Romance Languages and Literatures

Explore Our Doctoral Programs

Program Overview

We offer PhD programs in 3 areas of study: French and Francophone Studies, Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies, and Italian Studies. Our students are supported by faculty members within and outside the department and we encourage students to take advantage of the University's many interdisciplinary programs. 

The Joint PhD Program in Theater & Performance Studies (TAPS) allows students to complement their doctoral studies in Romance Languages and Literatures with a program of study in TAPS that reflects their particular training and interests, encompassing both academic and artistic work. Please visit the TAPS graduate program website for additional information on the joint program.

The University of Chicago offers Masters level study in Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish language and culture through the Master of Arts Program in Humanities. In this one-year program, students build their own curriculum with graduate-level courses in any humanities department (including Romance Languages and Literatures) and complete a thesis with a faculty advisor. Students may also pursue more thorough language training in the MAPH Two-Year Language Option (MAPH TLO). MAPH TLO students begin taking language classes in their first year of the program, weaving language-focused coursework into the traditional MAPH year. Language Option students continue to focus on their language skills in the second year of the program, registering for a minimum of nine total language classes during the two years they are at the University.

Size of the Program

There are approximately 5 to 8 students in each year's PhD cohort. 

Time to Completion

Each program has slightly different requirements but all PhD students in Romance Languages and Literatures should be ABD (All But Dissertation) by the end of their third year. A general program of study summary is below:

  • Year 1: Coursework; preparation for language requirements; first-year exam
  • Year 2: Completion of coursework; fulfill language requirement; preparation for written and oral comprehensive exams
  • Year 3: Comprehensive exams;  fulfill language requirement (if necessary); complete dissertation proposal and colloquium
  • Year 4: Dissertation research and writing; applications for dissertation-year fellowships.
  • Year 5: Dissertation research and writing; job applications.


All Romance Languages and Literatures PhD students are awarded 5-year fellowships that include a stipend, full tuition, and health insurance coverage. Students starting the program in 2017-18 will receive a stipend and teaching remuneration of $30,000 over 12 months.

The Division of the Humanities has additional information on the types of financial support available to doctoral students.

Masters Degree Program

For information on the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities Two-year Language Option with a concentration in Romance Languages, please click here

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