Procedures for HUMA Doctoral Field Examinations

No earlier than completing the 42 semester credit hours required by the degree plan and no later than 63 semester credit hours into the doctoral program, a student proceeds to the doctoral field examinations, a sequence of three written sections as well as one oral section. The examining committee, composed of three regular members of the faculty, oversees definition and preparation of the three examination fields within the guidelines established by the program.

Students present no more than two of the three fields from any one area (Aesthetic Studies, History of Ideas, or Studies in Literature) of the program. The fields themselves should be broadly conceived research and teaching fields rather than narrow topics. These fields (and their accompanying reading lists) may complement one another but may not substantively overlap, and at least one must be dedicated to study of an issue or topic over a period of two hundred years or more.

No later than the 51st semester credit hour in the doctoral program, students should submit to the School's Associate Dean for Graduate Studies a form listing the three exam fields and their respective supervisors, signed by each committee member. Students are encouraged to submit this form as soon as is practical, since doing so officially marks academic progress toward the degree. The Associate Dean must certify that the fields fall within the general parameters established by the program before sending them on to the office of the University's Dean of Graduate Studies.

Within the semester in which the supervising committee is formed, the student also submits initial working bibliographies for the three fields, attached to a second form on which all committee members must approve all three bibliographies. The student must submit final bibliographies for each field to the Associate Dean when the qualifying examination itself is scheduled. Normally, final field bibliographies include between 40 and 60 items each. All bibliographic entries for both preliminary and final field bibliographies must be complete and must be presented in conformity with MLA or Turabian citation style.

No later than one week before the examinations are requested to begin, students must submit a form requesting to schedule the doctoral field examinations. The form includes a checklist of all the prerequisites that must be fulfilled in order to schedule the examinations. This form, along with any outstanding paperwork, must be submitted in hard copy to the Graduate Coordinator. The chair of the examination committee is required to email approval to schedule the examinations to the Graduate Coordinator. The student is responsible for insuring that the chair sends approval to the Graduate Coordinator before submitting the request to schedule the examinations. The request will not be accepted without prior receipt of the chair's approval. At this time, a proposed schedule of examination dates must also be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator.

The three written sections are take-home examinations, each of which poses two broad, synthetic questions. Examination questions will be forwarded by the Graduate Coordinator to the student's UT-Dallas email account at 10:00 a.m. on the date of each examination. (Questions are sent to students on Monday-Thursday only; answers are due on Tuesday-Friday only.) Students must write a 20-25 page paper on one of the two questions presented by each supervising committee member. Students must, no more than 24 hours after the Graduate Coordinator sends the questions, send the corresponding answer as a Word-compatible email attachment to all three supervising committee members and the Graduate Coordinator. Each paper is paginated, double-spaced, and presented in clear 10- or 12-point type. No late written examinations will be accepted.

Students may schedule the three written sections as much as one week apart. If the supervising committee agrees, the written examinations are followed by a two-hour oral section. The oral examination may address the written papers, the three general examination fields, as well as the student's possible dissertation topic(s). At least 48 hours must elapse between the completion of the third examination and the oral examination. The maximum time for completion of the entire examination sequence (written and oral sections) is twenty weekdays. Doctoral field examinations are conducted only while classes are in session (check the official Academic Calendar for each semester's first and last days of classes).