Concordia University


Doctor of/Doctorate in Philosophy (Humanities)

Admission Requirements. The normal requirement is a master’s degree with high standing from a recognized university. The Humanities Program Committee will scrutinize the applicant’s academic background and proposed program of study in order to determine whether a) the applicant’s interests are truly interdisciplinary, and fall within the scope of the available faculty and facilities at Concordia, and b) the student’s record indicates that he or she is likely to be able to cope with a demanding program involving rigorous practice in more than one discipline.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Fields of Study. Students in the Humanities Program are expected to pursue a pattern of independent interdisciplinary study under the direction and supervision of scholars in three fields, one of which shall be chosen as the student’s major field. (A “field” is defined as a recognizable and coherent segment of a discipline, e.g., Victorian literature as a field within the discipline of English literature, German history 1870-1945 as a field within the discipline of History, or Sociology of knowledge as a field within the discipline of Sociology. In some cases a “field” may be itself interdisciplinary or non-disciplinary as, for example, hermeneutics or meta-science). The Humanities Program Committee will assess and approve students’ proposed fields of study to ensure that a) the candidate’s overall program is sufficiently intensive and interdisciplinary, b) competent faculty are available to direct it, and c) the student’s special interests are recognized.

  2. Advisory Committee. Prior to admission into the program, students form an advisory committee composed of three faculty members: the major field supervisor and the two minor field advisors. In consultation with the student, the advisory determines the student’s program of study.

  3. Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits. These are apportioned as follows: minimum course requirements, 24 credits; three comprehensive field examinations, each examination worth 3 credits; thesis proposal (with defence), 3 credits; thesis, 54 credits.

  4. Residence. The minimum residence requirement is two years (6 terms) of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.

  5. Courses. Candidates are required to take two 3-credit mandatory core seminars in their first year: Humanities 888 (Methodology) and Humanities 889 (Thematic). The remaining course credits (18 minimum) normally consist of a combination of 3-credit directed study tutorials, regularly scheduled graduate courses offered by departments in areas relevant to the student’s program of study, and may include HUMA 887 (Special Topic). The selection of courses is reviewed for approval by the student’s advisory committee, taking into consideration the needs of the student’s program of study and availability of faculty resources. The directed study tutorials provides students with the opportunity to pursue advanced and focused work with individual faculty members in the three fields that constitute the student’s program of study. Directed study tutorials are designated with a Humanities 800 number: Directed Studies (3 credits) within the sequence HUMA 830 to 884.

  6. Cognate Courses. A candidate may be required to enrol in existing graduate courses offered in other programs in addition to those formally required for the PhD Humanities degree, if, in the opinion of the student’s advisory committee, the chosen field of study demands it.

  7. Comprehensive Examinations (Humanities 885). Before admission to candidacy for the degree, students must pass three comprehensive field examinations and an oral examination of the student’s written thesis proposal. The three comprehensive field examinations are normally written during the term immediately following the completion of the 24 (minimum) course credits. The examinations are set and coordinated by the student’s advisory committee. The three comprehensive field examinations are designated:

    HUMA 885A Comprehensive Examination Major Field (3 credits)
    HUMA 885B Comprehensive Examination Minor Field I (3 credits)
    HUMA 885C Comprehensive Examination Minor Field II (3 credits)

  8. Thesis Proposal (Humanities 886). Students are admitted to candidacy for the PhD upon acceptance by their advisory committee of the written thesis proposal and its successful oral defence. The oral examination of the written thesis proposal normally takes place in the term following the writing of the comprehensive field examinations.

  9. Thesis (Humanities 890). A doctoral thesis should be based on extensive research in primary sources, make an original contribution to knowledge, and be presented in acceptable scholarly form. Students entering the program with MFA degrees may include studio work as a component of their program of study and thesis project, with the approval of the Humanities Program Director and the student’s advisory committee.

  10. Language Requirement. Doctoral candidates are required to demonstrate an ability to read and translate scholarly material in at least one language (other than the candidate’s first language) relevant to their studies.

Academic Regulations

  1. GPA Requirement. The academic progress of students is monitored on an annual basis. To be permitted to continue in the program, students must obtain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 based on a minimum of 12 credits. Students whose GPA falls below 3.00 are considered to be on academic probation during the following review period. Students whose GPA falls below 3.00 for two consecutive review periods are withdrawn from the program.

  2. C Rule. Students who obtain a grade of C in a course are required to repeat the course or take another course. Students receiving more than one C grade will be withdrawn from the program.

  3. F Rule. Students who receive a failing grade in the course of their PhD Studies will be withdrawn from the program. Students may apply for re-admission. Students who receive another failing grade after re-admission will be withdrawn from the program and will not be considered for re-admission.

  4. Time Limit. All work for a doctoral degree must be completed before or during the calendar year, 18 terms (6 years) of full-time study or 24 terms (8 years) of part-time study from the time of original registration in the program.

  5. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.

Required Courses

HUMA 888 Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies I (3 credits)
A required core seminar to be taken by all students in their first year in the program. This course is an introduction to methodologies of interdisciplinary study germane to the Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences. The course also sensitizes students to historical changes in the way intellectual inquiry is conceptualized and carried out.

HUMA 889 Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies II (3 credits)
A required core seminar to be taken by all students in their first year in the program. Each year a different topic is selected with the aim of exploring how a theme of common interest (e.g., space/time, publics and counterpublics, performance) is pursued and challenged across disciplinary boundaries.

Elective Course

HUMA 887 Advanced Seminar in Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies (3 credits)
This seminar examines in-depth special topics in interdisciplinary studies.
Note: The content will vary from term to term and from year to year. Students may re-register for this course, provided the course content has changed. Changes in content will be indicated by a letter following the course number, e.g. HUMA 887A, HUMA 887B, etc.

Comprehensive Examinations and Thesis

HUMA 885A Comprehensive Examination Major Field (3 credits)
HUMA 885B Comprehensive Examination Minor Field I (3 credits)
HUMA 885C Comprehensive Examination Minor Field II (3 credits)
HUMA 886 Thesis Proposal with Defence (3 credits)
HUMA 890 Thesis (54 credits)


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