1. Preliminary plan of study:
During the student’s first semester, the student will consult the Graduate Advisor for help in drawing up a tentative plan of study as the early basis of preparing for the exam. This plan may be revised later.
2. Selection of an examining committee and approval of a finalized plan of study:
A student choosing the exam option will select an examining committee chairperson and two other committee members. The student will need to select three faculty members from any graduate courses he or she has taken, or will take, subject to departmental approval. For the M. A. exam, each committee member will write a question based on his or her course. The parameters of the exam will be left up to the discretion of each committee member; however, the three committee members should discuss and agree on the goals for the exam. The exam should allow students to demonstrate conceptual and contextual knowledge based on the course work. For example, a student in Shakespeare should have a general knowledge of the Renaissance as well as the ability to analyze a specific text or issue in depth. The student will meet with each of the three committee members to help with any needed revision of the preliminary plan of study and to finalize it by signing it. One model that committee members may wish to employ is the one below:
**For each exam, the student and professor will decide upon a mixture of works covered in the course as well as additional works not covered in the course. For example, the professor might ask the student to read one or two more novels by an author studied, or to read one or two theoretical works and apply them to the course. With six texts, a question can ask for synthesis or application.
3. Each committee member will write one question from the course the student has taken from him or her. Students will not be informed of the exam questions prior to the exam.
4. The entire examination will consist of three questions, one from each course, drawn up by each committee member. The exam will be six hours long, with two hours allotted for each question.
5. Evaluation: Committee members have two options: Pass or Fail
If a student fails the examination, he or she may take a different version of it one more time during a subsequent semester. Students must re-take only those exams they failed. They will not need to take the entire examination unless they failed all three parts of it. The committee will work with each student to determine the time and date of the second examination. Students who fail the exam a second time will be denied the M. A. degree.
6.Any student who entered the Program prior to fall, 2009 may choose to take an earlier version of the exam in place when the student was admitted.
7. This version of the exam will remain in place until at least fall semester, 2015.