Master of Arts


Comprehensive Examinations

Oral comprehensive examinations provide a forum for MM and MA students to demonstrate:

  • A command of content in the major area of study
  • An ability to apply appropriate historical knowledge and theoretical skills to the major area of study

They are normally taken during the fourth semester of full-time study, before a panel of at least three faculty members from the major area of study.  A common element of all exams will be responding to a small selection of score excerpts, which students will receive immediately before the exam, and approximately half of the exam time will be devoted to these excerpts. Students will not be permitted to use the Internet, via devices, computers, etc., to assist in their studying of the score excerpts.

Exams will be 2 to 2.5 hours in length and will be scheduled in advance during one of the four allotted Convocation times in April (Tues/Thurs at 3:00 pm) when possible.

Exams will be graded pass/fail, and no follow-up projects to remedy weaknesses exhibited during the exam will be permitted. If a student does not pass the exam, he/she will be allowed one retake in a subsequent semester