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Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams

Ph.D. students 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). Students may opt to take two additional courses to replace one minor exam.

Ph.D. students choose from the following areas for their comprehensive exams:

  • English Literature to c.1500
  • English Literature of the Renaissance
  • English Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
  • British Literature of the Nineteenth Century
  • British Literature from c.1900 to the Present
  • American Literature to 1865 
  • American Literature from 1865 to 1945
  • American Literature from 1945 to the Present
  • Literary Theory
  • Rhetoric and Composition Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Open Topic
  • Africana Literature and Theory
  • Children’s Literature
  • Creative Writing Studies
  • Drama
  • Feminist Theory and Criticism
  • Narrative Film
  • Southern Literary Studies
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Folklore Studies

To view Ph.D. plans of study for each concentration, check out the Plans of Study page.