Qualifying examination

Before advancing to candidacy, the student must pass the qualifying examination. Students are encouraged to take this exam soon after their course work is completed, so they may begin their dissertation research.

Instructions for Taking the Qualifying Examination in AAADS

  1. 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, a student should discuss the nature of the examination with his/her advisory committee.
  2. The reading list for the examination will be compiled by the student’s advisor and advisory committee, with input from the student and suggestions of texts from the faculty. The responsibility for the final reading list belongs to the student’s advisory committee.
  3. Examination questions will be written and graded by the student’s advisory committee. The written examination will be take home, completed within three days, and returned to the student’s advisor. The two-hour oral examination will follow within one week, and will focus on a discussion of the student’s written exam, where the student 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 the student’s advisory committee in consultation with the student.
  4. Examinations will be given in October, February and May, with exceptions granted as necessary. Students are graded pass/fail, and the pass/fail grade will reflect the consensus of the student’s advisory committee. The chair of the advisory committee (who is the student’s advisor) prepares the examination evaluation. Students may repeat the written examination once, and will take the oral examination after the written has been passed successfully. If a student repeats the written examination, he/she is still required to take the oral examination.
  5. Paper work that needs to be completed concerning the examination will be provided by the student’s 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.