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Graduate Studies

See the following for more information:

Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

In order to be admitted to the program, applicants should have completed a B.A. with Honours in Italian or its equivalent. Students who do not fulfill this requirement may be admitted to a qualifying year or, in some cases, to a qualifying term.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

As of October 2012, McGill’s formerly paper-based graduate application process has been replaced with a more convenient electronic version.  For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents in the new version, please see:  http://www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare

Deadlines for Receipt of Completed Applications:

Please note that incomplete applications (including letters of recommendation, testing scores (TOEFL, IELTS), transcripts, sample(s) of written work) by the application deadline will not be considered.

For Fall Admission:  January 30 (Canadian/Permanent Resident/International).

For Winter Admission:  October 15 (Canadian/Permanent Resident; September 15 (International).  

Special/Exchange/Visiting:  As above.

Application and Required Documents:

Should you decide to formally apply, all supplemental application materials and supporting documents must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system (complete instructions: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/submitting-your-documents.

  • Online application form.
  • Application fee.  You must pay a $100 non-refundable fee or your application will not be processed.
  • All university transcripts. Those transcripts not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified English or French translation (prepared by a licensed translator).
  • Statement of purpose. Applicants are requested to send a brief statement of their interests and the areas they wish to study within the Department (1 to 3 pages).
  • Two letters of recommendation. Those letters not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified English or French translation (prepared by a licensed translator). On the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of at least two professors who are familiar with your academic work. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf. Please note that although you can list public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail on the application form, references uploaded from these addresses will not be accepted by the Department. Therefore you must list a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address for your referees.
  • One or two samples of written work (in PDF format). This can be in the form of a graded paper, a chapter from a thesis, or an academic article.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores for non-native English applicants. This is a requirement of all students applying whose native language is other than English. Results must be on file by application deadline – Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies no longer process applications without official results. Minimum score of 575 or 231 computer based scale. Please note that permanent residents may be required to submit a TOEFL score. IELTS scores are also acceptable: a band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module).
  • For those applying for the Ad Hoc Ph.D.:  a one to two page research proposal in English.

Master's Degree

The Department of Italian provides two streams in its Master's program, the thesis option, and the non-thesis option.

The course work, 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, as stated in the General Information section of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Calendar, apply.

M.A., thesis option:
Required Courses

(12 credits)

  • ITAL 602 (3) The Literary Tradition
  • ITAL 610 (3) Bibliography of Italian Literature
  • ITAL 619 (3) Topics in Literary Theory, or a similar approved course in another department
  • ITAL 680 (3) Research Seminar

Complementary Courses
(9 credits)

9 additional course-credits, chosen in consultation with an advisor from among the graduate courses offered by the Department. The three courses should cover three distinct chronological periods in Italian literature.

Thesis Component – Required
(24 credits)

  • ITAL 698 (6) Thesis Proposal
  • ITAL 699 (18) Thesis

A maximum of 6 credits of graduate courses may be taken outside the Italian Studies Department, upon the advice of the Supervisor and with the permission of the Graduate Studies Director.

In exceptional cases, when program requirements cannot be fulfilled otherwise, students may take ITAL 606 Individual Reading Course 1 and ITAL 607 Individual Reading Course 2 offered as tutorials.

Typically, the first year program will consist of: Literary Theory course, ITAL 610, the three Complementary courses, and ITAL 698. The second year will include ITAL 602, ITAL 680 and the Thesis.

M.A., non-thesis option:
Required Courses

(30 credits)

  • ITAL 602 (3) The Literary Tradition
  • ITAL 610 (3) Bibliography of Italian Literature
  • ITAL 619 (3) Topics in Literary Theory, or a similar approved course in another department
  • ITAL 680 (3) Research Seminar
  • ITAL 690 (9) Research Paper 1
  • ITAL 691 (9) Research Paper 2

Complementary Courses
(15 credits)

15 additional course-credits, chosen in consultation with an advisor from among the graduate courses offered by the Department. The courses should cover at least three distinct chronological periods in Italian literature.

A maximum of 6 credits of graduate courses may be taken outside the Italian Studies Department, upon the advice of the Supervisor and with the permission of the Graduate Studies Director.

In exceptional cases, when program requirements cannot be fulfilled otherwise, students may take ITAL 606 Individual Reading Course 1 and ITAL 607 Individual Reading Course 2 offered as tutorials.

Typically, the first year program will consist of: Literary Theory course, ITAL 610, the three Complementary courses, and ITAL 690. The second year will include ITAL 602, ITAL 680, two Complementary courses and ITAL 691.

Ad Hoc PhD

Description and Requirements

Students wishing to pursue doctoral studies may apply for admission to the ad hoc program, provided that they have a clear research agenda which fits into one of the areas of strength of the Department. The ad hoc PhD offers the flexibility of a personalized program, with course work designed to address the specific needs of the student and to provide the background necessary for the successful completion of the research project. Only a select number of outstanding students are admitted to the ad hoc PhD. They are followed closely throughout their studies, to help them develop the skills and competencies necessary to enter the North American or international job market. A mentorship culture facilitates a smooth and natural transition from student to scholar. Where appropriate, students are encouraged and helped to participate in conferences and to publish the results of their ongoing research. Teaching opportunities are also available when candidates are deemed to have acquired the necessary levels of maturity and preparation.

Typically, the doctoral program comprises a minimum of fifteen course credits, including individual tutorials and and/or courses from other departments or with associate members of the department, as determined by the research project; participation in a one-term Student-Staff Seminar (ITAL 780, 3 credits); Comprehensive Examinations in two distinct areas of specialization; and a publishable dissertation (average length: 200 pages). Reading knowledge of a third language (other than English and Italian) is also required.

Financial Aid

Financial aid packages may be available depending on research funding and on the student's ability to compete for University fellowships. Teaching opportunities also provide financial support.

Areas of Concentration

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) Nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century narrative;

B) Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture; and

C) Italian cinema from post-World War 2 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.

Contact Information:

Ms. Lynda Bastien
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
McGill University
688 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 3R1
E:mail: lynda [dot] bastien [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Phone : (514) 398-4400 ext. 09015