Program Requirements

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Declaring the Designated Emphasis

As a Ph.D. candidate in any of the affiliated departments, you may declare a Designated Emphasis (DE) in Critical Theory after taking the first course of the three-course Critical Theory core sequence described below and receiving a grade of "B+" or better.

To declare the DE, you should file an "Application for Designated Emphasis" form, which can be printed out from the Graduate Studies website (http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/current-students/forms-information). This form needs to dropped off at the program office (Sproul Hall room 210) to be routed for approval. 


Coursework

The minimum requirements to complete the DE in Critical Theory are four courses. The first three of these are offered by the Critical Theory program itself:

  • CRI 200A: Approaches to Critical Theory (a survey of contemporary theoretical writers and approaches)
  • CRI 200B: Problems in Critical Theory (courses focusing on some specific theoretical topic)
  • CRI 200C: History of Critical Theory (a survey of foundational writers and texts from before the twentieth century).

It is recommended (but not required) that you take CRI 200A first as a foundation for your further study. (Many affiliated departments already require this course as one of their regular departmental requirements.)

The fourth required course, an elective, can be another CRI 200B (the ideal and preferred scenario) or, alternatively, an approved course focusing on theoretical issues from a student's home department or from one of the departments affiliated with the DE. For approval of an elective from outside of the Critical Theory Department, please submit the syllabus, the reading list, and your term paper from that course to the staff contact for the DE. With it, please also append a brief statement (150-200 words) saying what its theoretical focus is (the syllabus speaks for itself). This is to encourage students to submit only papers for which they feel able to make a clear claim to a theoretical focus. The director will review the syllabus and paper to insure that the syllabus focuses on theoretical issues and that the final paper has an identifiable theoretical focus equivalent to that expected of a CRI 200B course. Students will be allowed one petition (i.e. one syllabus and one paper) per quarter; if the petition is denied you must wait until the next quarter to resubmit.

Faculty in Critical Theory also sometimes offer two-credit "reading courses" which meet in the evening and which faculty undertake on an overload basis. Such courses afford a special opportunity for careful study of a single writer, or even a single major text.

Please consult the Chair to inquire about courses suitable to serve as the elective course, or for general advice about these requirements and the critical theory curriculum in general.


 Qualifying Examination

All four of the required courses for the DE have to be completed before your Qualifying Examination. Students in the program are also expected to incorporate critical theory as a central category of analysis in their qualifying examination lists and dissertation topics; and one member of the qualifying examination committee must be an affiliate of Critical Theory.

Your Qualifying Examination Application form must be signed by the Chair of Critical Theory in addition to the chair of your committee. When approaching the Chair for approval, please be prepared to specify the four required courses you have taken that fulfill the requirements, including the elective course, and the committee member who will represent the DE.

After you have passed your Qualifying Exam, your "Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy" form also needs to be signed by the Chair of Critical Theory.  This form is where you declare your dissertation committee, including the DE representative, as required by Grad Studies. You should file this form with Graduate Studies as soon as possible after the Qualifying Examination. 


 Degree

When you have completed all the degree requirements in your home department, the "Designated Emphasis Report Form Final Verification" must be approved by the Chair before being filed with Graduate Studies.

The degree you will receive after fulfilling these requirements will be a Ph.D. in your discipline "with a designated emphasis in Critical Theory."

For more information about these requirements and procedures, contact Prof. Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli at ravetto@ucdavis.edu or Nancy Masson at nkmasson@ucdavis.edu.


Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory Program Requirements

Revised: February 28, 2017, Approved by Graduate Council: June 16, 2017

Critical Theory Admission Criteria

Student must fill out the Application for DE Emphasis Form (https://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/sites/default/files/upload/files/current-students/gs323-de-app.pdf), obtain the signature of the student’s Graduate Group Program Advisor and submit it to the Chair of the Critical Theory for approval.

Coursework

The minimum requirements to complete the DE in Critical Theory are four courses. The first three of these are offered by the Critical Theory program itself:

  • CRI 200A: Approaches to Critical Theory
  • CRI 200B: Problems in Critical Theory
  • CRI 200C: History of Critical Theory 

The fourth required course, an elective, can be another CRI 200B or, alternatively, an approved course focusing on theoretical issues from a student's home department or from one of the departments affiliated with the DE. For approval of an elective from outside of the Critical Theory Department, the student submits the syllabus, the reading list, and the term paper from that course to the staff contact for the DE, along with a brief statement (150-200 words) saying what its theoretical focus is (the syllabus speaks for itself). The director will review the syllabus and paper to insure that the syllabus focuses on theoretical issues and that the final paper has an identifiable theoretical focus equivalent to that expected of a CRI 200B course. Students will be allowed one petition (i.e. one syllabus and one paper) per quarter; if the petition is denied you must wait until the next quarter to resubmit.

Qualifying Examination

All four of the required courses for the DE have to be completed before the student’s Qualifying Examination. Students in the program are also expected to incorporate critical theory as a central category of analysis in their qualifying examination lists and dissertation topics; and one member of the qualifying examination committee must be an affiliate of Critical Theory.

The student’s Qualifying Examination Application form must be signed by the Chair of Critical Theory in addition to the chair of the examination committee. 

After passing the Qualifying Exam, the "Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy" form also needs to be signed by the Chair of Critical Theory.