Third Year


This year can be intense. Instead of courses, the fall semester will be spent studying for exams. During the spring semester, you will take the Professionalism and Pedagogy Course. Along with this course, you will either shadow a W course or TA a lecture course to prepare for teaching.

Exams can be incredibly stressful, but students ahead of you in the program are always happy to help out both as you study and while you go through exams. You have probably completed your initial draft of your comps lists by now, but if you want a sense of what tiered lists look like, glance through the examples your peers have shared. Different people have different approaches, but creating categories for your texts for quick reference can be helpful. For an example, Wietske Smeele has shared her Comps Exams Genres. Also, if you are stressed about what the written exams should look like, check out Jay Clayton’s Guide to Writing a Comps Answer, and you can also look at example Comps Answers from earlier cohorts.



  • Fall Semester: Read for exams
  • October 15: Tiered Lists due
  • December 1: Written exams begin
  • January 20: Preliminary Dissertation Proposal due
  • February: Oral Exams
  • March 15: Final Dissertation Proposal due
  • May 15: First chapter draft due (15-20 pages of initial writing)