MLA Doctoral Study Report Featured in Article on Time to Degree

According to a study by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, much of the discrepancy between time to degree in the humanities and time to degree in other fields can be attributed to course work: PhD candidates in the humanities spend nearly twice as long on predissertation course work than do graduate students in other fields, reports Inside Higher Ed. The article notes that while some efforts to reduce time to degree in the humanities have focused solely on the dissertation, the MLA’s Report of the Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature also calls for reexamining comprehensive coverage requirements. As Russell Berman, the former MLA president, who led the task force, observes, “If humanities departments could reduce the time required to complete the pre-dissertation phase . . . , the recommendation in the MLA report of Ph.D. completion within five years would become attainable.”