Examinations for Candidacy


Qualifying Examination Committee

The Qualifying Examination Committee must consist of a Committee Chair, an outside member, and at least two members of the Rhetoric faculty. The outside member must be a member of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. The outside member cannot serve as the chair, and the chair may not serve as the Dissertation Committee Chair, but may serve as a Dissertation Committee Co-Chair.

Qualifying Examination Fields

Three fields of examination are established and supervised by members of the committee. The field supervisors work with the student to establish a reading list of major texts and relevant scholarship in the field, which must be submitted to the Graduate Administrative Advisor prior to the Qualifying Examination.

Preliminary Examination 

The student must complete a departmental Preliminary Examination which consists of two written Field Statements and one written Research Statement. The written component must be completed and approved by the Qualifying Exam committee three weeks and five days before the date of the Qualifying Exam. 

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination is an oral examination given by all members of the Qualifying Exam committee and tests the breadth and depth of knowledge in all three fields. Students who have passed the Qualifying Examination are eligible for Advancement to Candidacy for the PhD. Upon successful passing of the Qualifying Examination, the student should file for Application for Candidacy with the Graduate Division.