Qual 2 and Prelim Exams: a Quick Digest of the Processes for Faculty

QUAL 2 (for students who matriculated in or after fall 2012)

  • Qual 2 is a written exam in the major and cognate areas of study, examined by two faculty members The faculty member from the major area serves as Chair.
  • Faculty prepare students with topics and reading lists, just as they did for the “old” prelim; this process typically begins several weeks before the
  • The Chair liaises with Academic Affairs over the exam’s
  • An oral exam is optional for Qual 2, and is at the discretion of the two committee members; it needs to happen within one week of the written exam day, and in consultation with Academic
  • The results for Qual 2 are to be reported one week of the written exam: please read the exam answers as soon as you have receive access to them , and consult with each other re: whether an oral is necessary
  • There is no ‘deferred’ option under which faculty can prescribe additional “take home” written work to remediate weak answers, as sometimes happened in the old If additional work for the major or cognate portion is required, it should take the form of a second written exam in that area. If desired, the second exam can be done as an ‘open book’ test, in which the student is allowed to bring specified materials into the exam room (this eliminates problems with academic infractions that happened in the past).

PRELIM (new model, for students who matriculated in or after fall 2012)

Full information is contained in the Graduate Handbook 2016-17, pp.34-38.

  • The committee always comprises four faculty members, including the research director and someone who serves as Faculty representation must include the major area, the cognate area, and either a theory OR a musicology member.
  • The Graduate College formally appoints the committee; this requires the student to submit an appointment form via Academic Affairs three weeks ahead of the
  • The exam is an oral defense of the research proposal
  • The exam is scheduled for one
  • The student circulates the proposal to the committee three weeks before the exam, but only once the research director has signed off that it is ready to

PRELIM (old model, for students who matriculated before fall 2012)

  • The committee always comprises four faculty members, including the research director and someone who serves as Faculty representation must include the major area, the cognate area, a theory faculty member AND a musicology faculty member.
  • The Chair liaises with Academic Affairs over the exam’s administration,
  • The exam requires two days of written exams in the major, cognate, theory and musicology areas, followed (usually within one week) by an oral exam that considers the answers and also examines the student’s research
  • The oral exam is scheduled for two
  • The Graduate College formally appoints the committee; this requires the student to submit a form, with faculty signatures, via Academic Affairs three weeks ahead of the
  • The student circulates the proposal to the committee three weeks before the exam, but only once the research director has signed off that it is ready to

Further guidance (especially for students) can be found in the Graduate Handbook and on our Graduate Resources pages, which include a series of FAQs that can help students navigate the processes. Please contact Jenny Phillips or Christina Bashford if you have specific questions.