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Field of Study Examinations

Graduate --> Forms and Program Requirements --> Field of Study Examinations 


 

The Field of Study is normally an area that provides a student with an area of teaching expertise and leads to a more focussed field of doctoral research and the area of research expertise when applying for academic jobs. Field of Study examinations are designed to offer students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, in considerable depth and complexity, of a range of texts on their list. They will be expected to demonstrate a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of the current scholarly debates and critical contexts in the field. Field of Study examinations are designed to offer students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, in considerable depth and complexity, of a range of texts on their list. They will be expected to demonstrate a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of the current scholarly debates in the field.

Field of Study Examinations have two components: written and oral. The written Field of Study examination is based on one of the Department's Field Reading Lists. The candidate's written answers provide the basis for the oral Field of Study examination. (The Field of Study examinations have informally called the "candidacy examinations"; however, with revisions to the candidacy process, the written and oral examinations with only be two components out of several leading to candidacy.) Until 2015, the successful completion of the oral examination is the final stage of candidacy. By 2016, the final dissertation proposal written after the oral examination will be the final candidacy stage. All Candidacy components must be completed by the 28th month in program.

Written answers will be assessed on the use of relevant literature and techniques, organization, literary competence, originality, argumentation leading to the conclusions, and anything else related to the field the examiners consider important.

Written Field of Study Examination

  • Prepared by the Supervisory Committee, the written Field  of Study examination is a take-home examination that consists of three parts, each requiring the student to answer one of two questions (for a total of three of six questions). The written Field of Study Examination forms the basis of, and must be completed no less than ten working days before, the oral Field of Study examination.
  • Students may collect the examination questions from the English Graduate Program Office three weeks before the due date; that is, the date of submitting the completed examination essays to the Department.  Each essay response to a question on the take-home examination normally ranges from 3500 to 4000 words, must be carefully edited and proofread, and include a bibliography.

Oral Field of Study Examination

  • The oral will normally take place no less than 10 working days after the written examination has been handed in to all examiners, and will be scheduled by the departmental Graduate Program Office. These examinations are not public.
  • Questions in the Oral Examination may address the full range of texts and on the approved reading list, and critical contexts, and will normally begin with questions about the written examination. The examination will last no longer than two hours. The exam will be chaired by a neutral chair from the department.
  • Examiners will assess a pass or a fail for the each component of the exam (written and oral separately). A majority vote is required for a pass. Assessment will take the form of written reports from each examiner, which will be provided to both the supervisor and the student. The overall result of the exam will be communicated immediately to the student after the oral examination is complete. In the event of a failed examination, one re-take will be allowed, and must be completed within 6 months of the original examination date. Normally, students will retake both written and oral components of the examination. [Please note: that assessment practices may vary depend on registration year: student may opt for most recent regulations or for those in effect at year of admission.]