M.A. Exam Information

What is the exam going to be like? 

By Dr. Peter H. Welsh

I base this on the many M.A. and Doctoral exams in which I have participated. They go like this:

  1. After the preliminaries, I will ask the you to give us a brief (5 minutes) summary of your graduate studies – i.e. what did you emphasize and focus on?
  2. You will then give a short, semi-formal, oral summary of your research (15-20 minutes).
  • What was the question or problem you were addressing?
  • What approach(es) did you take to answer the question/solve the problem?
  • What did you find or conclude?

You might also want to add…

  • In what ways do you see this contributing to our understanding of this question or problem? How will it benefit the field? Or a particular institution?
  • Did your research reveal new questions or potential for additional research?

For this presentation you can use PowerPoint, handouts, or you can just talk (no shadow puppets, please). Think of this like a conference presentation, if that helps.

  1. The committee then asks questions and has a conversation with you about your work. Usually each committee member asks questions, in turn, until we feel we have covered all the points. (30-40 minutes)
  2. We then give anyone else in attendance a chance to ask questions (encourage your friends to attend – you can prepare them with the questions you wish your committee would ask).
  3. You will then be asked to step outside of the room while the committee discusses the exam (5-10 minutes).
  4. You then come back in and receive your well-deserved hearty congratulations. If it has not yet come up, we are liable to discuss ways you might disseminate your work further, your future career plans, and so on.
  5. Party!

Final Product & Exam Rubric


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Museum Events

German-American History Talk and Gallery Tour
Saturday, October 21 | 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
Prof. William Keel of KU speaks on local German-American history, then we move to the third floor for a special tour of our new exhibit Community and Culture: The Lawrence Turnverein, with Watkins curator Brittany Keegan and Dr. Lorie Vanchena of KU.

My Name is Sallie Performance
October 25-26 | 7 p.m.-8 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam & Connie Perkins Central Court
This experimental, immersive musical theater experience tells the story of the founding gift of art to the University of Kansas that became the Spencer Museum of Art. Created by Spencer Archivist Robert Hickerson and featuring the talents of artists and students from across the community. The performance is a free special preview event and part of the centennial celebration of our collection. Tickets are available through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/my-name-is-sallie-tickets-37725266287.

Science of the Macabre
Thursday, October 26 | 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd. 
Join us for a spooky night in the KU Natural History Museum as we celebrate Halloween. From spiders and snakes to parasites, we will explore the science of the creepy things that go bump in the night. See museum specimens, explore blood under black light, and enjoy free refreshments and win prizes.

Stories from the Museum Archives: Sallie Casey Thayer Collects
Sunday, November 5 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm 305, Stephen H. Goddard Study Center 
Spencer Museum archivist Robert Hickerson and student assistant Rose Wolf open up the archives for an exploration of primary resources that document the collection that initiated an art museum at KU. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU and the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

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