MA Capstone: Examination

The MA Examination Option has both a written and oral component.  The exam will be based on a bibliography developed by the student in consultation with his/her MA Capstone Committee.  The bibliography will represent both classical statements and recent debates and research in at least one area of sociological specialization.  Students who choose the MA exam option are encourage to develop a bibliography by the end of the third semester of residence.  

Departmental procedures for administering the exam:

  1. The examination will be conducted and graded by the MA Capstone Committee consisting of three members of the Sociology Graduate Faculty.
  2. The examination will be focused on a recognized specialty within the discipline or a coherent area of study approved by the student's MA Committee.
  3. The MA Committee will guide the candidate in the development of a bibliography appropriate to the area or specialty.  The bibliography will include, at a minimum, 15 books and 35 articles.
  4. The written examination will be a set of three questions developed by the MA Committee from which the student must answer two.  The student will have two week to write the take-home examination.
  5. The candidate will be expected to have completed a minimum of 10 but no more than 15-double spaced pages for each question.
  6. Within two weeks of the completion of the written portion, there will be an oral examination on the same material.  At that time, the MA Committee will decide whether or not the student passes the examination.
  7. Students who fail both questions fail the exam and will not qualify for the oral examination.  Should the student fail and wish to continue with the exam option, a second and final attempt may be permitted.
  8. Students who fail one of the two written questions can be given the oral examination.  Because a passing grade on the exam involves both the written and oral assessment, students will be allowed the opportunity to redeem one weak written answer with a strong oral exam.
  9. Students who qualify for the oral examination will NOT be informed of how they did on the written exam until the oral exam has been completed.
  10. Students will NOT be given the option of rewriting weak written questions.