Qualifying Exams

The qualifying examinations in Asian religions are taken after the conclusion of required course work and must be completed before admission to candidacy. Ordinarily students take the examinations in the third year of residence. Preparation for the qualifying examination is comprised of a combination of course work and supplementary individual readings.

The Asian Religions program has four qualifying exams:

  1. A translation and exegesis of a primary text of the student’s choosing.  
  2. A research paper of publishable quality. This can be an expansion of a paper prepared in a graduate seminar. There will be an oral discussion of the paper after it has been submitted.
  3. A literature review of a topic to be determined by the student in consultation with faculty. This is followed by an oral discussion.
  4. A research paper on a topic closely related to the student’s thesis topic. A student has the option to request that this be substituted by an oral examination on a topic chosen by the student.

Suggested areas include:

Scripture and doctrinal exegesis in Asia
Monastic life; sectarianism and historiography in Asia
Ritual and magic in Asia
Indian literature
Indian art and archeology
Chinese or Japanese history
Chinese or Japanese literature
Chinese or Japanese art history
Sanskrit language and linguistics
Tibetan literature
Himalayan religious history
Tibetan Buddhist art