Students admitted to the stand-alone PhD program in AMST prior to fall 2014 may opt in to these qualifying exam requirements simply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and stating their intent. These qualifying exam requirements are only for stand-alone PhDs. Students pursuing combined PhDs are still held to the previous seven hour exam format.
Students entering the program as of fall 2014 (approved October 2013).
- By the end of the 4th semester (spring of year two), grad students are expected to have:
- Decided on which two fields of expertise they want to be examined.
- Compiled a list of five-ten key works for each field.
- Identified two faculty examiners per field to constitute an exam committee as follows:
- at least two AMST core faculty members, one of whom will chair the committee;
- one representative for the student's PhD minor (can be a core or affiliate AMST faculty member but does not have to be either); and
- a fourth faculty member. Ideally this would be an AMST core or affiliate faculty member, but it may be someone with no AMST affiliation subject to the exam chair's approval.
- Filed this information with the DGS.
- Over the summer between 4th and 5th semesters, PhD students should expand the lists for each field, in consultation with their faculty examiners, to cover at least 80 texts per field.
- All coursework for AMST and the PhD minor must be complete in order for students to take their qualifying exams. If the student is not on-track to meet this deadline by the start of the 5th semester, s/he must schedule a meeting with the DGS to discuss time to degree (see G. below). Lack of timely progress towards degree may jeopardize a student's eligibility to receive funding from the department.
- Qualifying Exam Procedures: By the start of the 5th semester, students will:
- Write two 25-page essays (one per field) that result in a critical review of the key texts in the field, working under the direction of the faculty examiners and drawing upon the works on the students’ expanded lists.
- Once the examiners for each field approve the respective critical essay, they will inform the DGS of this. NOTE: There is a one-year time limit for approval of both parts of the written essay portion. After one-year deadline has passed, if both parts of the written portion of the qualifying exam have not been approved by the committee, the student will have failed the exam (see retakes).
- Student will then take a two hour oral examination in which all four examiners are present in person or via Skype.
- At the end of the oral examination, the examination committee will determine whether the student passed or whether s/he should re-take the exams in whole or in part the following semester. The committee will report this to the DGS.
- Re-takes: The oral examination may be retaken only once, in whole or in part, at the discretion of the student's exam committee.
- Upon successful completion of the written and oral components of the qualifying examination, the student will then assemble a dissertation committee and spend semester 6th working on a dissertation prospectus. The Prospectus must be completed and receive the committee's approval one semester after the student has passed the written and oral parts of the qualifying exams.
- If student has not completed the coursework for AMST and/or met the language requirement according to this projected timeline, the process may be pushed back one semester.
- We strongly feel it is in our students' best interests to complete their coursework and advance to candidacy in a timely manner in order to make them eligible for external funding opportunities.