The Comprehensive Exam is normally offered once each year (in January). It must be passed by all accepted MA candidates, and involves developing analytic essays in response to four of ten questions. Candidates are expected to choose works from the reading list (see below) that best address the topic and that demonstrate their familiarity with a range of periods, genres and national literatures. The “Comp Exam” is administered over a (usually holiday) weekend, and is a take home test. There is five to seven page limit per essay. MA candidates usually choose to take the exam during their second year of study.
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