Before advancing to candidacy, you must pass the qualifying examination. You are encouraged to take this exam soon after your coursework is completed so you may begin your dissertation research.
Quals + Research Proposal
Instructions for taking the qualifying examination in AAADS
- The qualifying examination will consist of three parts: a field, subfield, and a track specialization exam, with multiple parts for each area. Six months prior to the qualifying examination, you should discuss the nature of the examination with your advisory committee.
- The reading list for the examination will be compiled by your advisor and advisory committee, with input from you and suggestions of texts from the faculty. The responsibility for the final reading list belongs to your advisory committee.
- Examination questions will be written and graded by your advisory committee. The written examination will be take home, completed within three days, and returned to your advisor. The two-hour oral examination will follow within one week, and will focus on a discussion of your written exam, where you will expound upon ideas not fully developed within the take home exam. The dates for both the written and oral examinations will be determined by your advisory committee in consultation with the you.
- Examinations will be given in October, February and May, with exceptions granted as necessary. You will be graded pass/fail, and the pass/fail grade will reflect the consensus of your advisory committee. The chair of the advisory committee (who is your advisor) prepares the examination evaluation. You may repeat the written examination once, and will take the oral examination after the written has been passed successfully. If you repeats the written examination, you are still required to take the oral examination.
- Paper work that needs to be completed concerning the examination will be provided by your advisor and the DGS. The DGS is responsible for the initial sharing of these procedures.
If you have any questions about the qualifying examination, please talk to your advisor first, and if you need additional help, please see the DGS and/or chair of the department.
After passing your qualifying examinations, you will submit an approximately 20-page dissertation proposal to your dissertation committee, as well as the director of graduate studies. The proposal defines the themes and purpose of the dissertation, discusses the available source material, and relates the topic of the dissertation to the existing literature in the field. It should also be accompanied by a significant bibliography.
When the director of the research committee has approved the dissertation proposal, you will formally present it in a meeting with the research committee for comment and approval. Once the proposal has been approved, you will begin to research and then to write the dissertation.