A candidate for the Ph.D. degree in Modern Thought and Literature must complete three years (nine quarters) of full-time work, or the equivalent, in graduate study beyond the B.A. degree. They are expected to complete at least 18 courses of graduate work in addition to the dissertation. At least three consecutive quarters of graduate work must be taken at Stanford. Students may spend one year of graduate study abroad.
Programs of study are individually arranged and offer a great deal of flexibility. Approximately half of the student’s course work and individual reading (which generally takes two to three years) will consist of the intensive study of a modern literature from 1750 to the present. The other half will consist of interdisciplinary study in one or more areas, which may include a reasonable amount of creative work. In addition, the student must pass an oral examination and complete an interdisciplinary dissertation. The program also requires reading knowledge in two modern foreign languages. It is recommended that students begin the program with an advanced knowledge of at least one foreign language.