Romance Languages and Literatures

Explore Our Doctoral Programs

Program Overview

We offer PhD programs in three 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.

Size of the Program

There are approximately five to eight 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 requirement(s); first-year exam (if applicable).
  • Year 2: Completion of coursework; fulfill language requirement(s); complete qualifying paper (if applicable); preparation for comprehensive exams.
  • Year 3: Comprehensive exams; fulfill language requirement(s); complete dissertation proposal and colloquium.
  • Year 4: Dissertation research and writing; applications for dissertation completion fellowships.
  • Year 5: Dissertation research and writing; applications for dissertation completion fellowships; job applications.
  • Year 6: Dissertation completion; job applications.


Incoming doctoral students receive a comprehensive 6-year funding package to support them in their scholarly and pedagogical training and are eligible to be registered for up to 8 years. The 6-year funding package includes:

  • An academic year stipend (and teaching remuneration)
  • 5 summer stipends
  • Full tuition aid
  • Health insurance premium aid

Renewal of this award is contingent on satisfactory academic progress. Students are expected to reach candidacy by the start of year 6 to remain in the program. Those students who remain registered in year 7 and/or 8 receive continued financial support, which includes:

  • Full tuition aid
  • Health insurance premium aid

The Division of the Humanities has additional information on the types of financial support available to support language study, conference travel, and research travel.

Program Data

Admissions, enrollment, degree completion, and career outcomes data for the past few years is available here.

Masters Degree 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 (MAPH). 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 adviser.

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. 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.

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