degreereq
degreereq

Degree Requirements

Completion of each phase of the program as described below is required. The components that must be successfully completed are:

  1. 6100: Intellectual Traditions in Cultural Studies;
  2. 6110H: Research in Cultural Studies;
  3. 6125: the Comprehensive Examination;
  4. 6200: the Year Two Dissertation Seminar;
  5. 6225: the Special Field Bibliography;
  6. 6250: the First Project;
  7. 6275: the Dissertation Proposal;
  8. 6325: the Special Field Examination;
  9. 6350: the Second Project;
  10. 6450: the Third Project;
  11. 6475: the Dissertation as a Whole, integrating the three projects;
  12. Oral Defence of the dissertation;
  13. Submission of a paper based on the projects for Publication; and
  14. Language Requirement.

CUST 6100 – Intellectual Traditions in Cultural Studies

See our First Year Reading Program

CUST 6100 is designed to help students with the main work of Year One, which is a reading program designed to serve as the basis for the

CUST 6125 Comprehensive Examination. The reading approved for

CUST 6100 is the only material required for the exam. (There are no Supplementary Lists as in previous years.)

The course outline (available by 15 Sept) gives an overview of a selection of materials from the Program Lists of authors and books in cultural studies. The course is coordinated by the Director and normally each faculty in the Program teaches one week based on their research expertise. This is also an opportunity for students and faculty to get to know one another.

There is no major writing required for CUST 6100, in order to permit students to focus on the reading program.

 

CUST 6110h – Research in Cultural Studies

A practical introduction to research in two six-week units. Unit 1 covers research on cultural objects.  Unit 2 covers processes of subjectivity, culture and society. Taught through reading exemplary research on art, theatre, film, television, paraliterature, the internet, landscapes, etc; with methods including psychoanalysis, ethnography, interviews, cultural history and archival research.

CUST 6125 -- Comprehensive Examination

Exam date for academic year 2014-15 is Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Comprehensive Examination, held in mid April of Year One, is set by the Examination Committee, which is determined by the Director and approved by the Program and consists of the Director and two other faculty members of the Program, normally including at least one faculty member teaching in Year One. The examination tests the student’s familiarity with the Cultural Studies canon through texts approved by the Program for CUST 6100. The examination has three components:

(a) a 4-hour sit-down exam;
(b) a take-home essay of 30-50 pages to be prepared over 2 weeks; and
(c) an oral examination, normally to be held within 14 days of completing (a) and (b).


Satisfactory completion of the Comprehensive Examination requires a grade of PASS. A student who does not pass (PASS) the Comprehensive Examination on the first attempt will be awarded a grade of INC (“incomplete”) and will be offered a second chance to take the Examination, normally not later than August 31, the end of Year One. In exceptional circumstances, a student may proceed to the work required for Year Two and retake the Comprehensive Examination during the second year, at a time determined by the Examination Committee. Any student who has not been awarded a passing grade (PASS) on the Comprehensive Examination by the end of Year Two will be required to withdraw from the Program and the University.

NOTE:  The sit down exam takes place mid April each year

 

CUST 6200 – Dissertation Seminar

CUST 6200 aims to ensure that the dissertation arises from a continuous practice not only of research and writing but also of collegial inquiry, discussion, and presentation. All students are required to participate in the Dissertation Seminar to workshop one of their projects, normally the first project in Year Two. The main focus of the seminar is the presentation and discussion of the students' work in progress, including any difficulties in making progress, and students are required on several occasions during the academic year to present for discussion different parts, stages, or turning points of their dissertation project. In principle, the seminar discussion is open to all graduate students and faculty who read the circulated work. The Seminar Coordinator will award a grade for the Dissertation Seminar of PASS, FAIL, or, in rare cases, INC (“incomplete”). The award of a grade of INC will require the student to participate in CUST 6200 again in the following year to workshop another project. A grade of INC in CUST 6200 does not exempt the student from deadlines for completing any of the projects or any other Program requirements.

CUST 6225 – Special Field Bibliography

A reasoned bibliography, accompanied by a brief text of description and justification, of the student’s special field(s) of competency within the larger domain of cultural studies,  which evolves under the supervision of the Supervisory Committee.  A first draft should be attempted by the student by August 31 of Year One; the bibliography and accompanying text should be submitted not later than August 31 of Year Two.

CUST 6250 – First Project

By August 31 at the end of Year Two, the student's first project, written up in approximately 15,000 words, must be completed at a level considered by the Supervisory Committee to be of publishable quality, even if not yet submitted or accepted for publication. The student will receive a satisfactory grade (PASS) when the student's Supervisory Committee confirms that the project is completed. Receiving a satisfactory grade (PASS) on this component does not prejudge the outcome of the oral defence in Year Four.

CUST 6275 – Dissertation Proposal

A Dissertation Proposal, normally up to 2,000 words, is due by August 31 of Year Two for the approval (PASS) of the Supervisory Committee. The proposal is expected to provide convincing links between the completed first project, the second project about to be undertaken, and the third project hypothetically contemplated and conceptualized.

CUST 6325 – Special Field Examination

A student will take a written examination of the Special Field in the format of a 4-hour sit-down exam, followed within 14 days by an oral examination based on the written examination, in the Spring of Year Three. The exam will be prepared by the Supervisory Committee and approved by the Director. The Special Field Examination will be based on the approved Special Field Bibliography (or an approved subset consisting of at least 25 texts), and will be examined by an Examining Committee consisting of two (current or past) members of the student’s Supervisory Committee and one other Program faculty member, all appointed by the Director. A student who does not pass (PASS) the Special Field Examination on the first attempt will be awarded a grade of INC (“incomplete”) and will be offered a second chance to take the Examination, normally not later than August 31 of Year Three.

NOTE:  The sit down exam takes place mid April each year

CUST 6350 – Second Project

By August 31 of Year Three, the student's second project, written up in approximately 15,000 words, must be completed at a level considered by the Supervisory Committee to be of publishable quality, even if not yet submitted or accepted for publication. The student will receive a satisfactory grade (PASS) when the student's Supervisory Committee confirms that the project is completed. Receiving a satisfactory grade (PASS) on this component does not prejudge the outcome of the oral defence in Year Four.

CUST 6450 – Third Project

By January 1 of Year Four, the student's third project, written up in approximately 15,000 words, must be completed at a level considered by the Supervisory Committee to be of publishable quality, even if not yet submitted or accepted for publication. The student will receive a satisfactory grade (PASS) when the student's Supervisory Committee confirms that the project is completed. Receiving a satisfactory grade (PASS) on this component does not prejudge the outcome of the oral defence in Year Four.

CUST 6475 – Dissertation as a Whole

In Year Four, students are expected to bind their three projects together into a dissertation as a coherent whole. Between January and April, students finalize the dissertation for submission. The Director, in consultation with the student, will appoint a Supervisory Committee of not more than four Program faculty for the final dissertation and oral defence. The student will receive a satisfactory grade (PASS) for CUST 6475 when all members of the student's Supervisory Committee sign the evaluation form stating that the dissertation is completed and of sufficient quality to proceed to formal examination. Receiving a satisfactory grade (PASS) on this component does not prejudge the outcome of the oral defence.

Oral Defence

After the Supervisory Committee confirms that the dissertation may proceed to examination, an oral examination is held, in accordance with Trent University regulations.

Submission for Publication

Each of the three projects is completed by the student at a level considered publishable by the student's Supervisory Committee. At least one of the three projects is to be actually submitted for publication before the degree is granted. By April of Year Four, the student will submit to a journal approved by the Supervisory Committee at least one paper for publication, based on the projects that make up the Dissertation.

Language Requirement

As part of the degree requirements, all doctoral students are required to pass (PASS) a two-hour language test involving translation into English of a French text or, with permission of the Program, another language if it is more relevant to their projects. Dictionaries are allowed. The source text will be of an intellectual quality suited to PhD research.  This requirement may also be met by completing and passing (PASS) an undergraduate Trent University language course (or its equivalent), which includes reading and writing components, as well as a suitable translation component.

 

The expected time of completion of the degree is four years. The CUST PhD degree is granted once the Program confirms that all Program requirements have been met and once the dissertation is formally approved by the University.

The general regulations and requirements of Trent University for a Ph.D. degree apply to the Cultural Studies Ph.D. program.