Prior to completing the comprehensive exam, students will create a reading list with input from their supervisory committee. The reading list will identify 3 areas of concentration and include approximately 100 readings.
The exam must be taken between June of year one and December of year two. The exam is comprised of a written component and an oral component. Students will receive 3 questions in each area of concentration (for a total of 9 questions) and must answer 1 of the 3 options for each concentration. The questions are determined by the supervisory committee and are based on the readings identified in the reading list.
The student may choose to take the exam in one of three formats:
One-day exam: in this format, students write the exam over an eight hour period, in closed room on campus. The exam is open book but internet access is not permitted. Citations must be included in the exam and the length of each answer should be between 2000-2500 words.
Two day exam: in this format, students write the exam over two periods, one day apart. In total the exam will last eight hours. The exam is open book but internet access is not permitted. Citations must be included in the exam and the length of each answer should be between 2000-2500 words.
Five day exam: in this format, students have a five day period (including weekends) to write the exam. The exam may be written either on or off campus. It is expected that responses will contain greater depth than the one or two day format, and should be 3500 to 4500 words. Citations are expected.
The written exam is submitted electronically to all committee members and to the graduate office.
The oral exam takes place no later than one week following the submission of the written exam.