Part III: The M.Phil. degree

Degree requirements for the M.Phil.

Program of study

To be planned in consultation with a faculty advisor in the student's field of specialization. The faculty advisor is designated by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students working in more than a single field of study will plan their program in consultation with faculty advisors in the appropriate fields. The faculty concerned must in such cases concur that a program involving more than a single field is appropriate for the student wishing to undertake it. In addition to work in special fields, students must develop competence in one of the Zones of Inquiry. They will develop a plan of study with their subfield advisor and a faculty member in their chosen Zone.

Course requirements

Six residence units (RUs) are required for the degree. In consultation with a faculty advisor, students should complete coursework relevant to their program of study. Required courses include:

1. Theory and Methods: All students are required to take the Theory and Methods seminar during their first year. In addition to work completed in this seminar, students will consult with their advisors and other faculty members to develop a bibliography of other relevant theoretical and methodical works for which they will be responsible.

2. Zones of Inquiry: All students are required to take at least one introductory theoretical seminar in one of the Zones of Inquiry and, in consultation with their advisor and other faculty members, will develop a program of study in their chosen area of inquiry. Specific emphasis and bibliography, to be prepared for the purposes of the Zones examination, will be determined by the student in consultation with an advisor.

Departmental policy on incomplete coursework

The department expects that students will complete all courses for which the grade of Incomplete (INC) is awarded during the following semester -- the Spring semester if the course was taken in the Fall, or Summer if a Spring course. If a course is left uncompleted beyond this period, the student will be placed on probation. Please note that if course work is not completed within one year from the end of the term in question, the INC on the student's transcript will automatically revert to a grade of “F”. No more than two Incompletes are permitted at any one time.

Language requirements

In addition to English and all languages necessary for research in primary sources, students are required to demonstrate knowledge of at least one additional language (other than their native language) that is appropriate for reading secondary sources. Language proficiency is measured by an examination approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or one year's course work beyond the elementary level.


Masters of Arts: Written and oral, as indicated under the requirements for the M.A. degree above.

Comprehensive Examinations:

A. Theory and Zones: Before the end of their second year, students will take a written and oral exam in Theory and their selected Zone. The written part of this exam will be a 5-hour exam, with half devoted to theory and half to the Zone.

B. Field Examination 1: The first field examination focuses on the candidate's knowledge and research skills in his or her field, and presupposes mastery of both earlier coursework in the field and the relevant general bibliography for the field (as determined in consultation with the field advisor). The nature of the examination varies according to field, but always includes both a written and an oral component. The written component may be fulfilled, according to the requirements of the field, either by passing a written examination (involving 6-8 hours of writing time) to be assessed by a minimum of two examiners, or by the approval of the advisor and an additional member of the faculty of one or two essays (generally 50-60 pages in total) on topics approved or assigned by the advisor. The oral examination is to be completed during the same semester as the written exam, and within one month of the written. In most cases, this examination must be completed no later than the end of the third year.

C. Field Examination 2: The second field examination represents an area of specialization within the field in which the candidate will go on to develop his or her dissertation research. It is fulfilled (by the approval of the advisor and a second faculty reader) either (a) by a single research paper on a topic determined by the candidate in consultation with the advisor, followed by an oral discussion relating to the paper, or (b) by a written examination followed in the same week by an oral examination on that work. Consult the Guidelines for Field Examinations for the model which applies in a given field. In most cases this examination is to be completed no later than the end of the fourth year.