The 5-Year Humanities Ph.D.

December 4, 2012

Complaints about doctoral education in the humanities -- it takes too long, it's not leading to jobs,it's disjointed -- are rampant. So too are periodic calls for radical reform. But Stanford University is encouraging its humanities departments to redesign humanities doctoral programs so that students could finish in five years (down from the current average of seven at the university and much longer elsewhere), and so that the programs prepare students for careers in and out of academe. While the university is not forcing departments to change, it last week gave all humanities departments a request for proposals that offered a trade: departments that give concrete plans to cut time to degree and change the curriculum will be eligible for extra support -- in particular for year-round support for doctoral students (who currently aren't assured of summer support throughout their time as grad students). The plans would need to be measurable, and the support would disappear if plans aren't executed.

Article Source: Inside Higher Ed