Program by Year

1st-year Ph.D. students must take and pass 4 FCE graduate courses. These are usually taken as eight 0.5-credit courses.

Within these eight half-courses, two are mandatory:

Declaration of major and minor: at the end of the 1st-year of Ph.D. (end of April), students must declare in writing their desired major and minor, to be chosen from Mediaeval (1200-1300), Renaissance (1400-1500), Baroque (1600-1700), and Contemporary (1800-present) eras of Italian Literature.  By email to the Associate Chair - Graduate (

Declaration of provisional thesis title and committee members (end of May).  By email to the Associate Chair - Graduate (

* Exception is applied to those students who have completed their Master of Arts at the Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto as they would have already taken this course.

General Comprehensive Examination (August)

PDF iconPh.D. reading list for students of Italian Studies

Research proposal and bibliography for special field part 1 (September).  Fill out the PDF iconform (PDF) and add a document with your Research project (max. 5/6 pp., plus a Bibliography - around 25 items).

Special field examination part 1 (November).  Answer two of three questions based on your Thesis Bibliography.  You may answer either in English or Italian (Dictionaries are available for consultation during the exam.  They are supplied by the Department: English Dictionary, Italian Dictionary, and English-Italian/Italian-English dictionary).

Special field part 2 (March).  One tentative chapter of your Ph.D. dissertation which will be discussed and evaluated by your Thesis committee. The PDF iconform (PDF) to be filled out by the members of the Thesis committee:

Language Requirements:

  • Latin language requirement
  • Another modern language (aside from Italian and English, must be offered by U of T)


PDF iconThesis progress report (PDF) to be provided annually.

* If the student has not completed their thesis by the end of Year 4, they may apply for an extension. 

* This is a general road map and is subject to change on a case-by-case basis, with the approval of the Graduate Associate Chair, as well as the Departmental Chair.