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4. PhD Milestones

Built into the PhD program in Comparative Literature is a number of Milestones each student must complete. The Third Term Review is designed to allow students to share their experiences in the graduate program, receive feedback on their coursework and skills, and plan next steps. The Preliminary Examination is the first step in defining a field for research and consists of a reading list and rationale submitted by the student to a committee which may form the basis for the student’s doctoral dissertation committee. The Topics Paper expands on a topic that is relevant to the student’s research interests.  The Preliminary Exam and the Topics Paper are designed to provide opportunities for the student to synthesize course work, to acquire knowledge in areas that may not be studied in courses, and to begin formulating a dissertation topic. A Prospectus detailing the dissertation project is the final step before writing the dissertation itself.  The Dissertation Defense is scheduled through Rackham when the student has completed the dissertation.