Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Academic Programs

General Preliminary Examinations

The general preliminary examinations are designed to evaluate a student’s subject mastery, scholarly competence, and analytical ability. These examinations are tailored for each individual’s particular academic and professional aspirations, theoretical and methodological needs, and field of research. They are designed to demonstrate students’ abilities to place their own research into context.

In February of the first year of doctoral study, the Graduate Advisor and each student meet to discuss the formation of the Examination Committee. This committee consists of three or four members: For the primary concentration, one to two tenured, tenure-track, or permanent administrative faculty at Tulane University, who serves as the de facto examination committee chairperson; and for each of the two supporting concentrations, one professor (at least one of which must be a tenured, tenure-track, or permanent administrative Tulane University faculty member). Ordinarily at least three of these committee members later serve as the student’s Dissertation Committee. When exceptional circumstances or programmatic logic warrant it, one external committee member (i.e. a non-Tulane professor with an earned Ph.D.) is allowed to serve as a voluntary examination and dissertation committee member, but only following consultation with and approval by the Committee chairperson and the Graduate Advisor at the Stone Center. The Stone Center does not offer any travel subsidies or financial compensation for participation on doctoral examination and dissertation committees, and any voluntary external committee members should agree to serve on any doctoral examination or dissertation committee with this understanding.

Once a committee has been appointed, students prepare for the examinations by compiling professional bibliographies and critical reading lists in each of their three concentrations in consultation with the professor(s) overseeing the concentration field. These bibliographies are reviewed in-depth with each committee examiner so that the examiner can suggest modifications and additional readings as necessary. The committee will inform students of the parameters and scope of their questions well in advance of the examination.

The examinations include an 8-hour written exam in the first concentration and an 8-hour written exam in each of the other two supporting concentrations (total of two 8-hour written exams for the secondary concentrations). These written examinations are followed by an oral examination administered by the entire committee; the latter takes the form of a general discussion and lasts a maximum of two hours.

All General Preliminary Exams are normally given in either October or March and are usually completed within the space of one calendar month. Outside of these stipulations, individual exam schedules vary according to the student’s curricular and program needs and must be determined in close consultation with the Stone Center Graduate Advisor. Usually, students who enter the Ph.D. program with their M.A. degree in Latin American Studies at Tulane will be prepared for exams by the third or fourth semester of Ph.D study. Students who transfer with M.A. degrees from other Tulane departments or enroll with M.A. degrees from other universities should be prepared by the sixth or seventh semester depending on their previous preparation and experience.

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Upcoming Events

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. Participants in the Oct. 28 session will get the chance to read the short story “Ri töp chuqa’ ri kär”/“The Crab and the Fish” alongside its author, Mtra. Magda Sotz (aka Ixkamey).

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. Nov. 12 is game day with Mtro. Edy Rene Guaján (aka Lajuj B’atz’)! Come prepared to play along and laugh.

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. It’s the holiday season on Dec. 2. Join Mtro. Marco Antonio Guaján (aka Mokchewan) to compare your favorite holiday celebrations.

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.