Candidacy Examination - Ph.D. in Italian

Candidacy Examination Committee

At the start of preparation for the Candidacy Examinations, the major advisor, in consultation with the student, forms an Examination Committee of at least four members (consisting of no fewer than two faculty members from Italian and one faculty member outside of Italian).

Minor Field Candidacy Exam

Students will have a minor in a field related to their specialization through the completion of a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization or a Graduate Minor unless the GIS or the Graduate Minor relates to the major field. Students may petition to create their own minor provided that the desired Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization or a Graduate Minor does not exist at OSU.

Students entering without an approved M.A. take the written portion of their Minor Field Candidacy Examination at the end of their third year. Those entering with an approved M.A. take the written portion of their Minor Field Candidacy exam at the beginning of the fourth semester of study. The Minor Field Candidacy Examination includes a written and an oral portion.

At the start of preparation for the Candidacy Examination the student chooses a Minor Field Advisor and the student then prepares, with the approval of the Minor Field Advisor, a working list of the items for which s/he will be held responsible. A typical list will have no fewer than twenty-five items, although lists will vary depending upon length and complexity. All members of the Committee must approve the list and ensure that adequate breadth is achieved. The finalized reading list must be submitted to the Examination Committee fourteen weeks before the scheduled examination. In the case that the minor field advisor is from outside of The Department of French and Italian, the advisor will circulate the minor field exam for approval to the Candidacy Committee one week before the minor field exam.

Guidelines for the Minor Field Candidacy Exam (individual advisors may impose more frequent deadlines for sections of the paper, etc.):

  • During the semester prior to and during the Exam, the student will register for 3 hours of 8998 (Exam and Prospectus preparation) with his or her advisor.
  • Students must meet with their advisors at least once every two weeks during the semester to discuss their progress on their lists and syllabus.
  • Students must submit one semester syllabus for a course taught in English in their minor field at least one week prior to the written portion of the exam.

Written Examination (Minor Field Candidacy Examination)

The minor examination will be an open-book, take-home examination picked up at the Department on a Friday at 4:30 p.m. and returned to the Department by 9:00 a.m. the following Monday. The completed draft of this part of the examination should be roughly 26-30 pages in length (Times New Roman, 12” font, double-spaced with one-inch margins). In cases where a weekend proves inconvenient, the examination may be taken over any other comparable two-day period. Written examinations must include page numbers.

During the period between the written and oral examinations, students should re-read the exam and prepare to defend it during the oral examination.

The examining committee is fully responsible for evaluating and scoring the Minor Field written examination with a score of “fail,” “low pass,” “pass,” or “high pass.” Committee members should return scored exams to the student no later than ten days after the exam. The score on the exam can both increase or decrease as a result of performance in the oral examination.

Major Field Candidacy Exam

At the beginning of the fourth year for students entering without an approved M.A. in Italian and at the end of the second year for students entering with an approved M.A. in Italian, students will have developed a 30-35 page polished research paper of a caliber suitable for publication in a scholarly journal that will act as the major field candidacy exam. Students also prepare, with the approval of the advisor, a working list of at least twenty items for which s/he will be held responsible during the oral portion of the Candidacy Exam. The preparation of the Major field candidacy exam paper will establish the area(s) in which students will specialize and lay the groundwork for a dissertation chapter. This paper can be a revision and expansion of a research paper previously written for a course here at OSU or at another institution (in the latter case, the paper cannot be an Honors or M.A. thesis, thesis chapter, or other previously polished work); an expansion of a new paper being developed for a seminar being taken concurrently with the Exam prep (EP) hours that spring; or a new idea the student wants to develop uniquely for the EP hours. In addition, the student will generate two semester syllabi for courses based upon their major field specialization, one at the graduate level and one at the undergraduate level. One syllabus must be designed for a course taught in English and the other for a course taught in Italian.

Guidelines for the Major Candidacy Exam paper (individual advisors may impose more frequent deadlines for sections of the paper, etc.):

  • During the semester (or summer) prior to and during the Exam, the student will register for 3 hours of 8998 (Exam and Prospectus preparation) with his or her advisor. The advisor will direct the research for and writing, revision, and/or expansion of the Major Candidacy Exam paper throughout the semester. The advisor will also oversee the creation of a major field list of at least twenty items related to the major field of study (this list should be separate from the topic of the Major field candidacy paper and should be comprehensive of the Major field).
  • Students must meet with their advisors at least once every two weeks during the semester (in person or via Skype) to discuss their research, bibliography construction, writing, and syllabi.
  • The list of at least twenty items must be submitted to the advisor 14 weeks prior to the oral exam.
  • An annotated bibliography (with paragraph-length summaries of each source) must be submitted to the advisor ten weeks prior to the oral exam.
  • A draft of the full paper must be submitted to the advisor four weeks prior to the oral exam. Advisors must return their revisions and comments to their advisees within 7 days.
  • Students must submit the final version of their paper to their advisor (who will distribute copies of the paper to all members of the Advisory Committee) two weeks prior to the oral exam. The advisor and faculty will evaluate the paper using a pre-established evaluation sheet and return comments to the student one week prior to the oral exam with a score of “fail,” “low pass,” “pass,” or “high pass.” The score on the exam can both increase or decrease as a result of performance in the oral examination.
  • Students must submit two semester syllabi for courses based upon their major field of specialization one week prior to the oral exam, one at the graduate level and one at the undergraduate level. One syllabus must be designed for a course taught in English and the other for a course taught in Italian. The advisor and faculty will evaluate the syllabi using a pre- established evaluation sheet.

Oral Examination of the Minor and Major Candidacy Exams

Once the student and his/her committee has decided on the date of the oral examination part of the candidacy exam (which should generally be held two weeks after the completion of the Major Qualifying Exam paper), the student must complete an Application for Candidacy via GradForms. The Application must be submitted, and signed by all parties at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the oral exam. The Graduate School reserves the right to ask the student to rescheduled the Oral Examination if the Application is complete later than two weeks before the oral exam.

The oral part of the Candidacy Examination will consist of a two-hour examination. During the exam, students will respond to questions on the three syllabi, Minor Field written exam, Major Field paper, and Major field list. Students must bring a copy of their syllabi, Minor Field Written exam and Major Field paper to the Oral. At least one part of the oral examination must be conducted in Italian and at least one part in English.

There will be no Candidacy Examinations given or taken during Summer session.

The student has successfully completed the Candidacy Examination only when the decision of the Examination Committee is unanimously affirmative (GSH, VII.7). If the student fails one or more parts of the Minor qualifying exam, Major qualifying exam paper, and oral examination, it is up to the Committee to decide if the student will be allowed to rewrite or retake them; the option to retake parts of the exam is granted on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed and no parts of the candidacy examination will be given or taken during the Summer session. If the student is permitted to retake one or more parts of the exam, s/he must do so by the end of the semester following that in which s/he took the original exam. If the student fails one or more parts of the second exam, s/he is automatically dismissed from the program and the Graduate School. For additional information and rules concerning the Candidacy Examination, see the GSH, VII.4-7.

Provided that the student is in good standing (GSH, VII.9) at the end of the semester in which the Candidacy Examination is satisfactorily completed, s/he will be admitted to candidacy for a doctoral degree. Doctoral candidates must register for 3 graduate credit hours (and no more) per semester (excluding summer) until they successfully defend the dissertation and earn their degree.

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