Program Requirements

PhD Timeline (year by year summary)

Students are required to complete a minimum of 13 courses, exclusive of any taken solely in fulfillment of the foreign language requirement. Courses are selected in conjunction with departmental advising and mentoring processes. Plans of study are individualized, based on the student's own particular research and teaching areas within the broader fields of Modern Culture and Media, but at least one graduate course offered by the Department of Modern Culture and Media is required in each of the following three areas:


A course in theories of textuality, subjectivity, culture, the social, and/or a specific medium in relation to any of these.

Textual Analysis

A course that addresses a single medium or genre conceived as a textual object, a mode of cultural production, or a form.

Historical/Cultural Locations

A course that assists students in understanding how the production, circulation, and reception of media forms operate within and across specific social contexts, periods, geocultural sites, and/or communities.

Foreign Language Requirement

The foreign language requirement for all MCM doctoral students is reading/research competency in one foreign language pertinent to the student's research interests. Competency in an additional language or languages may be required if advanced research in a student's particular areas of interest demands it. Competency in a foreign language may be demonstrated in any of the following three ways:

  1. Passing a translation exam administered by MCM faculty.
  2. Earning a grade of B or better in a 1000-level or higher course offered by a Foreign Language department, for which the professor attests that teaching and reading assignments were preponderantly in that language. (This course will count towards the 13 required for the degree only if its substantive content coheres with the student's scholarly concerns.)
  3. Passing a graduate reading course offered by a Foreign Language Department.