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 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.

Size of the Program

There are approximately 5 to 8 students in each year's Ph.D. 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.

More Information