Modern Language Examination Procedure

Passages for the Examination

  • Students must demonstrate competency in two modern research languages. They will ordinarily do so by taking language exams administered within the program. Students whose native language is not English may count English as one of their two research languages. An exam is not required in this case. Competency in English is considered to be demonstrated by admission into the program.
  • For each examination, the student's advisor must select a passage relevant to the field of the student taking the exam, taken exclusively from peer-reviewed scholarly books or journals. The passage should be approximately 1000 words in length and the language should normally be the original language of composition. The passage should not be readily available in English translation. A student may substitute the equivalent of 3 years of college-level course work in a modern foreign language with grade B or better done within the last 5 years in lieu of the examination in the second modern foreign language.
  • Except when several students in a field receive the exam simultaneously, a different, previously unused passage will be chosen for each examination. The exam has a 2-hour limit; it is not take-home; the student may use a dictionary and their own laptop computer.
  • Students should ask their advisor to select an appropriate passage for the exam. Once selected, the text should be given to the Graduate Program in Religion office by email or hard copy.
  • Exams will be taken on campus and students should work with the GPR office to arrange a time and place for the exam.

Grading of Examinations

  • Exams will be graded by a member of the graduate faculty of the Religion Program with the appropriate linguistic expertise.
  • After failing an exam, students should not retake the exam for 3 months.