The Degree Programs in Folklore and Folklife
Requirements for the MA degree
- Eight courses taken at Penn including FOLK 500, FOLK 502,
FOLK 503, and FOLK 606
- Successful completion of the Graduate Qualifying Exam
- One foreign language
- An MA thesis (the thesis is commonly the development of a
term assignment written for one of the courses, meeting the
standards of a publishable article in a scholarly journal).
One of the eight courses for the MA may be an independent study
course (Folk 999).
Ph.D. students may elect to take the Master's degree en route
to the doctorate by meeting the above requirements.
Requirements for the Ph.D. degree
- Twenty courses, including the four required courses (Folk
500, 503, 502 and 606)
- Successful completion of the First-Year Qualifying Exam
- Two foreign languages (see The Foreign Language Requirement)
- The comprehensive examination, to be taken within a year of
finishing course work
- The dissertation proposal, to be written and accepted within
six months of the completion of the comprehensive examination
- The dissertation, to be completed within three years of the
completion of the comprehensive examination (including the time
necessary to write and have accepted the dissertation proposal)
Successful completion of the MA degree does not automatically
qualify one to continue for the Ph.D. The faculty as a group assesses
the overall performance of each first-year student in coursework
and the Qualifying Examination, to determine their eligibility
for further study.
Those students who enter with an MA may be able to transfer up
to eight course units towards the Ph.D. for this work. Courses
taken at other institutions prior to admission to the folklore
program at Penn may be transferred for credit towards the Ph.D;
no more than eight such courses can be transferred upon approval
by the Associate Dean for Graduate Study.
A minimum of 12 courses must be taken at Penn, including at least
two semesters of full-time attendance.
Courses for the Ph.D. may include no more than two appropriate
Independent Study (999) topics; one additional course may be a
Fieldwork Practicum (702) which may serve as a preparation for
the Ph.D. dissertation fieldwork.
These regulations conform to Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
standards. Any variation from this pattern--such as the need to
extend the time needed for the dissertation because of engaging
in extensive fieldwork--must be approved in writing by a committee
within the Program consisting of the chair, the graduate chair
and the head of the student's dissertation committee. Requests
for such variation should be sent in a letter to the graduate
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