Comprehensive Exams and the M.A. Thesis
Students pursuing one of the M.A.’s in Spanish should follow these guidelines when preparing for their comprehensive exams. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule the exams with the Director of Graduate Studies according to the criteria explained here. For more guidance, please see these helpful tips for preparing the exams.
Guide to Spanish Comprehensive Exams
M.A. in Spanish with thesis: Student must take
an oral exam BEFORE presenting his or her thesis proposal. It is
recommended that the oral exam take place in the third semester
so that the thesis student can defend his or her proposal by the
end of the third semester, leaving the fourth semester for
writing and defending the thesis. For more information and advice
on writing the M.A. thesis, see our
Guide to Writing the M.A. Thesis
M.A. or M.A.T. in Spanish without thesis:
Student must take a written comprehensive exam in the eighth week
of his or her last semester.
For exam formats, sample questions, tips and other information, see “Guide to Spanish Comprehensive Exams,” linked above.
Exams are evaluated by a committee of professors from the field. Students may repeat failed exams up to two times. The faculty reserves the right to ask for an oral exam follow-up to written exams in some cases.
Students should begin preparing for their exams as early as possible, based on the following reading lists. It is recommended that students take a variety of classes in their field to help them understand and organize ideas around these lists of important texts. However, the student should understand that the MA degree requires independent research and study of these lists in order to complete the comprehensive exams. If a student waits until the semester of the exam to begin preparation, he or she is sure to have great difficulty passing the comprehensive exams.
Choose one of the following lists in accord with your curricular program:
M.A. in Spanish (Latin American concentration) Reading List
M.A. in Spanish (Peninsular concentration) Reading List
M.A.T. in Spanish Reading List