Using 298s to fulfill the language requirement: As a last resort--that is, only when there are no graduate seminars nor upper-division undergraduate courses available--a student may enroll in independent study graduate work to fulfill the language requirement. Occasionally, an advanced student may combine work on an interdisciplinary project with satisfying the language requirement through an independent study course.
To take a 298 to fulfill the graduate language requirement, students must demonstrate through prior course work that they have already attained graduate-level competency in the literature and language in question. They must obtain the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies to enroll in such a course.
Criteria for 298s of this sort are the same for seminars and undergraduate study courses. The student is expected to meet weekly with the supervising professor, to read all texts in the original language and to demonstrate very high proficiency in the reading and interpretation of those texts. The student should not be required to write papers in a language other than English.
Completing the language requirement: In each seminar or course taken to fulfill the language requirement, the student must pass a two-hour exam to be administered by the instructor (unless the instructor feels the exam would be superfluous, in which case the instructor must include a written explanation of why s/he has chosen to waive the exam). The exam will involve a substantial (approximately 2-page) exercise in translation, as well as answering questions about a text of approximately ten pages, written in the second language and related to the course topic. Questions will be posed in the second language, but may be answered in English. Students may use a dictionary during the exam.
A copy of the corrected exam must be submitted to the Graduate Office with a completed form reporting the outcome of the examination in order for the student to receive credit. (See below: Forms: Report on Language Requirements for the Ph.D. in Literature.)