Explore Our Doctoral Programs

Program Overview

We offer PhD programs in three areas of study: French and Francophone StudiesHispanic 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. Check out our alumni outcomes here!

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.

University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf2-06233r, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Size of the Program

There are approximately four to seven 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 requirements; complete qualifying paper; preparation for comprehensive exams.
Year 3 Comprehensive exams; fulfill language requirements; 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.


Information about financial aid can be found on the Humanities Division website.


As an integral part of the doctoral program, students will be exposed to a variety of teaching methodologies through coursework, mentoring and workshops, and will gain teaching experience by serving in different roles in our undergraduate program.

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.