Spanish Department

Junior Qualifying Exam

The “Qual” is an exercise through which students ideally demonstrate their capacity for solid study of texts or cinematic productions, grounded in formal analysis as well as in an understanding of their historical, political, and cultural contexts. As both the written and oral components of the Qual are done entirely in Spanish, the exercise also serves to further consolidate the linguistic skills acquired in previous Spanish department coursework. Students write a 10-page research paper on a topic of their own choosing, although they are encouraged to consult with a department faculty member regarding their subject-matter and methodology. The document itself is written in 2-3 days. It must engage with a critical bibliography, clearly establish the significance of its chosen topic and approach, and develop a coherent and well-supported argument. The exercise culminates in a 45-minute oral examination in which the student presents the project, explaining its objectives and methodology, and answers questions from two Spanish department professors. The Qual is not graded, but the professors share their comments with the student.

For more information, go to the Junior Qualifying Exam page.