Master of Arts in Anthropology
Master of Applied Anthropology
The preliminary exam consists of questions pertaining to the subject matter of ANTH 501, ANTH 502, and ANTH 503 intended to assess the depth and breadth of student knowledge. A file of sample questions is available for students in the department, which will give you an idea what kind of questions may be asked.
The ANTH 686 Preliminary Exam is taken during the second week of the Spring semester.
1) The preliminary examination will be administered as a take-home exam. Students will be given four days to complete the examination. The examination is to be typed and turned in through the SafeAssign mechanism on the Blackboard site for ANTH 686-001.
- The exam questions will be given to students on Monday at 8:00 am. The exam will be submitted to the department by the end of the fourth day (Thursday) no later than 4:00 pm.
- Students are to answer four questions, one each from ANTH 501, ANTH 502, and ANTH 503 and one additional question from one of the three classes. Make sure you type out the question you are going to answer.
- The examination is to be typed, double spaced, in 12 point font.
- The product of the exam should be a scholarly document referenced in a consistent format with the AAA style guide.
2) In addition, on or before the examination period, students are required to submit a 3-5 page prospectus/summary of their proposed thesis/project to their advisor.
3) Within a week of the submission of the preliminary examination the student’s advisor will schedule an oral defense of the examination and of the student’s thesis/project proposal. The defense will be conducted by the student’s advisory committee and chaired by the student’s advisor, although all anthropology faculty members may attend.
Examinations will be read by an examination committee of three faculty members. An additional reader may be selected if deemed appropriate by the committee. The committee will evaluate the student’s examination using a rubric scale (see below). When the members of the examination committee have reviewed the preliminary exam, they will meet, discuss, and grade the student’s performance. The student will be notified of the result of the exam by the Graduate Program Coordinator within one week following the exam.
Grading of the exam will be Failure, Pass, and High Pass. Failure means the student has not demonstrated depth and breadth by their performance. Pass indicates admission to candidacy having satisfactorily completed the exam, but maybe the basis upon which the department may recommend the thesis or project track to individual candidates. High Pass recognizes a high level of performance on the preliminary exam and permission to begin the MA thesis or MAA project.
A student failing the exam may request in writing of the academic unit head (Graduate Program Coordinator) a repeat of the exam. This request must be submitted within five days of the notification of the student’s failure. If approved, the student must retake the exam within 12 months after the first attempt. If the department does not approve a retake of the exam, the student is withdrawn from the program by the Graduate College.
ANTH 686 PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION EVALUATION RUBRIC
|Criteria||1 = Retake||2 = Pass||3 = High Pass|
|1. Knowledge of subject matter demonstrated through responses to posed questions||Demonstrates minimal knowledge of the subject matter through production of work that meets some established standards. Responses to posed questions:||Demonstrates acceptable knowledge of the subject matter through production of work that meets established standards. Responses to posed questions:||Demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the subject matter through production of work that goes beyond established standards. Responses to posed questions:|
|1.a. Insight||Show minimal evidence of insight or original thinking||Show some insight, creativity, and original thinking||Are highly original and creative|
|1.b. Interpretation of disciplinary readings||Exhibit some errors in interpreting disciplinary readings||Exhibit reasonable interpretation of disciplinary readings||Exhibit reflective interrogation of disciplinary readings|
|1.c. Analysis and synthesis of central concepts of subject||Incorporate minimal analysis and synthesis of central concepts of the subject||Incorporate some analysis and synthesis of central concepts of the subject||Incorporate critical analysis and synthesis of central concepts or the subject|
|1.d. Understanding of link between discipline and other disciplines||Reflect vague understanding of the nature of the discipline and its links to other disciplines||Reflect some understanding of the nature of the discipline and its links to other disciplines||Reflect a holistic view of the nature of the discipline and its links to other disciplines|
|1.e. Use of detail and specific examples||Provide few details and examples||Provide some detail and specific examples||Provide detailed descriptions and numerous specific, vivid examples|
|2. Clarity of Thought||1 = Retake||2 = Pass||3 = High Pass|
|2.a. Use of language and vocabulary||Exhibits adequate but inconsistent facility in the use of language||Uses appropriate language/vocabulary||Uses very precise, skillful language|
|2.b. Demonstration of connections||Demonstrates adequate connections||Moderate to strong connections are made||Strong connections are made|
|2.c. Use of key points||Some key points are demonstrated, but some lapses in coherence or progression of ideas||Most key points are made||Several key points are made|
|2.d. Use of critical ideas||Critical ideas are vague or limited||Critical ideas are included||Outstanding demonstration of critical thinking|
|2.e. Adequacy of responses to questions||Not all parts of question are answered||All parts of the question are fully answered||All parts of the questions are fully answered|
|3. Professional and Presentation Skills||1 = Retake||2 = Pass||3 = High Pass|
|3.a. Presence of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics||Essay contains an accumulation of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics||Essay is free of most errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics||The essay is free of most errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics|
|3.b. Organization||Is limited in organization or focus||Is well organized and focused||Clear organization is obvious|
|3.c. Presence of scholarly voice||A lapse in using a scholarly voice is evident||A scholarly voice is used throughout most||A scholarly, thoughtful voice is used throughout. At least 2 citations are used|