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During or before the last semester in residence, the candidate must pass a written examination based upon the reading list for the Comprehensive Exam in English and American literature.  This list can be obtained from the English Graduate Coordinator or from the Languages and Literature web page. (See below.)  The Comprehensive Exam tests the candidate's ability to integrate knowledge based upon key texts within the history of English and American literature.  If the performance is unsatisfactory, the candidate may retake the exam after a minimum of three months and before a maximum of twelve months.  The result of the second examination will be final.

The Comprehensive Exam is offered two times a year, once at the end of the Fall semester and once at the end of the Spring semester.  The exam is typically given on the Saturday before the last week of classes, and lasts from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. The department does not offer make-up exams. The exam lasts four hours.  Students are encouraged to organize study groups and invite professors to speak on their areas of specialization.  A Sample Comprehensive exam is available from the Languages and Literature web page or from the Graduate Coordinator.

The next Comprehensive Exam will be offered on Saturday, November 22, 2014, from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. in Harned Hall. Please review the Reading List for further information about the content of the exam. 

Please direct all questions to the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Dan Shea,