Comprehensive Examination

All philosophy PhD students will have to pass the Comprehensive Examination.

The PhD Comprehensive Examination shall be administered and evaluated in accordance with General Regulations, Comprehensive Examinations

Department of Philosophy PhD Comprehensive Examination

1. In term 6 of the student’s second year, the student will produce a 2-3-page written Statement of Research, which will outline the area of specialization the student wishes to pursue, the research topic the student wishes to undertake, and a brief bibliography of the works the student intends to use. This will be given to the Supervisor.

2. A Supervisory Committee will be formed in conjunction with the Supervisor and Head, with final approval by the Dean.

3. The Supervisory Committee, in conjunction with the student, will draft a reading list of no more than 12 or 13 texts.

4. The Supervisory Committee and the student negotiate a set of questions. One set will concentrate on Area; the other on Breadth. A total of 5 questions will be drafted.

5. The Student digests the reading list and questions over a period of approximately 4 months.

6. The Supervisory Committee will meet and decide upon 1 Area and 1 Breadth question.

7. The Student will write an in-house essay of approximately 1500-2000 words (5-7 pages) on each of the Area and Breadth Questions over a two-day period. No books or cue cards will be allowed into the examination.

8. The Committee will read the essays in a 2-week period. A decision to proceed to oral examination will be made. An oral examination will be scheduled no later than 3 weeks after the submission of the written examination.

9. The student will defend his/her essays in a 2 hour examination by the end of Term 7 that includes the Supervisory Committee, the Head or Delegate, and a Chair, along with an SGS representative.

10. The written and oral examination together will be graded Pass with Distinction; Pass; Fail. A Fail will generate an automatic Repeat of the written and oral examinations.


Department of Philosophy

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000