All ALD PhD students are required to complete a two-part comprehensive examination normally before their second summer of study. The successful completion of the examination is required in order to achieve doctoral candidacy. The specific nature and scope of the two parts of the exam are to be determined in consultation with the student’s supervisor.
Comprehensive Exam 1
Comprehensive Exam 1 is to achieve breadth in the chosen field of study so that the student can teach and conduct research in a larger chosen field within the design disciplines. It will involve preparing an annotated bibliography in consultation with the supervisor before the summer of the student’s first year of study, preparing for the exam over the course of the summer, and writing the exam at the end of the summer. The first part of the exam will take place over three hours and will be composed of a written response to three questions. Each response should be no more than 1000 words.
Comprehensive Exam 2
Comprehensive Exam 2 is to be completed during the second semester of the second year of study and is to achieve depth in a sub-field, within the faculty or beyond, so that the student can master the context for the advanced research that they plan to undertake for their thesis. This exam may be administered by a faculty member other than the supervisor, to be determined by the student in consultation with their supervisor. This second part can take one of two formats:
- a second annotated bibliography to achieve depth in a sub-section of the chosen field of study
- a course syllabus with readings and outlines of lectures, themes for tutorial discussions, as well as a minimum of three lectures drawn from across the syllabus
An oral examination will follow the completion of the second part of the exam. The oral examination will be a 30-minute presentation followed by a 60-minute discussion for a total of no more than 90-minutes.
Thesis Proposal Review
The Thesis is an original piece of scholarly research on a topic that has been selected by the student and approved by the supervisor and the student’s Supervisory Committee. The Thesis is a major undertaking that reflects the highest standards of scholarship and that makes a significant contribution to knowledge and practice in the field of research. When the Thesis is completed and has met the approval of the Supervisory Committee, the student proceeds to the Final Oral Examination that is administered by the School of Graduate Studies.