Comprehensive Examination

Doctoral students take comprehensive examinations after completing 36 credits of graduate course work and INGL 8099 (Position Paper). Upon enrolling in INGL 8099, students select a primary area of specialization appropriate to the dissertation project. They also choose two secondary areas from one of the following lists, in consultation with their advisors:

a) poetrya) morpho-syntax
b) dramab) phonology
c) narrativec) socio-cultural
d) criticism/theory/languaged) historical-comparative
e) historical texts and non-fictione) language acquisition

These are central areas of knowledge production in Anglophone literature and linguistics and include scholarship on the Caribbean region and its diaspora. They represent contemporary fields of research and academic work and are not limited to material covered in course work.

For the primary area, the student has already prepared and submitted the Position Paper during the Research course (INGL 8099).

In the secondary areas, each student chooses to take both exam areas as either sit-down or take-home, in consultation with the advisor.

The sit-down exam takes place over a two-day consecutive period for three (3) hours each. This exam is typically scheduled for the second week in November (Semester I) or the second week in April (Semester II). (Exact dates will be announced at the beginning of each semester.)

For the take-home exam, the first question is sent to the student via email typically by the first week of November/April and is due via email by mid-November/April. The second question is administered via email by mid-November/April and is due by the end of November/April. Exact dates will be announced at the beginning of each semester.

Comprehensive Examination Procedure:

Formulation of exam questions: Each of the exam area advisors will formulate the question(s) for the exam area that he/she/they are supervising. The questions will be circulated among the committee members before they are given to the student. It is important that the student maintain close communication with the area advisors as the focus of each exam question is determined.

Written exam in two secondary areas: The student should consult with the area advisors at the beginning of ENGL 8890: Writing of Doctoral Critical Essays, in order to make revisions to the unannotated bibliographies prepared during the Research Seminar (ENGL 8099), as they will function as the reading lists for the exams. The final version of these lists should be submitted by the second week of the semester in which the student enrolls in INGL 8890. The exam committee chair is responsible for soliciting the exam questions from the secondary area advisors a minimum of one week before the exam period. As a courtesy, each of the committee members should see the questions and have time to provide suggestions for revision before the questions are given to the student on the exam date.

Evaluation of the Exams:
The student may expect the exam evaluation process to be completed within three weeks after the exam period. The comprehensive exams in the two secondary areas will be read and evaluated by the entire committee, with each of the two area exams counting for 50% of the overal exam grade.

The exams are graded as PB (Pass Bueno), PN (Pass Notable), PS (Pass Sobresaliente), or NP (Fail). Students who do not pass the exam or pass only a portion of it receive a NP (No Pass) and must enroll in ENGL 8890 the following semester. Students have two (2) opportunities to pass the comprehensive examinations.

Doctoral Program Candidacy: Upon successful completion of the exams, the student advances to candidacy within the program and may register for English 8891: Dissertation I. A doctoral candidate is considered “ABD” (“all but dissertation”) only after he/she has successfully defended his/her doctoral dissertation proposal during 8891