Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

GLS 599: Post-Master's Qualifying Exit Exam

This exam is intended to provide certificate candidates with the opportunity:

  1. to present a retrospective assessment of the meaning and significance of their experience as graduate liberal studies students on both the Master's and post-Master's levels, and
  2. to examine the value and relevance of graduate liberal studies in the contemporary world, particularly in regard to those agendas of interdisciplinarity, cultural diversity, internationalism, and active citizenship that inform the graduate liberal studies program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW).

In planning and composing the qualifying exit exam, certificate candidates should draw, as appropriate, upon their educational history prior to and including their matriculation as Master's and post-Master's students in graduate liberal studies. In order to broaden the forum of discussion and to stimulate comparative analysis, certificate candidates will also be expected to draw, as appropriate, upon a core of common reading selections related to the focus and purpose of the exam as well as relevant selections from graduate liberal studies courses they have taken and their own independent reading.

The exam will be evaluated:

  • by a committee consisting of the post-Master's certificate coordinator and two additional faculty selected by the certificate candidate. The two essays comprising the exam will be written over the course of the certificate candidate's final semester and will be submitted to the exam review committee two weeks prior to the final day of classes for the semester.
  • on an S/U basis and the assignment of a "Satisfactory" grade will require a passing grade on each of the two component essays.

Students who fail the exam on a first attempt will have the opportunity to take a second exam three months after the first attempt, but will need to enroll in GLS 600: Continuous Graduate Enrollment. Students who fail the exam a second time will not be allowed a third attempt, but will, of course, receive credit for any accrued post-Master's courses. The exit exam is intended to provide a sense of formal closure and achievement and to distinguish the post-Master's certificate from the MALS degree.

To facilitate students' satisfactory performance on the exam, certificate candidates will be expected to attend a series of workshops to familiarize them with the essay components comprising the exam, to discuss relevant source texts, to consider various composing, organizing, and synthesizing strategies, to review relevant research and manuscript conventions, and to review procedures and policies related to the exam. GLS 599 carries two hours of graduate credit.

Last Update: October 21, 2013