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Qualifying and Candidacy Exams

After completion of the curriculum and the practicum, including the capstone Research Seminar the Doctoral Advisory Committee will schedule a qualifying examination of the student's work in the doctoral program. Successful completion of this qualifying examination will allow the committee to schedule a candidacy exam. The format of the qualifying and candidacy exams for all students is established by the Heritage Studies Program Committee. Successful completion of the candidacy exam which includes approval of a dissertation proposal allows the student to be formally recognized as a candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy in Heritage Studies. The qualifying and candidacy examinations are designed to test general knowledge of Heritage Studies as well as the student's expertise in specialized areas of research and interest. Students are expected to successfully complete each exam in the first full semester following completion of all course work in the course of study. These exams have a mandatory oral component. In advance of each oral exam, a student prepares a portfolio. Exams will be administered no later than one week before the close of fall and spring semesters. Students intending to take qualifying and candidacy exams must submit an intent form to the office of the program director no later than the end of the sixth week after the beginning of classes in the semester in which they intend to take the exam.
Each student will create a Portfolio before each exam that will be examined by the Doctoral Advisory Committee which also will serve as the examination committee. The Portfolio must be available to the committee two weeks before the scheduled exam. The exam itself will consist of an oral interview of no more than one hour for the qualifying exam and no more than two hours for the candidacy exam. At each exam the student will explain and defend what is in the Portfolio.

The Portfolio for the Qualifying Exam will contain:

A major example of the student's work from EACH of the four-course clusters in the curriculum (the core, specialty area, and enrichment). These THREE EXAMPLES from the student's course work are improved and enhanced before they are placed in the portfolio. These THREE items will demonstrate breadth and depth in terms of the student's studies. At least one of these should be a significant example of the student's writing.

The Portfolio for the Candidacy Exam will contain:

(1) A meaningful essay of no more than twelve-hundred (1,200) words that gives the student's scholarly and intellectual explanation of what is "Heritage Studies" (2) an interpretive essay that explains effectively the student’s choices of 20 sources that are vital for the understanding of “Heritage Studies.” At least 10 of these 20 sources must be books. The student’s choices may also include important articles, films, archives, festivals, museums or other substantial examples. (3) A written report that assesses the student's 300-hour Practicum accompanied by a letter from the supervisor, or coordinator, of the Practicum. (4) The final version of the student's dissertation proposal.

The oral component for the qualifying and candidacy exams are conducted by the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee. In case of failure, the exam may be retaken if the committee feels that improvements in the Portfolio are justified and can be carried out by the student within an additional period of time as specified by the committee. A second failure of either the qualifying or candidacy exam will result in dismissal from the program. Students may not undertake the candidacy exam until after they have successfully completed the qualifying exam.

Admission to Candidacy

Upon successful completion of the oral component of the candidacy examination, the student is formally designated a candidate for the Ph.D. in Heritage Studies.