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Comprehensive Examinations

All candidates for the M.A. degree in History must pass written and oral comprehensive examinations based on coursework and reading lists provided by three examiners. Students are to have two examiners in their major area and one from outside of it.

These exams are typically taken in February or March for students graduating in May, and in October or November for students graduating in December. Students cannot take the comprehensive exams if they have an incomplete ("I" grade) on their Duquesne transcript.

  • The written portion of the comprehensive examination lasts five hours and is taken using a MacBook Pro laptop. You take the exam in a comfortable room with a table, chairs, and couches.

  • Your examiners typically inform you within several days of the written comprehensive examination whether or not you have passed.

  • The oral comprehensive examination is typically scheduled approximately one week after the date of the written comprehensive examination.

  • The oral comprehensive examination is typically less than two hours and takes place in a conference room with your three examiners. You find out at the conclusion of the oral comprehensive examination whether or not you have passed.