant.