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Ph.D. in Korean Literature
Program Scope and Objectives
The Ph.D. degree in Korean Literature is offered with concentration in Korean literary studies, exploring its traditions, both pre-modern and modern, in the changing contexts of historical, socio-cultural developments in Korea up to the present. The program is designed to produce scholars, researchers, and professionals with high-level competence and expertise in the study of literary history, literary theories and criticism, and culture of Korea. By offering ample opportunity to investigate inter-East Asian literary/cultural relationships, the program also fosters the growth of the student’s research interest in academic fields closely related to Korean literature and culture.
In addition to the requirements for admission to the M.A. program, admission to the Ph.D. program requires evidence of the M.A. earned with distinction, or its equivalent. Applicants are required to demonstrate their potential as scholars by submitting a research paper, normally one written in English, with their application.
The Ph.D. program has no specific course and credit requirements. However, students are required to plan and carry out their graduate studies in close consultation with their principal advisor and complete the program within the 7-year limit set by the Graduate Division. The Graduate Division’s residency requirement is three semesters of full-time work as a classified student. In addition to successfully completing course work, Ph.D. students are also required to pass through the following major stages of preparation:
- Qualifying Examination: The exam should be taken during the third semester in the program. It covers advanced knowledge of Korean literary history, including key literary movements/trends and major authors and their works.
- Comprehensive Examination: The exam covers four fields (see below), at least one of which will be outside the students’ areas of specialization.
- Completion of an original dissertation
- Oral examination in defense of the dissertation
Apart from having a command of English and language competence in the area of their concentration, candidates must have, as a minimum, knowledge of a second East Asian language equivalent to two years of study. In some cases, a third East Asian language or an additional European language may be required.
This language study is tailored according to the area of the students’ specialization and to make it best fit the needs of their immediate research and intended professional career.
Fields of mastery
The candidate must take a Comprehensive Examination in four fields. The following concentration areas are available:
- Literature – Korean poetry, narrative, or drama—modern or pre-modern
- Linguistics – History, structural analysis, sociolinguistics, or pedagogy
- Electives – Korean or East Asian art, philosophy/religion, history, performing arts, film; General, or other East Asian linguistics; literary theory, or another East Asian literature