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PhD Comprehensive Examination

Students will declare in writing their intent to take the PhD comprehensive examination. The examination normally will take place only upon the completion of the second language requirement and no earlier than the end of the first year after admission to candidacy, but no later than one year after the completion of the program courses. The examination normally will be scheduled in the second semester following the candidate’s completion of courses.

A comprehensive examination committee will be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Head of the Department, in accordance with General Regulations governing the School of Graduate Studies.

Students will prepare for three examinations by undertaking supervised readings in three fields decided by the comprehensive examination committee. The examination format and dates will be determined by the comprehensive examination committee in consultation with the student. Students will be notified of their results in terms of a grade of fail, pass, or pass with distinction.

Format A

Three papers each of one-week duration. For each paper students will be given one question and one week to submit a response in the form of an essay, 20-25 pages, double spaced. The examinations will normally be administered over a five-week period with one-week rest periods between essays. This essay format is potentially useful to students in that it should result in a publishable quality essay.

A sample copy of the examination is available in the Department office.

Format B

Three open-book examinations, each of eight hours’ duration, administered over a one-week period. Students will be given three examination papers as per the following structure:

Paper I. General (Answer one of two questions from each section)
a. Survey/Genres
b. Research Methods
c. Theory/History

Paper II. Folk Literature (Answer one of two questions from each section)
a. Ballad/Song
b. Narrative
c. Speech Play

Paper III. Folklife (Answer one of two questions from each section)
a. Custom
b. Material Culture
c. Belief

A sample copy of the examination is available in the Department office.

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