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Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Location

  • Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • 688 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 425
  • Montreal QC H3A 3R1
  • Canada

About Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

The Department’s graduate programs in German, Hispanic, Italian, and Russian Studies offer a vibrant research environment, combining the rigour of traditional philological inquiry with a range of other theoretical and methodological approaches, many of them informed and/or creatively challenged by broader transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives. The Department is committed to international standards of excellence in graduate student training.

GERMAN STUDIES

Faculty research specializations in German Studies cover philology and literary history from the 18th century to the present, film studies, history of the book, philosophy, intellectual history, and the history of the German Left. Students may specialize in literature, intellectual history, film, and/or German media studies. Students in our Department often spend time abroad in Germany and Austria and take part in conference and workshop organization. Notable facilities and resources connected with German Studies include the Interacting with Print research group and the Moving Image Research Laboratory.

Ph.D. Language Tests

Ph.D. candidates in other disciplines who are required to pass a reading test in German may prepare themselves by taking GERM 200 or GERM 202.

HISPANIC STUDIES

The Department of Hispanic Studies is committed to the disciplined study of all aspects of the literature, intellectual history, and culture of Spain and Latin America, as well as the Spanish and Portuguese languages. Currently, the Department of Hispanic Studies has three outstanding research areas: Colonial and Peninsular Baroque and Enlightenment, with a variety of intellectual and methodological approaches; Queer Studies, particularly focused on contemporary Argentina and Spain; and Film and Literary Studies on contemporary Latin America. The Department has an outstanding Media Resource Centre, whose collection of films and music has over 300 titles from Latin America and Spain, with media in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

A limited number of language instructorships are available each year and those interested should apply c/o the Graduate Coordinator.

ITALIAN STUDIES

The Department's current areas of expertise and methodological orientations are broadly indicated below. Prospective applicants should also consult individual faculty members' research profiles on the Departmental website for more detailed information. They are also invited to send research inquiries to individual professors.

  • A) 19th, 20th, and 21st century narrative;
  • B) Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture; and
  • C) Italian cinema from post–World War II neorealism to the present.

These areas are approached from the perspective of:

  1. relations with the historical, social, and political contexts;
  2. intertextual relations with contemporary and antecedent works and movements in other European literatures and cultures, with a special attention to questions of identity construction;
  3. gender issues; and
  4. cultural studies.

Master's Programs

The coursework and the thesis and/or research papers must demonstrate that the student possesses a sound knowledge of the language, is familiar with all periods of Italian literature, and has developed the background and skills necessary to carry out scholarly research.

The regulations concerning the M.A. degree are as stated in the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies eCalendar under University Regulations and Resources.

Ph.D. (Ad Hoc)

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures also offers the possibility of directly entering a Ph.D. program in Italian Studies on an ad hoc basis, or, with the permission of the supervisor and the approval of the Graduate Program Director, exceptional students may transfer from the M.A. to the ad hoc Ph.D. program.

RUSSIAN AND SLAVIC STUDIES

Master's and Ph.D. in Russian

The Department of Russian and Slavic Studies of McGill University offers graduate instruction at both the M.A. and Ph.D. levels. Our faculty specializes in 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature and culture, working in such areas as the Russian Novel, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, the Russian Avant-Garde, Russian Modernism, Russian Opera, Russian Romanticism, High Stalinist Culture, Post-Soviet culture, cultural mythology, and intertextuality. We also offer a broad and flexible range of graduate seminars. Graduate students collaborate with the Department of Art History and Communication Studies; the World Cinemas Department; and the McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women (MCRTW). Our small but dynamic program allows for a great deal of personal attention, an atmosphere of collegiality, and a close-knit intellectual community. The candidate for admission must have an aptitude for research work and be able to make an original contribution to knowledge. Particular emphasis is placed on working with the original language; credits may be allotted, at the discretion of the Department, to coursework leading to advanced proficiency in this area.

Ph.D. Language Tests

Ph.D. candidates in other departments who require Russian for research and in satisfaction of the language requirement should contact the Department for recommended courses.

Original research work and the scholarly qualities of the thesis are the principal criteria for conferring a graduate degree in Russian.

GERMAN STUDIES

Master of Arts (M.A.); German (Thesis) (48 credits)
Students enrolled in the M.A. with thesis option complete six 3-credit courses and write an M.A. thesis under the direction of one faculty member. Students enrolled in the thesis M.A. in German take fewer courses than non-thesis M.A. students and finish their program by conceiving and executing a substantial research project under the supervision of one professor. M.A. students in this track have gone on to do Ph.D. degrees in German and related fields, and pursue academic careers.
Master of Arts (M.A.); German (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)
Students enrolled in the M.A. with non-thesis option complete nine 3-credit courses and three research papers. This program is geared toward students who may or may not plan to do a Ph.D. in German and therefore do not necessarily need to undertake a major research project, but would like to acquire a broad basis of courses in German culture and media. Non-thesis M.A. students have gone on to pursue a variety of careers inside and outside the academy.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); German
Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in German Studies take courses in literature, film, and media history during their first two years, before designing a set of comprehensive qualifying exams tailored toward their particular research and future teaching interests. After passing their exams (including language examination(s)), students may develop a doctoral dissertation topic in consultation with a Departmental faculty member. Students enrolled in this program have gone on to teach German Studies and related fields in universities, CEGEPs, or high schools, as well as pursuing some careers outside of the academy.

HISPANIC STUDIES

Master of Arts (M.A.); Hispanic Studies (Thesis) (48 credits)

(Currently, students are only admitted to the thesis option in exceptional circumstances.)

The combination of three courses and one Thesis Preparation course will permit these students the 12 credits per term average that is required for most fellowships.

Master of Arts (M.A.); Hispanic Studies (Non-Thesis) (48 credits)
All candidates pursuing the M.A. without thesis, both full- and part-time, must successfully complete at least one of their Guided Research projects during the first 12 months. In accordance with the regulations established by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, students in non-thesis programs who do not take at least 12 credits per term for the duration of the program are considered to proceed toward their degree on a part-time basis.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Hispanic Studies
Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Hispanic Studies take courses in literature, film, and intellectual history during their first year, before preparing the comprehensive qualifying exams. After passing their exams, students may develop a doctoral dissertation topic in consultation with a Departmental faculty member. Students enrolled in this program have gone on to teach Hispanic Studies and related fields in universities and CEGEPs, as well as pursuing some careers outside of the academy.

ITALIAN STUDIES

Master of Arts (M.A.); Italian (Thesis) (45 credits)
Students enrolled in the M.A. (thesis) option complete seven 3-credit courses and write an M.A. thesis under the direction of a faculty member.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Italian (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)
Students enrolled in the M.A. (non-thesis) option complete nine 3-credit courses and two in-depth research papers under the direction of a faculty member.

RUSSIAN AND SLAVIC STUDIES

Master of Arts (M.A.); Russian (Thesis) (48 credits)
The M.A. in Russian and Slavic Studies consists of coursework plus a research component, which consists of an M.A. thesis proposal and an M.A. thesis.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Russian
The Ph.D. in Russian and Slavic Studies consists of coursework, multiple examinations, language requirements, and dissertation. It offers graduate instruction (seminar and guided independent reading courses) as well as research and thesis supervision in the fields of Russian culture and literature. Students also take graduate courses offered in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in literary theory, film, and media that allow for broader transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives in their research. They are encouraged and helped to participate in conferences and to publish the results of their ongoing research. Particular emphasis is laid on working with the original language. Doctoral dissertation topics are developed in consultation with the faculty. Graduates from the program have gone on to careers in teaching in Canadian and international universities and institutions, as well as exploring other related fields.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 21, 2014).

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

TOEFL is required of all graduate studies applicants whose mother tongue is not English, and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone). A minimum score of 86, with each component score not less than 20, is required on the Internet-based TOEFL examination. Proof of TOEFL must be presented at the time of application or shortly thereafter. McGill University's institution code is 0935.

Students also have the option of taking the IELTS (International English Language Testing Service System) examination, for which the minimum score is an overall band average of 6.5 (academic module). Effective for applicants entering the Winter 2015 semester, McGill University only accepts IELTS scores submitted electronically by an IELTS test center. No paper test report forms will be accepted. An institutional code is NOT required; applicants must ask the test center where the test is to be taken to send test scores electronically to McGill using the IELTS system.

GERMAN STUDIES

Master's

In order to be admitted to the M.A. program in German Studies, candidates must have at least a B.A. degree in German from McGill University or an equivalent degree from another college or university of recognized standing.

Applicants with joint degrees or majors degrees may be admitted on individual merit but they may be required to take additional courses. They may also be able to enter the program as Qualifying students for the purpose of completing these preliminary studies.

In order to pursue graduate studies in German, all candidates must have considerable fluency in German, as all courses are given in German.

Graduate students holding a Language Instructorship or who are otherwise employed will normally not be allowed to take more than four courses a year. Students may be required to attend an approved course in English if their knowledge of that language is judged inadequate. All graduate students are expected to attend the staff-student colloquium.

Ph.D.

M.A. or equivalent.

HISPANIC STUDIES

M.A. Degree (Non-Thesis or Thesis)

(Currently, students are only admitted to the thesis option in exceptional circumstances.)

In order to be admitted to graduate work in Hispanic Studies, candidates must fulfil the following prerequisites:

  1. Candidates must possess a B.A. degree with Honours or, in certain cases, Joint Honours in Hispanic Studies from McGill University, or an equivalent degree from another college or university of recognized standing.
  2. Candidates who do not possess the above prerequisites may, with special permission, enter the Department as Qualifying students for the purpose of completing these preliminary studies. They may have to take, among other courses, HISP 550, Comprehensive Examination.

Students may be required to attend an approved course in English or French if their knowledge of either language is deemed inadequate.

Prospective candidates may certainly express their preference, but should note that the Graduate Committee of the Department of Hispanic Studies reserves the right to determine which of the two options (thesis/non-thesis) students admitted to the M.A. program will be permitted to pursue and/or continue to completion.

Ph.D. Degree

Applicants must normally possess an M.A. in Hispanic Studies, or in a related discipline, from a university of recognized standing. These applicants will be admitted to Ph.D. 2 and follow the program requirements listed below. Exceptionally qualified candidates may apply to enter into Ph.D. 1 directly from the B.A. Honours, and will be required to complete an additional six 3-credit courses above those listed below.

Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in Spanish, and when appropriate in Portuguese, plus a working knowledge of either French or English.

Applicants should submit samples of research papers that they have completed during the course of their previous studies. Submission of the results of the Graduate Record Examination is recommended, but not required.

ITALIAN STUDIES

The B.A. degree with Honours or Joint Honours in Italian or its equivalent and a CGPA of 3.2 constitute the minimum requirement. Applicants who do not have these prerequisites may be admitted to a Qualifying year or, in some cases, to a Qualifying term.

RUSSIAN AND SLAVIC STUDIES

The minimum academic requirement is normally a high standing in an undergraduate degree with Honours Russian (or an equivalent specialization). Further, the Department must be convinced that the candidate for admission has an aptitude for research work and will be able to make an original contribution to knowledge.

A working knowledge of French is recommended for the Ph.D. program.

Any necessary preparation to fulfil these requirements will be offered within the Department or elsewhere at McGill. Certain graduate courses may be taken by arrangement at approved universities.

Application Procedures for Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:
  • Written Work
  • Additional Writing Sample – for Italian Studies only: a critical essay, written in Italian if the written work submitted is in English
  • Research Proposal – which should include a brief personal statement
  • Interview – for Russian and Slavic Studies only; where appropriate, if necessary by telephone, with members of the Department Graduate Committee

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines listed here are set by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Jan. 30 Fall: Jan. 30 Fall: Same as Canadian/International
Winter: Oct. 15 Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: Same as Canadian/International
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 21, 2014).

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