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Comprehensive/Exit Examination

Students in the MA, MAT, and MSEd. programs complete a comprehensive or exit examination, usually in their final semester of study (MAT students take the exam in the semester before they student teach). The Graduate Director will contact students in the first week of the semester to determine who is taking the exam that term. Students should notify him or her at that time of their intention to sit for the exam so that they can be enrolled in ENG599, a non-credit bearing course that confirms registration for the exam.

The MA exam will comprise two essay questions and will run for four hours. Each essay topic will begin with a theoretical prompt, though no previous knowledge of the theorist in question will be required to answer. Exam takers will be presented with several options to choose from. In their two essays, students must focus on two texts from pre-1800 periods and on two texts from post-1800 periods.

The MAT/MSEd. Comprehensive exam comprises two parts: an essay question based upon close reading of a lyric poem or excerpt from a another kind of literary work; and an essay question on teaching the lyric poem or other literary work chosen for analysis in the first essay question.

Part I: Close Reading. There will be at least three questions to choose from. One of the questions will always deal with a short lyric poem, and the other questions with an excerpt from a long work (poem, novel, story, play).

Part II: Teaching Sequence. For this question you will explain how you would teach in the secondary classroom the literary work you have analyzed in Part I.