19 Preliminary Exam Areas

The following are the Preliminary Exam Areas which have been approved by the department. Depending on the availability of faculty, it may not be possible to arrange exams in some of these areas; students should consult with the Graduate Advisor before deciding on an exam area. Current reading lists for these areas are available online at https://mtsu.edu/english/graduate-students.php.

Preliminary Exam Areas

I. Old and Middle English

II. Early Modern (1500-1660, including Milton)

III. Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature

IV. Nineteenth-Century British Literature*

a. Romantics

b. Victorian

V. Twentieth-Century British Literature

VI. American Literature to 1830

VII. American Literature: 1830 to Modernism

VIII. American Literature: Modernism to the Present

IX. Criticism and Critical Theory

X. Composition, Language, Rhetoric

XI. Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature

XII. Popular Culture and Film Studies*

a. Popular Culture

b. Film

XIII. Anglophone Literature

XV. Folklore

*Students may choose to be examined in either IV.a or IV.b only; or in XII.a or XII.b only.

Please note: Due to changes in department faculty some examination areas are under review and this list will likely change.

A student who fails a preliminary exam in one area may choose to change fields before re-taking the exam in the failed area, but will be given only one chance to pass an exam in the new examination area and cannot re-take the exam in the failed area. If the student who has failed a prelim opts to re-take an exam in the same area, the second exam will not be identical to the first. A student who fails a preliminary exam twice will not be able to advance to candidacy or continue in the program.


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