Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Ph.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program in Portuguese and Brazilian is advanced graduate study in the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-Speaking World, with concentration on one or more the following areas: Brazil, Continental and Insular Portugal, Lusophone Africa, and Luso-America.

Ph.D. Program Overview

Students enrolled in this program can take advantage of the diverse expertise of the Department's faculty, which embraces specializations in Literature, Language, Philosophy, Comparative Literature, History, Ethnic and Cross-Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Environmental Humanities, Film Studies, and Gender Studies.

It is the department's philosophy that all students should grasp the global nature of the Portuguese-speaking world and study its language, literatures, and cultures as well as apply the tools of research and scholarship to their programs of study. While this doctoral program will allow for an interdisciplinary component, the emphasis of the core program will be on the Portuguese language and Luso-Brazilian literature and culture.

Sequence of the Ph.D. Candidacy Process

The expected route toward the Ph.D. follows this pattern of landmarks:

  • 1st year landmarks: Eight courses and preparation for the general examination based on a set list of books on Luso-Afro-Brazilian literature, history and culture.
  • 2nd year landmarks: Completion of the general examination at the beginning of the academic year, six courses, and assignment as teaching assistant or proctor.
  • 3rd year landmarks: Final two courses, completion of a major paper and a book review, and assignment as teaching assistant, teaching fellow or proctor.
  • 4th-year landmarks: Presentation of the pre-dissertation colloquium, application for a dissertation fellowship, research for dissertation, and assignment as teaching assistant, teaching fellow or proctor.
  • 5th and 6th year landmarks: Completion and defense of the dissertation. During the fifth year students will normally hold a dissertation fellowship. Support for the sixth year isn't guaranteed, but will normally be in the form of a teaching assistantship or fellowship.

Transfer Credit for the Doctoral Degree

Graduate work completed at other institutions and not used in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy elsewhere may, on the recommendation of the Department, be counted towards the fulfillment of the three-year residence requirement (reducing the number of years of full tuition). A student who desires credit for work done elsewhere should file an application after completing one semester at Brown. Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar. No more than the equivalent of one full year of graduate study may be counted towards the three-year residence requirement.

Students who enter our doctoral program in possession of a master's degree in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies or a related field are urged to request a reduction of the three-year residence (tuition) requirement to two years. Reduction of the residence requirement does not affect the number of courses students may take for credit.