Ph.D. candidates may take their comprehensive exams beginning in the semester after they complete their coursework and foreign language requirements. Following exam specifications required of their concentration, students select four areas for examination, one primary area and three secondary areas (see below). An oral component follows the written examinations in which the candidate responds to questions from his/her exam committee.
Area 1 British Literature to circa 1500
Area 2 British Literature of the Renaissance
Area 3 British Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
Area 4 British Literature of the Nineteenth Century
Area 5 British Literature from circa 1900 to the Present
Area 6 American Literature to circa 1900
Area 7 American Literature from circa 1900 to the Present
Area 8 Literary Theory
Area 9 Rhetoric
Area 10 Linguistics
Area 11 Special Topics. Devised by individual candidates and approved by the graduate faculty committee, Area 11 exams provide students with the opportunity to work in subfields recognized by the academy. Past Area 11 exams include: African-American Literature, Children's Literature, Women’s Literature and Feminist Theory, Narrative Film, Postcolonial Theory, Gothic Fiction, The Short Story, Modern European and American Drama, Lyric Poetry.
Area 12 Folklore
To view Ph.D. plans of study, contact the Graduate Coordinator.