History Department

Junior Qualifying Exam

The junior qualifying examination in History is a critical essay dealing with a given issue or problem within a particular historical field and period. The Department expects students to develop some competence in various periods and areas of History, as specified in the course requirements below. The Department administers the junior qualifying examination only in August and January of each academic year. Exceptions are made for students returning from leave away from campus, or for other circumstances beyond students’ control.

The format of the Qual is as follows. You will be given a scholarly article of roughly 30 pages and will have one week to write an essay of not more than 1,200 words in which you do two things: explain and assess the article and its arguments and evidence, and discuss its significance as a work of historical scholarship.

There is no need and no expectation that you do any outside reading or additional research to complete the Qual.

Caveat: Once the Qual materials are picked up, students are expected to turn in their responses for evaluation. If they do not, they will be regarded officially as having failed, unless illness, injury or family emergency prevented them from completing it.