Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society Ph.D.

Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, 235 Nicholson Hall, 216 Pillsbury Dr SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-8099; fax: 612-625-4170)
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2020
  • Length of program in credits: 71 to 74
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
While most traditional humanistic disciplines tend to focus either on a given mode of discourse (e.g., art history, musicology) or a specific cultural context (e.g., American studies, European languages and literatures), this program engages a broader problematic--how discourse and cultural production both shape and are shaped by life in time, space, matter, and society. Drawing on a variety of theoretical positions, close attention is paid to various types of discourse, such as music, film, myth, ritual, architecture, landscape and urban design, painting, sculpture, and literature in elite, popular, folk, and mass culture, understanding these as both a site and an instrument of contestation and negotiation among social forces. More generally, the program seeks to re-associate intellectual and cultural history with social and political history, to set discourse of various sorts within a social context, and to consider specific social formations within the ongoing historical process. In all this, the program encourages work that is interdisciplinary (at times, even anti-disciplinary) as well as cross-cultural. The curriculum emphasizes seminars and directed research. The core requirement is a two-semester Basic Research Seminar (CSDS 8001-8002) that develops critical and analytic skills and introduces current theoretical perspectives with the study of historical problems. Each entering graduate student also enrolls in courses that focus on developing skills and experience in teaching and other professional domains. Apart from core courses, many courses are nonrecurring and closely relate to current faculty research. In all cases, students should consult their advisors and the director of Graduate Studies concerning course selections.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The BA and/or MA degree in a humanities or a social science discipline, or other relevant field, is required for admission to the PhD.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
35 credits are required in the major.
12 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: Proficiency in two languages (other than English)
A minimum GPA of 3.50 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Coursework should include a minimum of 12 course credits at the 8xxx-level (excluding CL 8001 and CL 8002).
Required Courses
CSDS 8001 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
CSDS 8002 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
CSDS 8901 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
CSDS Electives
With approval of the advisor and the director of Graduate Studies, up to 3 credits of the 15-­credit requirement may be taken in the field of the minor or supporting program.
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CSDS 5xxx
· CSDS 8xxx
Additional CSDS Courses or Courses in a Related Field
Take 11 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CSDS 5xxx
· CSDS 8xxx
· CL 5xxx
· CL 8xxx
Outside the Major in a Supporting Program
Formal Minor Option
Take 12 or more credit(s) from the following:
A formal minor in another graduate program, excluding Comparative Literature.
or Supporting Program Option
Take 12 or more credit(s) from the following:
Coursework outside of CSDS, CSCL, or CL courses in a coherent and complementary program to be approved by the adviser and the DGS. This option is for students who do not pursue a formal minor in another program.
Thesis Credits
Take 24 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CSDS 8888 {Inactive} (1.0-24.0 cr)
More program views..
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· College of Liberal Arts

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