Each student will be tested in the required four fields in a two-hour oral examination. The student’s adviser will chair the committee, and the committee will normally contain four persons, one to examine the student in each of the four designated fields. Each exam list should include approximately sixty books; these lists should be drafted by the end of year two in consultation with examining faculty. The subjects of these exams will vary depending on the students.
The qualifying exam will be taken no later than the spring of a student’s third year of residency. During this exam the four examiners direct questions to the candidate based on the comprehensive exam lists and the student’s unfolding research areas. The primary purpose of the exam is to test the student’s ability to engage in the regular public work of research presentation, pedagogical engagement, and scholarly exchange.