Second Language Requirement


Calendar Regulations

Proficiency in a second language is required since it is necessary for the purpose of the proposed doctoral research. The selection of a second language is based upon the student’s research requirements, and the selection is to be made in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor or supervisor. Confirmation that the choice is acceptable must be obtained from the department. Demonstration of proficiency will be determined in accordance with the governing general regulation of the School of Graduate Studies (General Regulations, Evaluation, Evaluation of Graduate Students). If a student is working in recent Anglo-American philosophy, then the student can opt, with the permission of the Graduate Studies Committee, to complete an examination in philosophical logic.

* The language requirement must be fulfilled before a student takes the Ph.D. comprehensive examination.

Second Language Requirement Details

All students must take and pass an examination in French, German, Latin, or Greek before being admitted to doctoral candidacy. Students wishing for an exemption from the language requirement, if working within Anglo-American philosophy, can do so by applying to their advisory committee to replace that examination with an exam prepared by the advisory committee in philosophical logic. The particular language for the language examination will be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisory committee and will be graded by one of the advisory committee members, or, if someone strong enough in the language is unavailable in the committee, then by another faculty member named by the Dean of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Head.

Students must take the examination before preparing for their comprehensive examination, in order to work on their area of study, if applicable, in the original language. Students can take the language examination a maximum of two times and students are expected to pass with a minimum of a ‘B’ grade. Demonstration of proficiency will be determined in accordance with the governing general regulation of the School of Graduate Studies (General Regulations, Evaluation, Evaluation of Graduate Students).

1. The student will have up to three hours for the examination.
2. The examination shall be scheduled with the Department’s Graduate Officer at least one month prior to the examination.
3. The student may bring a print dictionary, but no electronic devices.
4. The student will translate a passage or passages that amount to one single-spaced page of text (about 500 words). The passage should be derived from the texts within the student’s area of study.

Grading Rubric

A ‘B’ grade or above does not require grace in translation so much as one that is grammatically faithful to the text and is precise about the meaning of the text in terms of translation choices for particular words and idiomatic expressions. Errors that change the meaning of the text in a significant manner will be taken as more meaningful than typographical or minor errors. Failures of comprehension may occur in one or two isolated places and still result in a sufficiently passing grade.

Additional Support

A student may, with the approval of the Head, Graduate Officer, Supervisor, and the School of Graduate Studies, opt to take two (or more) courses in the second language at Memorial University to help them learn the required second language. The courses may be added to the student’s program at no extra charge.

However, the coursework and grades for these language courses, being a part of the student’s program, must adhere to the SGS standards required to remain in the program. Taking language courses at Memorial for credit will help students who are starting from nothing to learn the required language.

Contact

Department of Philosophy

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000