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The Doctoral Qualifying Exam consists of an oral examination in which three faculty examiners question the Ph.D. student about the primary and about the contextual/ secondary fields of study. The primary field relates directly to a student's proposed dissertation topic, including both primary and secondary texts. The contextual or secondary field, which also encompasses both primary and secondary sources, is selected for its relevance to the primary field. Both grow out of work done in English 8830.

Purpose: The oral DQE provides students the opportunity to

Once the exam is completed, the candidate should be ready to write the dissertation and complete it within 18-24 months.

Readiness for Taking the Exam: Students may schedule their DQE if they have met the following requirements:

Faculty Committee:

Scheduling of Exam: Students are expected to take the DQE in the semester following their completion of 8830. This means the DQE will typically take place fall semester of the third year. When students register for their DQE the faculty advisors should

To accommodate the individualized exam format and to assist student progress through the program, Ph.D. qualifying exams are typically offered between September 30 and May 15, normally within two months of the student's request to take the exam.

Evaluation: The qualifying exam requires a vote of 3-0 or 2-1 to pass. To pass the DQE, students must demonstrate their readiness to write their dissertations by meeting the criteria on the following form, which is to be filled out by the director and submitted to the DGS:

Reporting: To record the results of the DQE, the advisor/committee must complete the above assessment form, and in addition the following two forms, which likewise must be submitted to the DGS, so they can be processed and sent on to the Graduate School:


Post-Exam Consultation: After the DQE has been graded and the results reported to the Graduate School, students are encouraged to review their performance with their field advisors. The student should then submit the proposal materials to the graduate school, using the following form: Outline for Dissertation Form. This is also an appropriate time to submit to the graduate school the official form declaring the student's candidacy: Advancement to Candidacy Form.


English Department

Marquette University, Marquette Hall 115 (campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7179
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