Calendar of Progress - Second Year


As in the first year. Through course work in the second year, the student should begin to focus on an area or topic of specialization and should arrange with a member of the department to act as his or her dissertation adviser; the DGS should be informed once this arrangement has been made. To maintain good academic standing, the student must achieve at least two grades of Honors each year and should complete 12 courses by the end of the second year.

Language requirements

By the end of the second year, the student should have already fulfilled the language requirement. Also, at the end of the second full academic year, the student must take a written exam in the language of his or her specialization. Arrangements for this exam should be made well before the end of the spring term, through consultation with the DGS and the member(s) of the faculty who will conduct the exam.


Second-year students may, occasionally, be asked to serve as Teaching Fellows. See Teaching, below, under Calendar of Progress - Third Year.


The faculty will conduct a comprehensive review of each student’s progress and promise by the end of the second year. This will include a review of the transcript, a confidential discussion among ladder faculty members about the student’s coursework and indications of promise and progress as seen in that and other settings, and a review of a previously submitted and graded seminar paper.  The seminar paper may be submitted without any revision or may be revised.  It is often a paper produced in a seminar taught by his or her adviser, but another paper can be selected in consultation with the adviser.  The student should select the paper and discuss possible revisions with his or her adviser and the instructor of the seminar in which it was written, if the instructor and adviser are different.  The paper must be submitted no later than April 1 and will be assessed by two members of the ladder faculty other than the instructor in whose class it was originally submitted for credit, to be selected by the DGS in consultation with the adviser. The student will be advised of the faculty’s assessment of this paper by the adviser and/or DGS. If the faculty deems a student’s performance unsatisfactory (indicating that it is unlikely that the student can successfully complete the requirements for the Ph.D), the student will be advised to petition for the M.A. degree (if the requirements have been met) and not to continue in the program beyond the second year.

The M.A. Degree

Students who have completed at least 12 term courses and have fulfilled the European language requirement as well as the language requirement in their field of specialization may petition for the M.A. degree. Most students petition for this degree en route to the Ph.D., upon completion of the requirements.

Summer Funding

The Graduate School provides doctoral students with five summers of support. Grants from other sources such as the Council on East Asian Studies are available.