The Written Examination (first year)
The Written Examination, taken in the summer before the second year, ensures that students have a broad knowledge of drama, performance, and theory, acquired through a combination of coursework and independent reading before and in the first year, knowledge designed to provide an important perspective for future research and teaching. The Written Examination allows students to address a wide range of material; preparation for the exam constitutes students' first significant independent scholarly activity and its written outcome.
The Oral Examination (second year)
The Oral Examination, taken by the end of the fall term of the third year, is designed to help students narrow their interests in preparation for researching and writing the dissertation. Students, in consultation with their advisor, devise a reading list for the exam—fifty sources (including plays, books, essays, performances, archival material, etc.)—, and select two other examiners (including one from the UCSD faculty). The reading list is designed to prepare the student for advanced research in the general dissertation field, broadly conceived. Students are also required to submit a short research proposal.