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

Red Hot Research: Graduate Edition
Friday, November 17 | 4 p.m.-5:30 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd.
Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Slow Art Sunday: Amida Buddha (Amitabha) 
Sunday, November 19 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 407, 1301 Mississippi St
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In November, get to know Amida Buddha (Amitabha).

Performance: Aspects of Liszt 
Sunday, November 19 | 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St
Distinguished Emmy-winning author, critic, radio and film producer David Dubal joins KU international concert artist Steven Spooner in an afternoon of piano music from the era of the Spencer Museum’s origins and fascinating commentary on the legendary Franz Liszt. This concert is part of the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

Day After Thanksgiving Program: Magic Marbles 
Friday, November 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

Global Film Festival
Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm. 309 1301 Mississippi St
Curated by first-year students, the Global Film Festival features four films exploring ideas in Spencer Museum exhibitions. This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Power Clashing: Clothing, Collage, and Contemporary Identities. The film will be announced on the Museum’s website.

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