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.

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 Oral Examination.

Written Qualifying Examination

The student must pass a departmental Written Qualifying Exam which requires him or her to demonstrate a mastery of each of the three fields of examination. The written exam is administered three weeks and five days before the date of the oral exam. It is administered over five consecutive days with each field exam consisting of a 4000 to 7000 word essay. The written exam is evaluated by the field supervisors who provide a written evaluation. Only after a successful pass of the Written Qualifying Exam can the student advance to the Oral Qualifying Examination. The student may retake the Written Qualifying Examination only once.

Oral Qualifying Examination

The Oral Qualifying Examination is given by all members of the Qualifying Exam committee and tests the breadth and depth of knowledge in all three areas of specialization. Students who have passed the Qualifying Examination are eligible for Advancement to Candidacy for the PhD, which carries with it reduced fees and the degree of C. Phil. (Candidate in Philosophy). Upon successful passing of the Oral Qualifying Examination, the student should file for Application for Candidacy with the Graduate Division.