Skip to main content

Finding your advisors

Preparing your application to the Humanities PhD program requires that you identify and approach Concordia faculty members who could serve as members of your advisory committee: a Major field supervisor (often in the discipline of the applicant’s MA or MFA degree), and two Minor field advisors. Any full-time faculty member in the many departments of the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia can serve your advisory committee.

To find such faculty members, you are encouraged to consult the faculty profiles on the websites of the departments that correspond to the three fields that inform your interdisciplinary project. We have facilitated this process by providing Faculty Profiles for full-time faculty members in departments across the Faculties of Arts and Science and Fine Arts. Another helpful tool is Explore Concordia: type keywords related to your project, then click on relevant keywords in the dropdown list to see faculty working in that area. Top associated keywords are displayed on the right. Move your cursor over an associated keyword to highlight faculty working in that area; click on an associated keyword to add the keyword to your search filter. Click on faculty member names to see their key research question and more information about them.

How to approach potential advisors

Please approach prospective advisors with an introductory email and attach your research proposal, CV and, if possible, the transcript from your graduate degree.

The introductory email should:

  • Indicate that you are applying to the Humanities PhD program and include the link to our website and to the Responsibilities of Field Advisors  

  • Explain that Humanities applicants are asked to declare 3 fields relevant to their interdisciplinary research proposal

  • Briefly outline your proposed doctoral research and your 3 fields, clearly indicating for which of the fields you are approaching the given faculty member and whether you are asking them to serve as a Major field supervisor or Minor field advisor.

  • If the faculty member responds that they are not available, you could ask in a follow-up email whether they could recommend another colleague for you to approach.

For suggestions of possible supervisors, or to discuss any questions you might have about the program and the application process, you are welcome to contact the Director of the Humanities Program.

Responsibilities of field advisors

Students in the Humanities PhD Program declare one Major field, normally within the discipline of the student’s Master’s degree, and two Minor fields. Their advisory committee consists of the Major field supervisor and the two Minor field advisors.

Overall, the three members of a student’s advisory committee, in their different capacities (as outlined below), oversee the student’s progress through a program. A faculty member who agrees to serve on a student's advisory committee makes a long-term commitment towards the education of that student. The Major field supervisor is the student’s principal supervisor, and agrees to be responsible for overseeing the student's overall program of study and progress through the various stages. The two Minor field advisors agree to take responsibility for the student's program of study in their respective fields,

COURSEWORK. Each member of the advisory committee oversees 6 credits of the student's coursework in the field they supervise. These credits can be taken as directed study tutorials or regularly scheduled graduate seminars, either with the student’s advisor or, with the advisor’s approval, with other faculty members whose areas of expertise are relevant to the student’s program of study.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATIONS usually take place in the term following the completion of the student’s coursework. The principal supervisor coordinates the pre-comprehensive exams meeting of the advisory committee with the student (chaired by the Humanities Director), sets and marks the comprehensive examination in the student’s Major field, and supervises the writing of the thesis. The two Minor field advisors set and mark the comprehensive examinations in their respective fields.

The THESIS PROPOSAL with Defense usually takes place during the term following the completion of the comprehensive field examinations. The Major field supervisor, with input from the Minor field advisors, guides the student in the preparation of the thesis proposal, and all three members of a student’s advisory committee participate in the student's thesis proposal defense which is chaired by the Humanities Director.  

THESIS. The Major field supervisor acts as primary thesis supervisor, and the two Minor field advisors oversee aspects of the thesis that relate to their fields. All three members of the student’s advisory committee participate in the thesis defense.

Please consult the degree requirements for detailed information about each stage in the student’s trajectory through the program.

Back to top Back to top

© Concordia University